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18 Ways to Save Money On Your Car Insurance

Call an agent today and review all of these ways to save money on your auto insurance. There is a good chance that you may be able to reduce your premium immediately. Your agent will be able to help you get the lowest possible premium with your insurer.

1). Shop Around – Each insurance company has different rules and guidelines. Your situation may be more favorable to one company than it is to another so the rates could vary by a large margin. A good time to shop around is when you have a change in your lifestyle. Some examples include: getting married, getting divorced, buying a new car, moving and adding a young driver. These are just a few examples. Contact an agent today for more details.

2).   Accident- Free – If you have not been involved in any kind of accident for a period of time, usually 3 to 5 years, you may be entitled to this discount. Some insurance companies do not differentiate between at-fault or not at-fault accidents; but rather have you had ANY accidents.  Your agent will be familiar with all of the details. Also having no moving violations will generally save you money as well.

3).   Air Bags – They save lives, period. All insurance companies will give you a discount for having them in your car. The more air bags you have, the greater the discount is a good rule of thumb. Your VIN number will usually reveal the number of airbags in your car. Call your agent for all of the details.

4).   Anti-Lock Brakes – Virtually all insurance companies will give you a discount for having them.  Your VIN number will usually reveal if your car is equipped with this feature.

5).   Automatic Seat Belts – Most newer cars no longer have them but if you have a car that does, make sure your agent knows so that you are getting the appropriate discount. Your VIN number will usually reveal if your car is equipped with automatic seat belts.

6).   Car Type – Many insurers will discount a specific category of cars. For example, compact or utility cars may be entitled to additional discounts. Conversely, a sport utility vehicle may derive a higher premium.

7).   Check the VIN Number of Your Car – Often, a vehicle’s VIN (vehicle identification number) is not correctly listed. The VIN consists of a combination of 17 numbers and letters on newer cars and fewer numbers and letters on older cars. If the VIN number is not correct, you could be missing out on many discounts or worse, have a claim denied because your policy shows a different car listed than the one that you actually have. DO NOT count on the car salesman to call your agent with this information when you purchase a car; this is your responsibility. Call your agent today to verify that the company has the correct VIN number listed on your policy.  The VIN number can be found where the dashboard meets the windshield on the driver's side of the car.

8).   Claim-Free – To be eligible for this discount you must be claim free for a period of time. Usually 3 to 5 years.

9).   Credit – Your credit plays a major role in determining what your final policy premium will be. Many insurers can no longer give you an accurate quote for a policy until they actually check it out. Insurers used to look at only your loss or claims history, tickets, accidents, age and a variety of other factors to determine your rate. However, in recent years, insurers have added your credit as a major tool in evaluating what your final premium will be. Generally, a good insurance score (or good credit score) means a more favorable rate. This practice has gone on in the banking industry for as long as most folks can remember.  The philosophy is that a group of risks with good credit in the same area will have fewer losses than similar groups in the same area with bad credit. In today’s insurance marketplace, good credit can mean lower policy premiums.

10).   Employee Discount – If you are an employee of your insurer or of a company that has a special program with your insurer, you may qualify for a discount or a discounted rating plan.

11).  Have Your Policy Re-Written – Many insurance companies periodically develop different rating plans and premiums for the same policies. If your policy was re-written with the exact same coverage in the new plan, your rate would likely be different in this newer rating plan. You could pay more or less in the new rating plan. Also, most companies will charge an extra premium for a claim or a ticket and will continue to charge you until the end of the policy term. This could mean that you could pay significantly more than necessary if you had your policy re-written after the loss is over 3 to 5 years old. Often, there may be some disadvantages to having your policy re-written so check with your agent.

12).  Increase Your Deductible – Many policies carry a standard $500 deductible, but you can request a higher deductible such as $750, $1000 or higher and can often save a substantial amount of money. By agreeing to be responsible for a bigger part of the total amount of the claim, the insurer will reward you with a lower premium. For many, this is one of the best ways to save money over time. Call your agent for all of your options.

13).  Multiple Policies With the Same Company - Many insurers will give you a multi-policy discount if you have more than one line of insurance with them. Consider purchasing your auto, home and life insurance from the same insurer. This will generally also put you in a more favorable position with the company from claims to underwriting.

14).  New Car – If you purchased a new car you may be eligible for this discount. This discount will sometimes only apply for a year or two before it goes away due to the fact that the car is no longer new.

15).  Previous Insurer – Many insurers will give you a discount if you are currently insured with specific insurer and switch to a new insurer. Some insurers do this to try to induce clients to move their company.

16).  Rate Territory – Most insurers develop rating territories or areas to help determine what premiums to charge you. You would expect to pay more if you live in a big city than if you did not live in the city is an example of this. Check with your agent to make sure that you are being properly rated for the territory that you live in. Often, many rating territories have more than one zip code and even though your policy shows the correct zip code, you could be rated in the wrong county! Also, if you have multiple cars and generally keep one at home and one at a different location, you may qualify for a split-rate or a rate for one car at home and a different rate for the other car that is kept at a different location. Call your agent today to explore this often over-looked option.

17).  Retired Discount – If you are a certain age (usually 55 or 65 years old & up) and are retired, many insurers will give you a discount on your policy. Don’t miss out on this one if you qualify, it can be a big one and you must call your agent to get credit for the discount.

18).  Security System – If you purchase a security system with your car, almost every insurer will give you a discount.  If your car has an alarm that automatically enables itself (passive alarm) when you lock the door, you should be able to get a discount. Many states have up to five different levels of discounts that are available with your auto insurance. These can range from 5% - 25% on the theft portion of your premium. Call your agent to make sure you are getting the right level of discount.


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