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How can I save money on auto insurance?

Here's what you need to know...
  • Saving on your car insurance is not really hard; it just requires a little knowledge and effort
  • There are many factors that go into calculating how much you will pay for car insurance
  • There are many people who are content to continue paying high insurance rates
  • Many consumers change their mind when they find out how much they can actually save

If you’re like most people who own and drive a car, saving on your car insurance is probably something that’s important to you.

The cost of car ownership is high enough with things like gas, maintenance, and repairs. The last thing you want to do is spend a fortune on car insurance.

Saving on car insurance means doing your best to take care of those things you can control and then doing some comparison shopping.

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Are there any discounts that are available to help me save on car insurance?

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Most insurance companies offer different discounts to policyholders that meet certain requirements.

  • For example, you can save money on insurance if you pay your entire annual balance at one time, rather than making monthly payments.
  • In addition, if you insure more than one car or have multiple policies with the same insurance company. Often times, this can be up to 10% of the total policy premium.
  • Other discounts are based on the options available within the vehicle. Most car insurance companies offer a large discount if the vehicle you are insuring has certain safety features.
  • Additional discounts can be earned by having anti-lock brakes or an alarm system on the car.

Organizations such as AAA offer specialized advice on how to save money with discounts on car insurance. See the organization’s “For Your Car” page of its website.

Many newer cars, despite being more expensive than some older cars, are actually cheaper to insure because of newer safety features such as:

  • Traction control
  • Steel-reinforced beams
  • Curtain airbags

Cars that are safer are less of a risk to insurance companies, and the fact that some of these safer cars will also keep passengers safe helps keep the cost of insuring the vehicle low as well.

If you have a teenage driver who is either in high school or college, you can save on your car insurance premium with the good student discount.

The good student discount is available if your child is able to maintain at least a B average or better and can be as much as 25% off the policy premiums.

If you take a defensive driving course that is approved by your state of residence, you may be eligible to receive as much as 10% off of your policy premium.

Most defensive discounts also offer a reduction of points due to any traffic violation.

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Can I save on car insurance by driving safely?

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to keep your insurance rates as low as possible is to drive safely. After all, isn’t the point of car insurance to protect you from financial loss in case of an accident?

The more safely you drive and the fewer accidents you are involved in, the more likely it is that you’ll see the lowest possible insurance rates for your lifetimes.

Conversely, if accidents are a normal part of your driving experience, you can expect insurance rates to go up.

Along these same lines, young male drivers between the ages of 18 and 25 are generally the one who pay the most for insurance.

Statistics show that a good number of auto accidents involve these young drivers due inexperience and carelessness. Since young drivers represent the highest risk to insurance companies, they pay some of the highest premiums among all drivers.

Can I save on car insurance if I have a lot of tickets?

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Next to accidents, tickets are the next big thing that can add hundreds of dollars to your insurance payments. Car insurance companies consider drivers who are frequently ticketed to be just as unsafe as those with frequent accidents.

You should always obey motor vehicle laws and avoid tickets as much as possible.

It also isn’t helpful to try and hide tickets from your insurance company; they will find out eventually, which will add even more to the cost of your insurance.

The one bright spot where tickets are concerned is the fact that in most states traffic violations are divided into several categories.

  • Moving violations tend to be the lowest level and include things like failing to signal a change. They are minor and tend to have little effect on insurance.
  • Misdemeanor violations would include things like speeding violations. They are more serious and can add significantly to car insurance rates.
  • Felony violations include DWI convictions and leaving the scene of an accident. Obviously, these are the most severe and most certainly increase your insurance.

Can I save money on my car insurance rates without removing any coverages?

Many people are looking to save money on their car insurance, but do not want to cancel any of their coverage.

If you are looking to lower your premium, simply raise the deductible on your comprehensive and collision coverage.

While you are still protected in the case of an accident, a higher deductible means more money that you would have to pay if there was an accident.

A high deductible usually means a low annual premium.

So if you are confident in your driving skills and are willing to take a risk of having a more expensive deductible, this change might be best for you.

What are some additional ways to save money on car insurance?

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If you do not drive a lot and keep your annual mileage to a minimum, you may be eligible for the low mileage discount. This discount is for people who are able to keep their mileage under 10,000 miles per year.

Another important way to save on car insurance is to comparison shop with different companies.

While most companies give insurance based on the criteria you set, it is still important to ensure you are comparing apples to apples. Make sure that deductibles and coverage amounts match when comparing rates.

There are many guides and resources available to help you find affordable car insurance rates. In fact, CNN Money offers several tips and hints on how to save money on car insurance in its Money 101 Lesson #22 on Auto Insurance

How important is shopping if I want to save on car insurance?

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Car insurance is just like any other product or service sold on the open market. Prices are determined largely through a combination of supply and demand, risk and reward, and bottom-line considerations.

The only thing different about car insurance is the fact that different states mandate different amounts of coverage for their drivers. These state mandates end up artificially creating a minimum price that no car insurance company will dip below.

However, there tends to be more flexibility in pricing coverage that goes beyond the state minimums.

Suffice it to say that comparison shopping is almost a requirement if you want to save on car insurance.

Accumulating quotes from three or four companies is always a smart idea because you can compare them side by side and see the actual numbers.

Just be careful when collecting quotes to make sure each company is quoting you the same amount of coverage on the exact same car.

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