Monthly auto insurance premiums are usually a sore subject for many people who think they’re too high. More times than not, it’s true – they are too high. Some of us have figured out a way to cheaper auto insurance by switching companies on a frequent basis, while others remain clueless on how to get a better deal without offending their current insurer.
In finding cheaper auto insurance, be aware that some of your suspicions of how insurance companies calculate how much you’ll pay are equally on the button. You may or not know that where you live and your credit score could have more impact on your overall rate than your driving record in some cases. That’s why, below you’ll find 10 soon-to-be not-so-well-kept secrets to cheaper auto insurance. Tell your friends.
1. How much you drive – The more you drive and the farther you have to travel will get you every time. Insurance companies keep a close eye on this, as they feel the longer you’re in your car, the higher the chance you’ll have an accident. Cut back on your mileage whenever possible by taking public transportation a couple of days a week or carpool with someone from work.
2. Where you live – This can be a problem. We can’t always choose where we live, but insurance companies have figured out that location makes a big difference on the rate of premiums. High incidents of accidents, car thefts, and burglaries in the area can doom you to higher rates. Insurers can also evaluate you by state. As an example, Michigan and Louisiana have the most expensive premiums in the country, but if you live in North Carolina you can save up to $1,500 annually. Even crossing the Potomac from Washington D.C. into Virginia can save you 50 bucks a month.
3. Your educational level – How smart you are or the amount of schooling you’ve had shouldn’t dictate your auto insurance rate, but it does. A person with only a high school diploma with a good driving record is going to pay more than someone with a Bachelor’s Degree.
4. Your credit score – You’re probably wondering how that one got in there. Well, again, insurance companies believe your financial responsibility in the way you pay your bills is a guide to how good a driver you are. The only way to avoid it is to move to California, where it’s illegal for insurers to factor in your credit score when quoting you a rate. Keep your credit in good standing.
5. Your age – How old you are has been a factor once insurance companies figured out that how young and how old you are can determine how big a risk you are behind the wheel. Young drivers typically pay the most for their auto insurance, which gradually declines until you reach the age of 25…unless, of course, you have a terrible driving record. After 25, your rates tend to stay fairly consistent over the following 30 years. However, you can expect them to rise again between the ages of 55 to 65…and, burn a hole in your wallet once you hit your 75th birthday. Best way to minimize the damage as you age is to maintain as clean a driving record as you possibly can.
6. Your gender – Being a woman has its privileges, apparently. It’s been proven that women pay 12 percent less than their male counterparts, on average. In other words, men are generally going to pay an extra $15,000 on auto insurance over their driving life. The explanation for this is that men drive more aggressively, speed more, and file more claims. Sorry, men.
7. Who you name on your policy – This could have a huge bearing on your premiums. Anytime you add young or risky drivers to your auto insurance policy, you’re going to get hammered. It’s just a fact. Don’t put someone with a multitude of accidents or DUIs on your insurance. As for your young driver – tell him to keep his or her grades up. That way, you can take advantage of the “good student” discount to bring costs down somewhat.
8. Telematics anyone? – This is fairly new, but it might save you some money. In case you’re unfamiliar with telematics…it involves, with your permission, using a device or a “black box” in your car, which monitors your every move. Insurers can analyze your movements and driving statistics. If they determine you’re a good driver, using your car safely, and in accordance to the information you provided, you might prove to them you deserve a better rate. That is, if you don’t mind Big Brother watching.
9. Your security factor – Anti-theft equipment, which is found on most new cars, can prevent theft and save you money. Insurers offer discounts for anything that’ll keep your car safe. But, keep in mind, if you drive the most stolen car on the planet, you may want to install additional immobilizers, such as an ignition kill switch or fuel shut-off. Your insurance company will sleep better at night and so will you.
10. Your loyalty – Loyalty is somewhat a thing of the past. Just because you’ve been with your insurer for years doesn’t mean much of anything anymore. If they feel they’ve got you for keeps, they’ll get you in the wallet. So, shop around. But, avoid jumping at the cheapest price, especially if they have a reputation for lousy service. Take advantage of the low introductory price and discounts.
Speaking of discounts…that should be number 11. All insurers offer discounts for a wide variety of things. If you qualify, ask for every discount you can get. The money you can save is quite substantial. Make that a part of your search for the right insurance company for you.
Whether you’re thinking of changing your insurance company or planning on staying with them, make sure you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance. Why not get a free auto insurance quote today?
Are you a frequent shopper for auto insurance? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.