Are you getting the best rate possible on your car insurance? There’s a good chance that the answer to that question is no, as recent studies suggest that the average person overpays on car insurance by about $400. An extra $400 is a big deal to most people; that’s enough to buy a decent-sized HDTV, spend a couple extra nights out on the town, or even make a few months’ worth of payments for your extended warranty insurance. So the question is, how can you get that money out of your insurance company’s hands and back into your pocket where it belongs? Here are 5 easy ways.
Update Your Plan
Did you get married recently? Has it been a while since your last policy claim or driving infringement? Your plan is outdated and costing you more than it should if it doesn’t reflect recent big changes like these. Contact your insurance company to make sure your insurance reflects your current situation.
Take Advantage of Discounts
Car insurance companies offer various discounts that can save you money if you fit certain criteria. Some of these typical discounts include the following:
- Drivers who have taken a safe driving course may be able to be eligible for further savings on the premium.
- Many insurance companies reward drivers who have a clean driving record in the last 3-5 years.
- Insurance companies typically offer discounts of up to 15% when you bundle your car and home insurance policy together with them.
- Companies may also offer multi-car discounts when you insure 2 or more vehicles with them.
Raise Your Excess
Raising your excess can also lower your premium. If you have a low excess and are a good driver, odds are that raising your excess to lower your monthly rate will save you money in the long run. Typically, young drivers stand to save the most from raising their excess.
The majority of people rarely if ever shop for alternatives once they have insurance, but this is a big mistake. Experts advise shopping for a new insurance policy once a year, especially if your rate is going up dramatically from year to year. Switching insurance can save you hundreds of dollars each year because companies are more willing to offer lower rates to new customers. As you look for a lower rate, make sure to let your insurance company know that you’re shopping around. If they know you’ve found a lower rate elsewhere, they may lower yours to match it.
Pay Bi-Yearly Instead of Monthly
Automatic payments make it easy to pay for your insurance premium monthly. After it’s set up, you don’t have to lift a finger. But did you know that paying a lump sum every 6 months or yearly instead of making a monthly payment can actually save you money? It may be more difficult for you to come up with the money up front, but you’ll be glad you did when the end of the year comes around and you have saved 5 or even 10% off your premium, especially if you’re paying for the more expensive comprehensive car insurance. Along these same lines, insurance companies may offer an early shopper discount if you pay in advance of your current policy’s expiration date. Ask your insurance company if they offer these money-saving options.
If you don’t ask, you won’t get; at the end of the day your insurance company wants to keep your business so research and ask your insurer why they can’t match their competitors’ offers.