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Q

What things can I do to lower my car insurance?


A

There are many ways in which one can lower their insurance rates. One important thing to do is to shop around for the best price available to you. Be careful that the quotes you are comparing are for the same coverage so that you are comparing "apples to apple" and not "apples to oranges."

Your driving record is critical when insurance rates are being determined so to lower your rates or to keep them low maintain a good driving record. With many insurance companies this will give you a safe driver discount. Safe Driver plans rewards drivers for being safe and who are without violation convictions or accidents and penalize those with a poor driving record.

Also if you have a good credit history your rates will likely be lower. Insurers have come to believe that drivers with a good credit rating overall are also good insurance risks.

If you have physical damage coverages on your vehicle you can request higher deductibles for your comprehensive and collision coverage. The deductible is the amount of money you have to pay before your insurance company begins paying the rest.

So if you choose to pay for smaller items yourself, such as little dings and bumps, and claim expensive damage so your insurance company pays, minus your deductible it should save your money on your car insurance premium. Or you may decide to drop your collision insurance on an older car where the premium for this coverage is more than the car is worth.

The type of car you purchase and drive will also factor into your auto insurance cost. The more expensive and higher-performance the car is, the higher the premium will be. This is particularly true of cars that are frequently stolen, or are expensive to repair.

There are many types of discounts available to the average driver. Be sure to ask if you qualify for any when getting your auto insurance policy set up.

Some common discounts you might be eligible for are:

  • Multi-vehicle, if you insure more than one vehicle with the same company.
  • Defensive Driver Courses, if you have recently taken a defensive driver course (only available in certain states).
  • Safety features, if you have a car alarm, airbags, anti-lock brakes, or automatic seat belts in your car.
  • Multi-line, if you have homeowners and car insurance through the same company
  • Pay in full or through EFT (electronic fund transfer); you will at least save on finance charges if nothing else.
  • If you are a full-time student with a grade point average "B" or higher (only available with certain insurance companies).

Read about more about car insurance discounts on our site.

To summarize, some things you can do to try and lower your auto insurance premiums are to make sure you get all discounts you qualify for, keep your driver's record clean and up-to-date (get a copy from your DMV and correct any mistakes you may find on it), adjust your coverage to assume more risk (have higher deductible for your physical damage coverages), drive a low profile car equipped with money-saving safety features and anti-theft devices and finally shop around for a good, low cost car insurance provider.


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