When you read about all the ways to save money on car insurance, it sounds a lot like major life changes and a lot of time out of your week. Buy a different car. Raise your credit score. Take a six-day advanced driving class. These are long-term projects or goals. But you need to save money right now.
So, how can you get your car insurance rate down in short order? Here are a few ideas:
- Look into your discounts. Chances are, your insurer has at least a few that already apply to you. Or there might be some that you could easily qualify for.
- Raise your deductible. Your deductible is what you pay someday, if you make a claim. Your premiums are what you pay no matter what. A higher deductible means lower premiums. And the opposite is also true.
- Make sure you're not buying insurance you don't need. If you still have your gap insurance policy from when you were paying your car off — or if your loan is pretty much settled — you might want to consider dropping it. Likewise, if you haven't driven that old truck in the driveway in months, it might be time to cancel the policy until you're ready to get it fixed.
- Consider whether you still need collision and comprehensive. These are necessary on a new car. But if you're driving something older — or something that barely paid a month's rent for —you might not need it. The rule of thumb is to get comprehensive and collision if your car is worth at least ten times your premium.
- Pay per-mile. If you're retired or work from home and you barely drive twenty miles a week, you may want to ask your auto insurance agent about a pay-per-mile policy. Standard policies are written with the assumption that you're in your car pretty much every day and putting hundreds of miles on it each week. If that doesn't exactly describe your driving habits, you might be able to save some money by letting your insurer know.
- Keep your info up to date. If you recently moved from the city out into a rural area, you recently had a ticket stricken from your record or you recently improved your credit score, let your insurer know.
One of the best ways to find quick fixes for your rates: Contact your insurance agent. It's in both of your best interests that you lower your risk.