7 Simple Ways To Get Cheaper Car Insurance
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Owning a car gets expensive: gas, regular maintenance, unexpected repairs, and insurance payments really add up. There isn’t much you can do to reduce costs on the first three expenses but you can reduce insurance costs with these 7 simple ways to get cheaper car insurance.
Car Insurance Is Super Expensive
I’ll admit that I don’t own a car, I’ve spent most of my life living in cities where a car wasn’t a necessity or even a convenience but an additional expense and a hassle. Anyone who has ever tried to understand alternate side parking rules in New York City or dodged potholes in New Orleans will understand. So I was shocked to learn that the average cost of car insurance is $3,717 per year which works out to $309.75 per month.
Apart from my rent, that’s more per month than any of my bills. If car insurance is one of your biggest monthly expenses, it’s time you found cheaper car insurance.
Why You Need Car Insurance
Well, you have to have car insurance in most states because it’s mandatory because of liability, your responsibility for any damage you cause while behind the wheel. Drivers can choose to buy comprehensive and collision coverage as well to cover your own car but the liability coverage most states require cover bodily injury and property damage. This coverage pays out to any victim of a car accident that you caused.
In order to legally register and drive your car, you are required to maintain at least the minimum level of liability insurance your state requires. If you have leased or financed your car, you may be required to carry additional coverage by the dealership or bank, similar to a mortgage company’s requirement that you have home owner’s insurance. That car doesn’t really belong to you, the entity it does belong to want to make sure it’s protected.
Getting cheap car insurance can be done right from your computer in just a few minutes. These insurers can give you a quote instantly. Check your rates now.
- Liberty Mutual: It offers consumers standard car insurance policies and several different types of additional optional coverage as well including accident forgiveness, new car replacement, better car replacement, and a deductible fund. If you’re a teacher, Liberty Mutual may be the best choice for your cheap car insurance needs. More on that later!
Using the right car insurance provider is only one way to get cheaper car insurance. Here are 7 more.
1. Buy the Right Car
Car insurance premiums are partly based on the cost of a car, the cost of repairs, the safety record, and how popular it is with car thieves. For the record, the Honda Civic often tops the list of most stolen cars, sorry Civic drivers. To help you choose a car that will cost less to insure you can go to the website Insurance Institute for Highway Safety at iihs.org.
2. Opt for a Higher Deductible
Just like with your health insurance policy, the deductible on your car insurance is the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in. The higher your deductible, the cheaper your car insurance premium will be. Opting for a $1,000 deductible can lower your car insurance cost by 40% or more. If you choose this method of getting cheaper car insurance, make sure you have the deductible amount set aside in your emergency fund.
3. Mind Your Credit Score
You probably already know that having a high credit score means that borrowing money for a home or taking out a personal loan is cheaper because it gets you a better interest rate but did you know that having a high credit score can mean you get cheaper car insurance?
Just as having a high credit score shows potential lenders that you’re a good risk, responsible with money, it shows car insurers that you’re a good risk because you’re responsible. And responsible people are more likely to do things like paying their bills on time and less likely to do things like drive while intoxicated or leave valuables in full view inside their unlocked car.
If your credit score could use some work, there are ways to improve it.
4. Lower Coverage on Your Old Beater
If you get a ding in your 17-year-old Toyota Camry it’s not like getting a ding in your 2019 Ferarri. You likely won’t even notice a ding in your Camry and wouldn’t care or bother to get it repaired if you did so you can consider dropping collision and or comprehensive coverage on an older car.
What’s the threshold? A good rule of thumb is that if your car is worth less than 10 times your car insurance premium, the additional coverage isn’t worth the additional cost. You can look up the current value of your car at Kelley’s Blue Book, kbb.com.
5. Everyone Loves a Discount
Many insurance companies offer discounts for a variety of things. If you’ve not had an accident or gotten any driving tickets for a certain number of years, if you complete a defensive driving course, your car is equipped with anti-theft devices, you’ve been a loyal customer for many years, or your high school-aged driver who is on your policy makes good grades.
When shopping for cheap car insurance, ask the insurer what discounts they offer.
6. Pay Up Front
A lot of companies offer products and services at a reduced price when you pay upfront for an entire year rather than paying each month. It’s easier and cheaper for the company to process a single yearly payment rather than a dozen monthly payments.
You should get into the habit of working large, expected, yearly expenses like car insurance and property taxes into your budget so they don’t come as a surprise and so that you can pay the full amount in order to get the discount if that is an option.
7. And On Time
If you forget to pay your car insurance bill, not only are you playing with fire (you’re breaking the law and would be forced to pay out of pocket for any damage your car sustained or any damage your car did) but a lapse in coverage can disqualify you from any discounts you were getting on your premium.
The easiest way to make sure you always pay your car insurance bill and any other bills on time is to set up auto-pay either through the vendor or through your bank. Late payments may result in additional fees and can sometimes hurt your credit score.
Where to Get Cheap Car Insurance
Liberty Mutual allows consumers to buy standard car insurance and additional coverage. Accident Forgiveness means your premium won’t be raised after your first accident. New Car Replacement means if your car is totaled within the first year and first 15,000 miles, you’ll get reimbursed for the cost of a new car, not the depreciated value of your now un-drivable car. Better Car Replacement means if your car is totaled, no matter the age or number of miles on it, you’ll be reimbursed for a car one year newer and with 15,000 fewer miles than the car you have to replace. The Deductible Fund lowers your collision deductible. Liberty Mutual contributes $70 per year while you contribute just $30.
Liberty Mutual offers Teacher’s Auto Insurance and comes at no additional cost. It includes vandalism loss protection, personal property coverage, and collision coverage. If you’re a teacher looking for cheap car insurance, look no further!
A Necessary Expense
As a non-driver, I’ve always felt sorry for those who don’t live in a place with reliable, or any, public transportation. Having a car is so expensive but I understand for many people it’s a necessary expense.
So why not make that necessary expense a little less costly? Use these tips and the recommended companies to get cheaper car insurance and put more money back in your pocket.