Let’s talk about cars again. You may have noticed that I’m over that right now. Well, let me tell you why. My brother just bought got a new car, and we’ve been shopping around for insurance rates for him for the last 2 days. Car ownership involves a number of costs to work into your monthly budget, from fuel to servicing and maintenance. One of the costs that can really take a bite out of your finances is auto insurance. Premiums seem to consistently grow higher, particularly for those with a less than perfect credit or driving record. Rather than accept the first sky-high quote that comes your way, it’s important to compare your options carefully and take a few proactive steps to lower your rates.
Install Anti-Theft Devices
Many of today’s anti-theft devices, from GPS trackers to car alarms, have gone down in price to become more affordable. They can also garner you a steep discount on your car insurance rates, particularly if you drive a vehicle that’s more statistically prone to theft. Before you rush out to buy the latest anti-theft devices, however, be sure to contact your insurance company first. They may have a list of preapproved devices that they can give you, so that you can invest in the right technology.
Bundle Insurance Services
If your household has more than one insurance policy, it’s worth asking about bundling these together to benefit from lower rates. You may have multiple cars under one roof, for example. It’s also worth talking to the insurance agent who handles your home insurance, because in many cases they will be able to give you a discount for the added business of your car insurance.
Take a Safety Course
Another way to get a discount on your insurance is to take an additional driver’s safety course. Defensive driving courses can lower your chances of being caught in an accident, making you a less risky proposition to insurers. This is particularly important if you have a less than perfect driving record.
Do Away with Extra Coverage
You can always increase or decrease coverage depending on your personal situation. If you are driving an older car, you wouldn’t need the same level of coverage as if you were driving a brand new Audi A3 for sale at Carsales. Other situations that would warrant lowering your coverage would be if you have enough in savings to cover repairs, if you have already paid off your auto loan, or if the annual fee for auto coverage comprises over 10% of your car’s value. In these situations, it may simply not make sense to pay for premium coverage when you are unlikely to use it.
Take on More Risk
Along these same lines, you can think about assuming greater risk by increasing your deductible amount. With a higher deductible, you’ll be liable to pay for more of the damage in the event of an accident. Yet you’ll pay less in premiums, and the money you save could be put in an emergency fund to cover minor repairs. It’s best to think this option over carefully, however, and only raise your deductible if you can really afford it.
Finally, always take the time to shop around before you agree to any plan. There are numerous car insurance comparison sites that will show you different prices and coverage plans according to your car’s make and model. Be sure to use several of these for a truly well-rounded view of the options available to you, and don’t be afraid to call the insurance companies directly to ask questions.