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10 Ways to get the cheapest car insurance
How to reduce your car insurance premium
Finding cheap (but good) car insurance can be confusing. Prices vary based on where you live, the type of car you’re driving, and how much and where you drive. Your credit score and accident history also influence your rate. Sometimes even the price of a similar plan from one carrier can cost significantly less from another (What the?).
Still, if you have a hunch that car insurance might be a place to save a little (or a lot!) of money, you’re probably right. We’ll help explore how to snag cheap car insurance, even if you decide not to change providers.
Here are 10 ways to get the cheapest car insurance rates:
1. Comparison shop for a better car insurance rate
Many people tend to stay with the same auto insurance carrier for years. We get it—researching and switching can feel like a big ol’ pain. But the car insurance market is highly competitive and constantly changing. If you shop around a bit, you may find cheaper car insurance at a different company. Get at least three quotes. (Want a handy shortcut? Insurify does it for you.)
2. Ask about driver discounts
When you’re shopping for car insurance, ask for discounts. There are various discounts available. Here are some of the most common discounts:
- Low mileage. Less time on the road means less risk of an accident. Do you drive fewer than 10,000 miles a year? Are you a carpooler? Mention things like this to your agent to get a low-mileage discount. Consider usage-based or pay-per-mile insurance programs, too (see below).
- Safety/anti-theft feature discounts. Choose a vehicle with safety features like airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and automatic seat belts. Anti-theft devices like a smart key, which most new vehicles have, could get you a discount, too. Smart keys won’t allow a vehicle to be driven if the corresponding key isn’t present.
- Military discount. Are you in the military? Ask your agent about a military discount. Geico offers a 15% military discount, for example.
- Teacher or professional group discount. Some employers offer discounts along with benefits packages. Many insurance providers also offer discounts to members of professional groups. Farmers Insurance provides discounts to many groups.
- Pay the entire six or twelve-month premium at once. Some insurance companies like Farmers and Allstate will give you a discount for paying six months or a year of your insurance in advance.
- Sign up for electronic billing. This discount isn’t as common as it used to be, but some carriers will give you a paperless discount if you receive and pay bills online.
- Multiple vehicles discount. If you have more than one car, make sure they’re on the same policy for savings.
- Multiple policy discounts. If you another insurance policy with the same carrier, like life insurance or renters insurance, you may be able to get a multi-policy discount.
3. Don’t pay for what you don’t need it
Take a good look at your coverage. There’s a decent chance your auto insurance comes packaged with a bunch of stuff you don’t really need. For example, if you have AAA, then you don’t need roadside assistance through your insurance company. Read through your insurance policy line-by-line, and ask your agent about removing any coverage that you don’t need.
4. Raise your deductible
Reduce your monthly auto insurance premium by raising your deductible—the higher deductible could mean a lower monthly premium (but it also means paying more out-of-pocket in the event of an accident). Your premium cost could decrease significantly by changing your deductible amount from $250 to $500.
5. Be a safe driver
Safer drivers get cheaper car insurance. That’s because when you get in fewer accidents, it costs insurance companies less, so they share some of the benefit with you in the form of a lower insurance premium. Sometimes your premium can be reduced by as much as five percent, and most companies will also reduce your rate every three years without a traffic violation. Alternatively, if you don’t have such a great driving record, it’ll cost you more for a while (though it’s still worth comparing policies for high-risk drivers).
6. Switch to usage-based or per-mile insurance
If you’re a safe driver who doesn’t drive much, consider a usage-based insurance plan such as Progressive’s Snapshot, Allstate’s Drivewise, Metromile, or State Farm’s Drive Safe and Save. These plans allow the insurer to monitor your driving habits in exchange for discounts determined by how often you drive, when you drive, and how well you drive.
7. Reduce coverage for older cars
If your vehicle is paid off and has a low market value, it may not make sense to carry full coverage. You can skip comprehensive and collision coverage to lower your car insurance premium since the maximum amount of payout under either policy is limited by the value of your car. Collision coverage protects you if another car hits your vehicle. Comprehensive coverage helps repair vehicle damage from theft, vandalism, weather, animal crashes, floods, and fire.
8. Buy an insurance-friendly car
A car that is expensive to repair or one that had a high sticker price at purchase costs more to insure. Avoid excessively expensive or sporty cars. Insurance providers such as Travelers, Farmers, and Liberty Mutual also offer discounts for hybrid, electric, or alternative fuel vehicles.
9. Bundle your car insurance with rent insurance
It’s one of our favorite money-saving strategies: bundling! Bundle your insurance coverage with the same carrier to save. Most likely, you need renters insurance — and if you need car insurance too, companies like Progressive and Farmers will give you a discount.
10. Improve your credit score
Many insurance companies use your credit score to calculate your rate based on how good or bad your credit is. As you improve your credit score, seek out competitive quotes. Make sure you review your credit score to contest any credit reporting errors you find on your report. If you improve your credit score over time from the low 600s to the 700s, you’ll start to have companies offering you cheap car insurance.
Enter your zip code to see how much you can save.