While many people think car insurance is a fairly standard cost once car type, age, and mileage are put into the equation, car insurance prices can vary. How do you make sure you get the best deal on average car insurance while still making sure you have good coverage? Here are 8 tips.
- Drive safely. There’s no way around this. If you have an accident, even a very minor fender-bender, it will drive your rates up. Obeying all traffic laws and stop signs is always good policy, and it will help your insurance rates too. Safe driver discounts add up, especially over the years.
- Take a course in defensive driving. Many insurance companies will give a discount for completing a course in defensive driving. Multiple organizations offer online courses, which are both convenient and save time going to a physical location. Check with your insurance company before enrolling to see if they offer a discount, and how much it is. How want to make sure that the price of the course is less than the discount. This is a particularly good option if you have had an accident recently or if drivers under 25 years of age are on your vehicle insurance policy. Younger drivers are often charged higher rates.
- Check around to see if you are eligible for a discount. It’s possible that your workplace and credit union routinely offer discounts on vehicle insurance. Many professional organizations, such as those of engineers and teachers, frequently do. So do alumni associations. Think of every group you’re a member of, and then see if they offer discounts.
- Install safety features. Many insurance companies will offer discounts if the vehicle has certain safety features — antilock brakes, for instance. In fact, several states require insurance companies to offer discounts on vehicles that have these. They want to incentivize drivers to have them! Devices that will turn off the ignition to prevent theft are also good.
- Choose a reliable, low maintenance car. All things being equal, a 5-year-old Honda Accord is going to have lower insurance costs than a flashy new red convertible. Why? Because Hondas are infrequently stolen, have low repair costs, and are often driven by reliable and practical people. Those people are not in accidents often. Insurance companies crunch algorithms, and the algorithms tell them how often certain makes and models are in accidents, how often they are stolen and how much they cost to repair. It’s worth checking into these algorithms before buying a new (or even a used) car.
- Bundle your insurance. Many insurers will provide discounts to folks that fill all their insurance needs with them. So home insurance, insurance for all vehicles, even boat and renters’ insurance if applicable could all go with the same carrier. Again, check around for these discounts.
- Eliminate collision insurance if your car is of a certain age. Collision insurance is valuable if your car is relatively new, or has significant resale value. But frankly, if the resale value is below $2,000, collision insurance does you no good. Even if your car were totaled, the cost only comes to $2,000. Many deductibles are close to that. You can check your vehicle’s resale value at Kelly Blue Book. You simply use their pricing tool, entering make, model, and year of the vehicle along with the condition.
- Increase your deductible. If you want to lower monthly premium payments, increasing your deductible will in all likelihood do that. It’s a risk-reward calculation. Accidents happen very infrequently. You may pay more if one does. But if you or people on your policy aren’t in accidents during a given year, you can save a lot in premium payments with a higher deductible.
Please contact us to discuss your insurance needs or give us a call at 561-732-9305.
Rob Macoviak is the President of Oyer, Macoviak and Associates. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates is the oldest independent insurance agency in Boynton Beach and has been in business since 1953.