Along with fuel, tax, and maintenance, car insurance is a seemingly unavoidable cost of car ownership. Yet many drivers are paying far too much for their insurance each month, particularly if they don't take the time to shop around to compare rates.
There are a number of strategies that could lower your insurance premium, from changing the type of car you drive to becoming a more qualified driver. The following are five top tips to help you reduce your car insurance payments.
1. Avoid paying monthly.
A year's worth of car insurance can be daunting on paper, so it makes sense to break it down into smaller monthly payments. However, this usually leads you to pay more due to interest rates or add-on fees.
Paying in a lump sum every 6 or 12 months allows you to avoid these add-on charges. If paying such a large bill is difficult, try setting up your own monthly bill pay by depositing a set amount into your savings account each month. This will ensure that you have enough money to pay the bill at the end of the year.
2. Raise your deductible.
One way to slash your car insurance premium is by raising your deductible, or the amount you pay out of pocket in the event of an accident. If your vehicle is expensive to replace, this can be one of the best ways to save.
Simply raising your deductible from $200 to $500 can lead to serious savings, for example, and wouldn't be that much more to spend out of pocket in the event of an accident. Naturally, only raise your deductible to an amount that you would be able to afford.
3. Choose a safer car.
The type of car you drive is one of the major factors that will determine your insurance rates, so if you're in the market for a new one you'll need to choose a safe, reliable model. You can use car comparison tools like Motoring to make sure you choose a model with all the safety bells and whistles.
Features like electronic stability control, numerous air bags, anti-lock brakes, pedestrian detection systems, and automatic seat belts can all help lower your insurance premium.
4. Drive less, and drive defensively.
The less time you spend in the car, the lower the chances are that you'll be in an accident. If you can switch to alternative forms of transportation every now and then, such as taking public transport to work, let your insurance company know.
You may be eligible for a discount. Similarly, careful drivers are rewarded with lower rates. Be sure to avoid speeding and keep your driving record clean if you want premium rates. You can take a defensive driving course to earn a discount from many insurers.
5. Shop around before you buy.
Finally, be sure to compare all options before you buy a new policy. It's tempting to automatically renew your existing one, but you may be eligible for lower rates elsewhere.
Try requesting at least three quotes from different insurance companies to compare terms, conditions, and rates. You may see a vast difference in the services and prices offered.
It's best to shop around every 12 months to compare prices, as market conditions often change over time. By following these simple tips, you could see a significant reduction in your insurance costs.