Updated March 2019
Car insurance can be costly, but there are quite a few ways to reduce your monthly premium.
Some of these tips may be common knowledge, but new car owners might not know of them. Just making sure your insurance company has the latest information on your car is important and will help you get the most accurate insurance costs. Of course, don’t be afraid to ask your insurance company how you can save money. They might have specific tips tailored for you.
1. Change your deductible
Increasing your deductible may result in a lower premium, but it comes with a trade-off. If you do need repairs – after an at-fault accident for example – you’ll have to pay more out of pocket for the repairs. It’s a risky move but if you’re desperate, it will help reduce your premium.
See Also: Smart Ways to Save on Insurance
2. Change your terms
If you have an older car, consider cutting collision coverage. For some people, the annual insurance costs with collision coverage could add up to be more than the cost of the car itself. Dropping this coverage will instantly reduce your insurance costs.
Additionally, maybe you exaggerated your annual mileage. Maybe your private garage isn’t properly described. Some insurance companies provide discounts for parking your car in a safe location or for minimal annual mileage. Making those details clear can save you cash.
3. Security features
A car with a security system is less likely to be stolen or have something stolen from it. Insurance companies like that because they want to minimize all possible risks. Other features like an immobilizer or GM’s OnStar can also help reduce premiums.
ALSO SEE: 5 Affordable Dash Cams That Don’t Suck
Also, be sure to mention safety equipment including features like adaptive headlights, night vision, blind spot monitoring, collision prevention alert, and lane departure systems. Some of these may have an impact on your insurance rates.
4. Shop around
You might have spent time comparing rates when you were shopping for a car, so consider doing the same cross shopping when it the time comes to renew. Insurance companies may even try to match and undercut each other to win your business. You’re a free agent and they want you (and your money) on their team.
5. Look for group rates
Insurance companies often have special group rates for specific unions, clubs, and alumni groups. Check to see if you’re part of one because they can lead to a substantial discount. Of course, if the insurance provider you’re using doesn’t give your group a special discount try to find one that does.
6. Points and tickets
Some states have a points system when it comes to your driver’s license. Traffic tickets add points that affect your premium. Going to court to settle these tickets to remove the points can be worthwhile in the long run to avoid paying inflated rates. Additionally, some of those states also offer defensive driving courses that can remove points.
Companies often offer coverage outside of automobile insurance and will offer more attractive rates to customers that bundle their services. Even tenant’s insurance can help reduce your auto insurance significantly. In fact, bundling the two can leave you with a monthly premium below what you were paying for automobile insurance in the first place.
8. Usage-based insurance
Think you’re a safe driver being judged unfairly? Consider usage-based insurance, a process that takes your driving habits into consideration. By plugging a small data recorder into your car, the system shares details about your mileage, acceleration and deceleration with your insurance provider. If you’re actually a safe driver, you can realize up to a 25 percent discount in some cases. However, if you’re paranoid, you may not be comfortable with the idea that your insurance company will know all the details of your driving style.
Some insurance companies give you a lower rate if you switch your tires with the season. Because winter tires offer improved grip and safety in the snow, some insurers will offer a discount if you’re willing to use seasonally appropriate rubber.
See Also: These Are the 8 Best Winter Tires
10. Other discounts
There are other discounts available that you may not know about. Many insurance companies have discounts for senior citizens while some even provide good student benefits for maintaining a certain grade-point average. Simple things like online defensive drivers courses can reduce your insurance rates too, so be sure to ask what other incentives and discounts are available to you.