Car insurance can be expensive, especially if you have a bad driving record. The good news is you can still get cheap car insurance by making a few changes to your policy. Use these 7 tips to lower your car insurance cost even if you have a bad driving record:
1. Get a comparative quote
The first thing you should do is get a quote from an independent agent and compare that with your current insurance rate. If you get a quote directly from a company like Geico, they will only provide you with one rate. On the other hand, an independent insurance agent like Public will compare quotes from over 20 different companies to find you the cheapest car insurance. A quote only takes a few minutes and it will save you time down the road.
2. Drop unnecessary or duplicate coverage
If you are insuring an older vehicle, comprehensive and collision coverage may not be worth the additional cost. This is especially true if the value of your car is less than your annual premium for comprehensive and collision. In this case it may cost you more to insure the car than to replace it.
3. Increase you deductible
Your insurance deductible is the amount you have to pay before your insurance kicks in when you file a claim. Increasing your deductible can lower your premium significantly. However, you should only do this if you can afford to pay the increased deductible amount in the event of a crash. Here’s an example of the risk involved with this option:
Say you increase your deductible from $500 to $1000 for comprehensive and collision coverage. This may save you $100, but if you get in a crash you now have to pay $1000 instead of $500 to repair you car. In this case, the small savings in the short-run is over shadowed by the increased cost to repair you car in the event of an accident. (Actual savings vary, so contact your agent for the exact amount)
4. Combine you home and auto insurance
Placing your homeowners insurance and auto insurance with the same company will almost always qualify you for a discount. Give your agent a call to discuss the best way to combine your coverage.
5. Make sure you are getting all the available discounts
Discounts can be a huge money saver when it comes to car insurance. Make sure you specifically ask your agent if you qualify for any other discounts. Even if you are in the middle of your policy it can’t hurt to check especially if there have been any changes like:
- New car alarm system
- Completed a defensive driving course
- You got good grades on your report card (great job!)
- Changed jobs
- Drive less miles daily than when you started your policy
- Purchased home, motorcycle, life or any other insurance policy
- Any other change (Companies are always coming out with new discounts that you may qualify for without even knowing)
If any of these apply to you stop reading this article and call you agent right now. We’ll be here when you get back.
6. Don’t let your coverage lapse
A lapse in coverage, sometime called a gap, means that you let your insurance policy cancel. This will make a renewal discount unavailable to you, which is like leaving money on the table. The longer you are continuously insured the more you will save each time you renew your policy.
7. Drive a low profile car
Certain cars any more likely than others to be stolen and therefore cost more to insure. Check out our list of the Top 10 Most Stolen Cars and avoid them if possible. On the other hand, certain cars just cost less to insure. Here is a list of the Top 20 Cheapest Cars to Insure.
By following these steps you can get cheap car insurance no matter what your driving record looks like!