This is a guest post by Evan Fischer
These days, just about everyone is scraping the bottom of the barrel to find ways to pay monthly bills and maybe even sock a little savings away. Thanks to the ongoing recession this is easier said than done. But when it comes to the cost of operating a vehicle, a necessity for most working adults, there are quite a few ways that you can cut back, from carpooling to DIY maintenance. And your auto insurance policy is like a treasure trove of savings if you know what to look for. So here are a just a few tips and tricks that will help you to quickly cut your costs so that the privilege of driving doesn’t turn into a burden.
1. Ask about discounts. Your insurance provider likely offers all kinds of discounts for meeting certain criteria, but you may have to ask in order to get them. Some that you will certainly want to look into are discounts for safe driving, low mileage, multiple drivers, multiple policies (auto and home, for example), safety features (like LoJack or other anti-theft devices), and even good student discounts for the teen drivers in your household. If you are eligible for even one of these rebates you could see a significant savings on your insurance rates.
2. Raise your deductible. If you’re a safe driver that is unlikely to be at fault for an accident, you may want to increase your deductible in a bid to lower your premiums. Of course, you will have to pay more out of pocket if you’re at fault for an accident, but the longer you go with a clean driving record the more you’ll stand to save.
3. Don’t double up on coverage. There are many parts to an insurance policy and each one comes with a cost. But if you’re already covered by another form of insurance, you don’t want to have to pay twice. And the main area that you can probably cut back is personal injury protection. As long as you have a stellar health insurance policy (along with disability and life insurance) there’s no reason you have to shell out for maximum coverage from your auto policy, as well. In fact, using the personal injury portion of your policy rather than health insurance to cover medical bills in the event of an accident could result in your premiums getting bumped, so go for the minimum allowed in your state and count on your health benefits to cover the rest.
4. Consider your car. The demographics and records of individual drivers aren’t the only thing insurance companies take into consideration when pricing a policy; they also look at the car you drive. If you’ve got a sporty convertible that only meets the minimum requirements in terms of safety features, has a history of being easy to steal, and costs a small fortune to repair, you could be paying a lot more for insurance. So when it comes time to buy a new car, do your homework to find one that is safe and affordable, or simply talk to your insurance agent to get a list of the cars they charge the least to cover.
5. Comparison shop. You wouldn’t necessarily buy the first house or car you looked at, so why are you still settling for the insurance policy your parents set you up with years ago? You could be paying a lot less for comparable coverage elsewhere and many companies will go a long way to win your business. At the very least, you could use this competitive knowledge to try to secure a better rate with the company you currently use.
About the Author: Evan Fischer is a contributing writer for Used Pontiac Engines, where used Pontiac engines are shipped nationwide daily.
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