Mid-day Money Minute 2/29: How To Save Money Shopping For Car Insurance

Before we read what the experts say, I’ll give you my tip. Take a day once a year to shop and compare. It’s nice if you can stay with one carrier for many years, but not at the cost of spending too much money.

1. Comparison shop Prices vary from company to company. Find out the minimum amount of car insurance you must carry. Obtain car insurance quotes from at least three insurers. But don’t shop on price alone: Look at the company’s reputation, its customer service and the type of coverage and discounts it offers.

2. Ask for higher deductibles If you file a claim, the deductible is the amount of money you pay before your insurance kicks in. Higher deductibles mean lower premiums. For example, increasing your deductible from $250 to $500 on collision and comprehensive coverage could reduce that portion of your premium by 15 to 30 percent. Increasing it to $1,000 can you save you up to 40 percent or more, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Just make sure you can pay it in the event that you need to make a claim.

3. Drop collision and/or comprehensive coverage on old cars If your car is totaled in an accident, you receive the actual cash value of the car. Although car insurance companies use their own criteria to determine fair market value for vehicles, you can get a ballpark estimate from NADA Guides. For older cars, it may not make financial sense to pay premiums over many years to maintain collision and comprehensive coverage. As a general rule, it doesn’t make sense to buy comprehensive and collision coverage for a car worth less than $1,000, according to III.

4. Buy a car that’s cheap to insure A car’s “loss history” affects its collision and comprehensive insurance premiums. If other drivers of your model file frequent or expensive claims, insurance rates for your car will be higher than average. Insure.com’s car insurance comparison tool lets you research average premiums for more than 3,000 models of new cars.

5. Take advantage of low-mileage discounts Some car insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who put fewer than a predetermined number of miles on their vehicles each year.

Source: Insure.com

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