You know the old saying, “you get what you pay for?” Well, that doesn’t really apply to buying car insurance. Paying more for your coverage can mean you are getting a good, full-coverage policy, but it can also mean you are over-insured or over-paying. On the flip side, finding cheap car insurance doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting a sub-par policy, or that you’re going to have to deal with poor customer service.
Instead of the typical auto insurance article design to talk up the benefits of a particular company, here are few informational resources and 6 ways to find cheap car insurance without sacrificing coverage, customer service, claims processing, or anything important to picking a quality carrier.
- Buying a Car
When buying a car, think about how much it will cost to insure the vehicle before purchasing, not after. Many consumers only take the sticker price into consideration, forgetting the recurring fuel, maintenance, insurance, and repair costs that will burden them for years to come.
As obvious as it is, some consumers need to be reminded – luxury and sports cars are more expensive to insure compared to safe, economical vehicles. A simple rule of thumb to think about is, if your vehicle registers 0-60 times less than 6 seconds, you’re likely going to pay a higher rate because that’s a fast car!
The next step to consider in the car buying process is ensuring your vehicle comes with safety features, such as anti-lock brakes, traction control systems, daytime running lights, air bags, alarm or anti-theft system, etc. If your car is highly rated in safety crashes, you will qualify for discounts.
- Buy All Your Insurance from One Company
If you plan on buying homeowners, RV, motorcycle, or even life insurance, check with your auto insurance company first to see if you qualify for a bundle discount that could save you up to 15% with some providers. Similarly, if all the drivers in your household are insured under the same policy, you qualify as well.
- Comparison Shop
Whenever you are planning on making a big purchase, you should always compare prices with various companies. If you were buying a car, you wouldn’t make your purchase from the first lot you stepped on; the same should apply when purchasing car insurance.
First, you must start with some basic research. For example, there is plenty of data on average car insurance rates by state. If you are paying well-above your state’s average, then you definitely need to shop around.
- Drive Less
The less you drive, the less likely it is that you will have an accident. If you don’t drive as much as the average person, or if you carpool regularly, you might be eligible for a “Low Mileage” discount. Talk to your insurance carrier to see if you qualify for this discount.
- Increase Your Deductible
If you have a larger deductible, you’ll have to pay more should you have an accident, but your monthly or bi-annual premiums will decrease. Because higher deductibles require higher out-of-pocket expenses for drivers, statistically speaking, insurance companies can expect fewer claims from policyholders.
- Improve Your Credit Score
While insurance companies operating in California may not use consumer credit scores to calculate rates, other states permit providers to access a driver’s credit history. This is because carriers have found a strong correlation between good credit and good driving behavior.
If you believe your credit history may be adversely affecting your insurance premiums, obtain a copy and review the accuracy of any claims made against you.
When searching for cheap car insurance, remember that your goal should be about getting the best policy and coverage in terms of value, not just the lowest price. Really cheap rates from a company with terrible customer service and claims processing can just be a stressful experience when you need your carrier the most.