Nine Ways To Lower Your Insurance Costs
You may not realize it, but the insurance rates you pay for your
car can vary dramatically depending on the insurance company,
agent or broker you choose, the types of coverage you request
and the kind of car you drive. Listed below are a number of steps
you can take rto lower your insurance costs.
- Comparison Shop
Prices for the same coverage can vary by hundreds of dollars,
so it pays to shop around. Ask your friends, check the yellow
pages or call your state insurance department. You can also
check consumer guides, insurance agents or companies. This will
give you an idea of price ranges and tell you which companies
or agents have the lowest prices. But don't shop price alone.
The insurer you select should offer both fair prices and excellent
service. Quality personal service may cost a bit more, but provides
added conveniences, so talk to a number of insurers to get a
feeling for the quality of their service. Ask them how they
can lower your costs. Check the financial ratings of the companies,
too. When you've narrowed the field to three insurers, get price
- Ask for Higher Deductibles
Deductibles represent the amount of money you pay before you
make a claim. By requesting higher deductibles on collision
and comprehensive (fire and theft) coverage, you can lower your
costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible
from $200 to $500 can reduce your collision and comprehensive
cost by 15 to 30 percent.
- Drop Collision and/or Comprehensive
Coverage on Older Cars
It may not be cost effective to have Collision or Comprehensive
Coverage on vehicles worth less than $1,000 because any claim
you make would not substantially exceed the annual cost and
deductible amounts. Auto dealers and banks can tell you the
value of vehicles.
- Buy a "Low Profile" vehicle
Before you buy a new or used vehicle, check into insurance costs.
Vehicles that are expensive to repair, or which are favorite
targets for thieves, have much higher insurance costs. Visit
the Insurance Institute for Highway
Safety and take a look at its Highway Loss Data Chart.
- Take Advantage of Low Mileage Discounts
Some companies offer discounts to motorists who drive fewer
than a predetermined number of miles a year.
- Consider Insurance Costs When Making
Costs tend to be lowest in rural communities and highest in
cities where there is more traffic congestion.
- Find out about Automatic Seat Belt
or Air Bag Discounts
You may be able to take advantage of discounts on some types
of coverage if you have automatic seat belts and/or air bags.
- Ask about Anti-lock Brakes
Anti-lock brakes improve steering control and stability when
a car is brought to a stop, thus reducing accidents. Some states,
including Florida, New Jersey and New York, require insurers
to give discounts for cars equipped with these kind of brakes.
- Inquire about Other Discounts
Some insurers offer discounts for more than one vehicle, no
accidents in three years, drivers over 50 years of age, driver
training courses, anti-theft devices and good grades for students.
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