Some factors that affect your car insurance bill are things you just have to deal with. An insurer will always consider a new driver to be at higher risk for accidents, while city commuting means more vehicles and more chances for fender benders. You do, however, have some means of controlling your costs besides buying a cheaper plan that may not help you in a pinch. Consider some of the following options.
Maintain a Good Driving Record. Do what you learned in your high-school driving class. Don’t speed. Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Don’t take yellow traffic lights or roadwork signs as suggestions. Nobody is perfect, but a ticket can hurt you beyond the trip to traffic court: Car insurance rates can rise after a speeding ticket by as much as 30% in some states, and this penalty can last for years. In addition, the pandemic was an opportunity for many drivers to get some insurance relief by reporting their reduced driving itinerary. If your company is still allowing remote work some or all of the time, make sure to let your insurer know.
Downscale Your Vehicle. Cars often carry hidden costs beyond your monthly payment, and insurance can be one of them. New and luxury cars can increase your premiums due to higher repair costs. Also, when you use your ride as a status symbol, know that you’re also advertising to thieves. Buying an affordable, modest vehicle can reduce payments, but this isn’t a foolproof solution either. Models like the 2004 Ford F-150 and 2017 Toyota Camry can be more expensive to insure than their contemporaries because their universal interior parts make them a treasure trove for criminals. Do your homework before committing to a new or used car.
Obtain Safety Basics. Modern vehicles possess innovative safety technology like adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance systems and lane-change warning systems. But only a few insurers will consider these features when determining your premium, as it can take time to establish whether they reduce accident risk. It’s more important to ensure that your car has proven safety features: air bags, anti-lock brakes, daytime front headlights and electronic stability control. Most of these features are now standard but some may be missing in used cars.
Reduce the Need for Claims. Everyone needs car insurance but dreads the possibility of using it. Even leaving a car in a driveway most of the time places it at risk for theft. Keep your car locked whenever you’re away from it, and keep it stored in a garage when you’re at home or a well-lit area when you’re away.
Track Your Credit Score. Just like a car dealership, insurance companies can run a credit report before entrusting you with a policy. A better score can lower your premium, so it’s important to protect your credit. Always pay your bills on time and use an auto-payment method to avoid missing due dates. At least once a year, get your credit report from the three major bureaus — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. If you see any unauthorized account openings or errors hurting your score, report them.
Do Your Homework. Finding the best coverage means more than plugging a few numbers into a website. You want a policy that will help you when you need it, and some insurers offer accident forgiveness and tracking technology (telematics) that can lower your bill in the long run. With independent insurance specialists and access to many top-rated carriers, your local We Insure office can help you research the right plan options for you.
Cut Auto Insurance Costs With We Insure
Cutting back on coverage or picking a poorly rated insurer just to save a few dollars is short-term thinking. Your helpful and knowledgeable We Insure agent will do the comparison shopping for you. They’ll compare prices from top-rated carriers to find you the best deal for the coverage you need. Contact your local office today for a fast and free quote.