For many people, car insurance represents a significant portion of their budget. Consumer Reports offers tips to lower your premiums while still maintaining the coverage you need.
Do an annual rate check with online sites to compare premiums from different insurers. Three suggested by Consumer Reports are www.answerfinancial.com, www.insure.com and www.netquote.com. You can also work with an independent agent who can check rates with a variety of companies.
Choose a higher deductible if you have a good driving record and can afford to pay the amount out of pocket in the event of an accident.
Explore discounts for students with good grades, new-driver training courses, http://www.answerfinancial.com/ defensive driving courses, refresher courses for older drivers, and vehicle anti-theft and safety equipment.
Read carefully any multi-policy discounts. You may get a discount for also purchasing homeowners, renters or life insurance from your car insurer. But be sure the total package is really a bargain.
Maintain a good credit score. Most states allow an insurer to factor in your credit score when setting premiums. A lower credit score increases your premium.
Report any reduced mileage. If you’re driving fewer miles because of a job change or retirement, you may be able to reduce your premium.
Check with your insurer before choosing a new car. Repair costs can make premiums higher on some vehicles. Your insurance agent can quote you prices for the models you are considering.
Sometimes it’s worth paying a bit more. Pick a top rated insurer. Low premiums are no bargain if you have to fight your insurer for quality repair work with original equipment replacement parts or face premium increases after making a claim.
Auto insurance coverage you may not need:
- Drop rental reimbursement coverage if you have other means of transportation while your car is being repaired.
- Drop roadside coverage if you have an auto-club membership. It is a better deal.
- Drop medical coverage if you have good health insurance.