Seven ideas to get better rates
1. Raise your deductible. Make sure that you could handle the new higher deductible in case of an accident. Consider putting the premium savings into a bank account that you can call your “self insurance” fund. Watch it grow. Once it covers any potential deducible the rest is gravy!
2. If you car is older and has a low value, consider removing the collision coverage. This means if you get in an accident and it’s your fault your insurance will not pay you to replace your car. For example, if you have an old car that is only worth $2,000, but you will save $200 a year by dropping collision, you might decide it is worth the risk. Talk this through with your agent to make sure you understand the risk. Also ask what your car’s insurable value really is based on the age and mileage.
3. Get comparison quotes! This is probably the most effective way to lower your rates. If you have been with the same insurer for a while, chances are you are overpaying (loyalty penalty). One thing to be careful of though is to make sure the company you are considering switching to is reputable. Check out their A.M. Best rating (A rating) and their reputation. It doesn’t make sense to go too cheap if they won’t pay out or you have a horrible claims experience.
4. If you have teenage drivers most insurers offer discounts for good grades (usually a B average or better). These drivers tend to have lower accident rates which is why the insurers offer this.
5. Talk to your insurer or your insurance agent. Tell them you want to lower your premiums. Let them know that you need to improve your insurance budget and request their help. Often they will offer discounts you didn’t know about. If you don’t ask you don’t get! Even better, if you get a competing quote, they will be much more willing to drop their price to keep your business. Be polite but persistent.
6. If you have a student in college and they are far enough from home, be sure to tell your insurance agent. Often they will reduce your premium if your student is more than 100 miles from home (and they didn’t take their car with them) as their frequency of driving is much lower. This concept also applies to any drivers that won’t be driving for a period of time for any reason. Be sure to turn the coverage back on when they are able to drive again!
7. If you have a newer vehicle with the latest safety features, be sure to tell your agent. You should get discounts for safety features such as driver side warnings, backup cameras, etc.