Tired of brown-bagging your lunch? Sick of staying at home for vacation? One easy way to make the most of your money is to take a look at your car Insurance. Auto insurance represents a significant annual expense to most people and these tips could save you hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars.
1. Don’t put it off
Auto insurance rates go up and down — by hundreds of dollars a year. Which is why you should compare rates often. But how often is enough? I recommend you should compare your rate when the following events happen in your life.
* Your premium goes up
* You’re unhappy with your service
* You buy a new car
* You move
* Your marital status changes
* You add a new driver to your policy
* Your salary or assets increase
* Two years pass since you last compared rates.
2. Be ready
Getting a quote for car insurance is easy. In fact, you can get a quote online in less than 7 minutes if you have everything you need. Before you get started, make sure you have the following information available.
* Your Current Insurance Declarations Page
* Year make model and VIN of each car you’re insuring
* Your annual mileage and distance to work
* Value of any custom or after-market equipment
* Type of alarm or theft recovery device
* Name, occupation, gender, number of years licensed, and Driver’s License number of each household member old enough to drive.
* Information about any accidents or violation in the past 3 years including dates, who was at fault, if someone was injured and the claim amount.
3. Make sure you’re getting what you need
Before you get started, take a look at your current auto policy and make sure it’s giving you the level of protection you want or need. Consider increasing your deductible to lower your rate. Or increasing your liability limits to cover your new home or new income level. If you have an older car find out what it is worth. It may be wise to drop collision coverage and save some money.
4. Ask about discounts
Be sure you’re getting credit where credit is due. Not all car insurance companies offer the same discounts. But most companies will discount your rate if you have more than one car on your policy or if your car has safety features like air bags, automatic seatbelts and anti-lock brakes. Some companies even have discounts for young drivers who earn good grades or complete driver education courses.
5. Shop around
All of these tips are a great way to reduce your rate and get the best value for your insurance dollar, however, the quickest and easiest way to see the biggest drop in premiums is to shop around. Auto insurance rates can vary by hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, from one company to the next. And the service and features you get with one company may not be included with another. Shopping around and comparing rates is the only way to be sure you’re getting the best coverage and the best rate.