If you own a car, insurance is a must-have protection—for you and those around you. In fact, if you own a vehicle in any state except New Hampshire, you’re required to purchase car insurance before you can operate your vehicle.
Although you’re required to buy car insurance, you’ve got options on what you spend. To help you, we’ve put together a list of strategies for finding cheaper car insurance.
1. Look for discounts
There are many car insurance discounts available to help you save money on your policy. Be sure to ask your insurance provider what types they offer. These could include:
Advanced quote discount
Payment frequency discount
Homeowners insurance discount
Defensive driving discount
2. Educate yourself on factors that affect your rate
Did you know there are varying factors insurance companies use when determining your car insurance costs? Here are some considerations:
Your age:Young drivers typically pay more for car insurance than experienced drivers. As younger drivers have less experience behind the wheel, they’re at higher risk to be involved in accidents.
Your location: Where you live can affect the cost to insure your car. For example, if you live in an area with frequent claims, this could increase your policy cost. And, if you live in a ZIP code with a higher vehicle theft or crime rate, your premium may cost more than someone who lives in an area with a lower crime rate.
Your car: The make, model, and year of your car also plays a role in how much it costs to insure, so keep this in mind if you’re in the market for a new car. If you’re looking at a newer vehicle with updated technology features, it’s important to understand that the vehicles often cost more to repair, and likely more to insure.
These are just a few factors that can influence the cost of your policy. Be sure to talk with an agent to see what else you should know.
3. Compare rates
Car insurance rates can vary across insurance carriers for comparable coverage. It’s important to get multiple quotes so you can find affordable coverage for your unique situation. As mentioned, where you live plays a part in your costs, so the carrier with the lowest rates in one state could be the most expensive in another. Bottom line—do your research.
4. Plan long-term
Instead of a six-month term, go with a term that covers you for one or more years. The longer your policy, the longer your initial rate is locked in. Since carriers typically adjust your rate on renewal, long-term coverage typically produces greater overall savings.
5. Drive safely
In addition to age, location, and the type of car you drive, your driving record is one of the biggest factors in determining how much you’ll pay for car insurance. If you have a history of being involved in accidents, getting speeding tickets, or committing other violations, your insurance may be more expensive. Improving your driving record is a great way to yield savings.
6. Explore nonowner insurance
A nonowner insurance policy is a cheap alternative to a regular car insurance policy. Nonowner car insurance covers those who don’t own a car or have regular access to a car, but may occasionally drive. The cost of this type of policy depends on factors like your driving history and how much coverage you’d like. Nonowner policies usually don’t carry a deductible and often have coverage limits. If you think this is a good option for you, learn more about the basics of a nonowner policy here.
While price is a key factor in selecting car insurance, service, reliability, and a carrier who cares for you are equally as important.