Tips to Lower Car Insurance Costs

on May 25, 2003

Searching for less expensive car insurance is simple, if you’re armed with a little preparation.

I think people don’t always understand all the terms, says Gordon Mize, an insurance agent in Alpine, Calif. If they don’t understand everything, it puts a tremendous weight on their minds.

Preparation and asking the right questions not only gives you confidence but also the best price and cove#rage tailored to your needs, Mize says. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers these helpful tips:

Ask insurers about price breaks offered to safe drivers. Each company has different guidelines to determine prices, based on a drivers number of accidents or traffic violations.

Ask about discounts. Possibilities include having two or more cars on a policy, participation in a driver education course, and airbags or other safety equipment. Drivers between 50 and 65 or student drivers younger than 25 may also earn breaks for good driving records. Having home insurance and auto insurance with the same company may earn a discount.

Check the accuracy of the information an insurer uses to determine your premium. For example, make sure your private car isn’t accidentally listed as a commercial vehicle. Confirm your address and the age of all drivers, which can affect price. Finally, check to see if the insurer gave all applicable discounts.

Review your deductibles, the amount you must pay before insurance kicks in. Drivers can reduce insurance costs by paying higher deductibles. But make sure you can afford to pay the out-of-pocket costs if there’s an accident.

Think about insurance when buying a car, because insurance companies charge more for cars that cost more to repair or that are considered less safe. They also may charge more for vehicles responsible for more damage to others in an accident, such as some sport utility vehicles.

Don’t just buy a policy and forget about it, because some changes can lower or increase the expense, such as adding or removing a vehicle, adding a driver, or changing the number of miles driven annually.

Over time, paying attention to the details can make a difference where it matters most the wallet.

Found in: Insurance
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