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The Simplest Ways to Save on Auto Insurance

Updated on December 18, 2019
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Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.

Introduction

Auto insurance ranks among the top costs of owning a car, though you don't have to pay as much as a car payment to be properly insured. What are your options for saving on auto insurance? What are the simplest ways to save money on car insurance?

If you rarely drive the car and can prove it is often in storage or only driven to work, you're eligible for a discount.
If you rarely drive the car and can prove it is often in storage or only driven to work, you're eligible for a discount. | Source

Compare Rates

If you need to know how to save on auto insurance, know that the biggest step you can take is comparing rates. Your current insurance company may be giving you a good deal, or they may be charging you the same rate each month without telling you that you'd be eligible for a lower one due to your age, driving history or new car. Auto insurance quotes from new providers typically only look at your last few years of driving, while the insurer you've had since you were 16 will look at the entire history – and charge you accordingly. So get auto insurance rate quotes from different providers to see if you can save money.

Where can you get auto insurance rate quotes? There are many websites that offer car insurance quotes. However, you should look to at the insurance offered to groups of which you are a member. For example, professionals should look for insurance through various professional associations like engineers through the ASME and IISE. If you are a member of a union, get a rate quote from the insurance companies with which the union has ties. You may be eligible for insurance through your employer, which often comes with a discount when the insurance is paid through a payroll deduction.

Don't forget to contact your current auto insurance provider to ask what rates they have – and what rates they might offer you if you tell them you're considering taking your business elsewhere.

Have your young drivers go through licensed driver's education courses to be eligible for insurance discounts.
Have your young drivers go through licensed driver's education courses to be eligible for insurance discounts. | Source

Discounts

Ask about auto insurance discounts available to you. Can your teen get a discount for good grades or holding down a part time job? If your teen takes a driver's education course, tell the auto insurance company to claim the potential discount for doing so. Will you get a discount if you have more than one vehicle? Are you eligible for a car insurance discount if you take defensive driving? If you drive less than 10,000 miles a year, you're eligible for a discount. Federal employees are regularly offered discounts on their auto insurance.

When you are comparing auto insurance carriers, compare discounts. For example, some companies will give you a greater discount on car insurance if you have another type of insurance with them. You may be eligible for accident forgiveness with a different insurer or save on insurance if you have a mileage tracker in the vehicle. Tell the auto insurance firm if you have a car alarm so that you're eligible for anti-theft discounts.

One of the benefits of comparing auto insurance rates is that you can learn about discounts available today that weren't available a few years ago. For example, you can get a discount for having an alternative fuel vehicle or electronic stability control. Automatically linking your premium payment to a credit card or bank account will also save you money, because you're reducing their administrative costs. A common auto insurance discount is paying the premiums every six months instead of paying it monthly.

Know the Rules

Know the rules tied to your auto insurance rate in order to save money. For example, research the deductible tied to your car insurance policy. You could save money simply by upping the deductible.

You could also save money on car insurance by reviewing the riders on the policy, such as dropping loss of use coverage and just using a cab or renting a rental car when the car needs repair after an accident. Older vehicles typically don't need collision and comprehensive insurance if your solution after a wreck is to buy a new vehicle.

You should have uninsured motorist coverage, but you could consider dropping the waiver of depreciation that ensures that you get the full replacement value of a car when it is totaled. Saving money toward the cost of repairs or replacement gives you more control and flexibility if the car is wrecked.

Research the rules for various discounts before you apply for them. For example, you probably cannot get the defensive driving discount if you took it to reduce the points on your driver's license, and the discount won't be given if the defensive driving course isn't licensed in your state.

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