I not only write about insurance, but I shop around for it like you do.
A few weeks ago I decided to review my current NY auto insurance policy, in an effort to save money. I did find a lower policy and along the way found out a few ways that can help you lower your rates, too.
10 Tips for affordable auto insurance
1. Make sure your credit report is accurate.
Misinformation on the report will affect the rate of your policy.
Think about cleaning up your credit before shopping for insurance. When people review their credit, there are on average 2-3 reports that are incorrect.
2. Motor vehicle reports that are incorrect or incomplete can have a negative impact on rate.
I chose not to repair a car after an accident that was due to poor road conditions. No other car was involved. The under carriage was damaged and it was an old car. If you say you “totaled” your car, the report will be negative. If in fact you did not “total” your car but chose to junk it; that will not be an adverse report.
3. Your rate can be lower if you own your vehicle and don’t have to insure it for the replacement cost.
If you remove collision coverage, this will reduce the rate significantly.
4. How you use your car affects the rate.
If you are just using the car for pleasure and not for work, you will pay less.
Low mileage discounts are often overlooked as a way to save money. Additionally, consider UBI devices. Usage Based Insurance devices monitor your driving habits and can result in a lower rate the following month after the monitored report is reviewed. If you tend to brake hard, drive fast and rack up more miles that usual – this won’t save you money.
5. Job titles matter.
Your job title or the type of work can have an impact on the rate you ultimately pay.
Also, owning your business can reduce your rate versus being an employee of the company, depending on the nature of your business. Also, having a college degree will often reduce the cost of insurance.
6. Safe driver discounts.
You can reduce your rate by taking driver safety courses. And the best part is that these courses are available online.
7. Opting for auto pay can save you money.
How you choose to pay your premium matters.
Paying one time a year is often cheaper than paying quarterly or monthly. And paying by setting up an automatic debit plan from your checking account rather than getting paper invoices in the mail may reduce your premiums as well.
Hey, every little bit adds up, right?
8. Checking out association discounts.
Belonging to an alumni or other type of association may provide group discounts, so it pays to ask.
9. Increase your deductible.
Do you need to have a $250 deductible?
Chances are it depends on whether or not you drive a newer or late model car. By increasing your deductible (i.e. how much comes out of your pocket for repairs should you file a claim) you can significantly reduce your overall premiums.
10. Safety first.
Make sure you get credit for all of your car’s safety features: alarms, passive restraints, side airbags and LOJACK will make a difference in lowering your rate.
In fact, Lauren Bruen Nicholson of Bruen Deldin DiDio Associates suggests that it’s a good idea to “work with an independent insurance agent who can get to know you and your unique situation.” This way you can work with someone local who understands your needs and can help you get the insurance you need at the best possible price.
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