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Car Insurance Guide

THE Ultimate Guide to Saving Money on Auto Insurance

Why is our car insurance guide so important? Well, it’s a fact of life: you have to buy car insurance. You’re breaking the law if you don’t, so the question is, how can you buy it for less?

It doesn’t matter if you’re insuring a Lexus, or just need a policy for your beater – we’ve compiled our 25 top tips to help you save as much as possible, maybe even cutting your current auto insurance payment in half!

Read through our ultimate auto insurance guide and then be sure to enter your zip code above to compare car insurance quotes from many different companies to see how much you might be able to save!

Car Window

Tip: Hanging out your car window does not lower your driving risk.

    1. Use your occupation to your advantage. It might not work for race car drivers or stuntmen, but many jobs qualify for certain discounts. That’s because insurance companies may consider your line of work to be low risk for car accidents. Engineers, for instance, are often considered low risk, probably because they’re always calculating a safe driving distance from the car in front of them.
    2. Check with professional associations. Maybe you’re an AAA member. Maybe you belong to a small business association , or an alumni organization. Just like reserving a hotel room and discovering they have an AAA discount, you should check with any professional associations (as well as your insurance company) to see if you qualify for discounts.
    3. Got good health insurance? Then don’t worry about spending extra dollars for medical liability. While it’s not a bad idea to have, a good health insurance plan should cover you. (Of course, you also want to save money on health insurance, but that’s another article.)
    4. Take a defensive driving course. You’ll get a discount if you can prove you took a defensive driving or drivers training course. Because insurance companies want you to drive defensively, not offensively. No offense.
Road Rage

Offensive driving at it’s finest.

    1. Encourage your kids to do well in school. If your children get better than a B average, and they’re driving age, make sure to report their scholastic achievements to your insurance company. They will often reward teens with good grades with discounts on insurance, which you’re probably helping to pay.
    2. Are you eligible for a low-mileage discount? If you can prove you carpool or otherwise find a way to drive less than 7,500 miles in your car per year (we don’t recommend a horse, they’re always hungry) you’ll likely spend less when your policy payment is due.
    3. Do you need roadside assistance? This add-on to insurance can cost you more. If you’re not driving very far, or know someone willing to help you if you have a problem on the road, consider dropping roadside assistance. Why, in the olden days we never had roadside assistance — we just hitchhiked home!
Roadside Assistance

And we didn’t have any of those fancy cellphones, either!

    1. When buying a car, go low profile. Car insurance companies pay close attention to statistics related to car models. Not all cars are created equal. Some are more susceptible to being stolen. Some are safer than others. Some are just uglier. You can find out the top safety picks here (but on aesthetics, you’re on your own).
    2. Parking discounts. If you live in a city and can prove you garage your car, you may be eligible for a reduction, since a garaged car is safer than one on the street. And think of the money you’ll save on parking tickets!
    3. Buy longer policies. If you can, buy policies for a year instead of a period of months, as insurers prefer to have that chunk of money all at once. You may be able to negotiate better terms for even longer policies. Ask nicely.
    4. Pay up front. Similarly, instead of paying in installments, you will usually save by paying the premium for your policy all at once. Again, see if you can sweet-talk your agent into giving you even better rates for a one-time payment.
    5. Maintain good credit. Unfortunately, insurance companies check your credit when you apply for a policy. They want to make sure that you are financially responsible in addition to being a safe driver. It’s simple: better credit, lower rates. (Fortunately, they don’t care about your cholesterol yet.)
    6. Stay loyal. Sometimes it’s best to not skip around on insurance. Make sure that you stay with a company for several years; a loyal customer is considered a lower risk than a new customer, who may be, let’s face it, crazy.
    7. Keep your policy up to date with big life changes. Did you recently get married? Have you moved? Did you change your name and move to Guam? Don’t forget to update these things for insurance purposes; it could save you some cash.
    8. Combine insurance. Maybe insuring all your cars with the same company is a no-brainer, but make sure you’re taking advantage of other insurance services they offer, in order to improve loyalty and achieve the lowest rate possible across the board. Consolidate!
    9. Car safety features. Got airbags? What about side impact? Theft deterrent? While some of these things may be afterthoughts to you, they are important for nervous insurers to calculate your policy price. Think about the safety features on your existing car, or consider getting them in a new car, to make sure you’re saving money (and possibly a life or two).

If only your great aunt came with this label as well. :)

    1. Drop collision insurance. If your car has reached “crapola” status, or you’re looking for an excuse to get rid of it, consider dropping collision. Just don’t use that as an excuse to get in an accident!
    2. Use our comparison tool. Make sure you’re using our free car insurance comparison tool so you can see side by side what you’re getting for your money. Everyone’s coverage is different, so ensure you’re getting the best bang-up coverage for your buck.
    3. Raise your deductible. This involves a bit of risk if you’re not a good driver (hey, be honest with yourself) because you’re going to spend more out of pocket in the case of an accident. But if you need to save some money right now, it might not be a bad idea.
    4. Check rates before you buy a new car. Always make sure you get an insurance quote on several cars that you have an interest in purchasing. You may be surprised at the long-term cost of one car over another. Two cars may be nearly the same to you, but not to the insurer who’s wearing woes-colored glasses.
    5. Become a good customer. Make sure that when you need insurance for your house, another car, or your prized comic book collection, to go through your current insurer. Overall, you’ll save money and gain good status with that company.
    6. Shop around every 6-12 months, but well before your policy expires. Insurance companies usually know when your policy is going to expire, so if you’re in hurry mode because your coverage is about to end, they’re going to jack up their rates, maybe by 15%. Be careful and plan ahead.
    7. Ask for discounts. It never hurts to try, so call your insurer or agent up and see if there’s anything else they can do for you. You could also try demanding, but disagreeable people generally don’t get breaks on their car insurance. That type of attitude may reflect on their driving habits.
    8. Use your credit card. Auto insurance is a fixed cost. That is, you’re going to have to buy it. Since you know this, you should think about using a credit card that has multipurpose points rewards such as one from American Express. You’ll get thousands of points, built up over time. Plus, if you keep paying with credit, the points won’t expire until you do.
Credit Card Concierge

How to score points: use your credit card

  1. Never settle. The insurance industry is a very competitive business, so make sure you are always willing to try new companies. Like Elizabeth Taylor and husbands, don’t be afraid to switch every once in a while. But unlike a new husband, a new company just might save you money.

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