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How to Lower Your Car Insurance Rates

Let’s face it – car insurance can be costly. The national average car insurance premium as of July is $1,796 or a 12% increase over the same period in 2008. On the other hand, not getting car insurance could saddle you with a hefty car repair bill if you have an accident – and the longer you drive, the more certain it is you will have an accident eventually. There are certain determinants of the premiums that are beyond your control – such as your gender, age and record of prior claims. But there are some things you can do to lower your car insurance premiums.

The most obvious thing you can do is comparison shop. Rates differ between companies and you can get a better deal if you shop around. The independent website that allow you to compare insurance quotes online, which include consumer buying guides that compare premiums from different insurers.

You can also save on premiums if you are willing to boost your deductibles. For example, if you increase your deductible from $250 to $1,000 then you can lower your premiums by 25% to forty percent, which you can set aside to meet repair costs if you have an accident.

Many carriers also now consider credit scores when setting insurance rates, so make sure your score remains high. A low score can mean up to 50% more in premiums.

There are also many discounts on your premiums that you may be entitled to, which you should discuss with your agent. For example, you may be offered discounts if you install certain safety devices in your car, or if you rack up a lower annual mileage than the average. Many carriers also offer students discounts if you maintain your grades at a certain level. Also, be sure to drive safely, since you may also get a discount if you maintain a good safety record for a certain period of time.

If you are a member of a certain organization or profession, such as a teacher or a veteran, you may also be eligible for a group discount. Also, if you may also be able to get a discount if you take out other types of coverage – such as life insurance – from the same carrier. However, don’t be too hung up on discounts; also consider how much the company’s rates are – you may still end up paying more despite the discount.

If you can afford it, then you should pay your entire premium up front, since most carriers charge additional fees for those who pay in installments. And never let your coverage lapse, even for a short time, since insurers will use this as a pretext to increase your premiums.

Finally, if you are still selecting your new car, you should make sure it is a model that does not command high premiums. Insurance companies have lists of these cars, and you should contact your carrier to ask about the rates the car models you are considering will carry.

If you follow these money-saving tips, then you can save a windfall on your car insurance rates that may make it easier on your budget.

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