Get Cheap Car Insurance
Finding a car for a low price is only half the battle. You also need to shop for car insurance that offers the best price.
Most people are so focused on car buying that they neglect to spend time researching for insurance. For many this can result in monthly payments exceeding that of car payments.
Here are some of the best ways to get a good rate.
Take a Defensive Driving Class
Taking a defensive driving class will get you discounts from your insurance company.
I live in New Jersey and am eligible for a 2 point reduction off my driving record or a 5% reduction on my insurance. The amount will vary depending on where you live and which insurance carrier you have.
The best thing about this class is that everything can be done online. It costs around 50 dollars to register and take the class. The good part is that many programs allow you to retake the class for free should you fail.
If you already have a clean driving record like me then you probably won’t get much of a discount from your insurance carrier. But it’s always good to freshen up your driving skills. You can never be too safe on the road these days.
Get a Security Device for Your Car
If you have a factory or aftermarket alarm then you will be eligible for a discount on your insurance.
You can also buy a steering wheel locking device called “The Club” for added protection from thieves.
Though none of these security devices will provide you with 100% protection, it will make thieves think twice before attempting to steal from you.
Use common sense and do not display anything in the vehicle that might tempt a thief. These days I see parked cars with the GPS device attached to the windshield. Though the prices of GPS devices have gone down significantly in the past years you do not want to take any chances. Store them in the glove compartment.
I know this may be hard for most people to do but the number of miles you drive per day will affect your rate.
If you rent a home or apartment then it may be wise to move closer to your workplace. It not only saves on commute time but also on gas.
Insurance companies also take into consideration the type of roads you drive on. If you commute mainly on heavily congested roads then your chances of an accident increases.
My daily commute is less than 10 miles round trip so I don’t have to worry about getting into traffic jams or worry about rising gas prices.
Maintain a Good Credit Rating
Having good credit rating can lower your insurance premiums.
Now I don’t believe having a bad credit history means you’re automatically a bad driver but the insurance companies seem to think otherwise.
In fact, you can expect to pay up to 50% more if you have bad credit versus someone with good credit.
It only takes one late payment to mess up your credit rating. Make sure you pay those bills on time.
Park in a Safe Spot
Where you park also affect your rates. If you park your car on the streets overnight then you can expect to pay a higher premium and especially if you live in a crime-ridden area.
There are two reasons why insurance companies charge more for street parking.
First, your car is more likely to be stolen if your car is parked on the street rather than in a driveway or in a garage.
Second, your car is more likely to be damaged by passing vehicles especially in the winter months.
If you cannot park in a driveway or in a parking lot then it’s important to have a security device for your car.
I carry liability insurance and if my car were to be stolen I’d be out a few grand. I always make sure I park away from the street and in a well lit parking lot.
Check Your Deductible
The deductible is the amount of money you pay out of your own pocket when filing a claim.
Deductibles can range from $100 to $1000 depending on which state you live in. The higher the deductible the lower your insurance premiums.
The average deductible people pay is $500. In order to get a cheap rate you can raise your deductible to $1000 but be aware that it will cost you a grand for every claim you make.
Let’s say you got into a car accident and the total damage came out to be $2000. You are paying half of the damage out of your own pocket. That’s just too much money if you ask me. I have better things to spend my hard earned money on. I recommend taking the $500 deductible option.
Shop Around for the Best Deals
Last but not least you should shop around for the best rates.
I use Geico and pay around 75 dollars for liability coverage on my 1998 Toyota Camry.
Considering my perfect driving record it’s probably not the cheapest rate but it’s certainly manageable and within my budget.
Most major carriers allow you to request a free quote online. Use this to your advantage and get as many quotes as possible to get the best deal.
It only takes 15 minutes to request an online quote and it could potentially save you hundreds of dollars per year.