Between car payments and the price of fuel, driving is expensive enough without adding a costly insurance policy. Here are several tips on how you can save money -- by comparing plans, seeking out discounts, and even assuming a little more risk.
Before you drive off and make an impulse buy, park yourself in front of your computer and research rates. It's not at all hard to learn which cars are easier to insure, not to mention which ones often get pulled over by highway patrol for speeding! Make an informed decision, whether you end up going for a dependable sedan or indulging in a fun sports car. MSN enables you to compare cars to see which ones are cheaper to insure, so you can make a proper cost-benefit analysis. You can also compare prices at Edmunds.com, which is a go-to pit stop for checking out ratings before you purchase a new or used car.
Avoid duplicate results. If you're already shelling out for comprehensive life or health insurance, there's a chance that you may be covered as a driver and might not need the premiums or add-ons from your car insurance. Consumer Reports is also an excellent tried-and-true resource, as well your credit union and credit cards. If you belong to a union or automotive group, like AAA, find out what coverage they offer, if any.
Call your current insurance company and see if you can negotiate a better deal, especially if you find that a competitor beats their rates. Be sure to let them know if you have a clean driving record and a good credit rating, as these can easily be documented.
If you've had it with your present insurer, try bargaining with other companies to see if you can get a low rate right off the bat. Once you analyze premiums and coverage, you'll see how much these costs can add up.
Cut 'Em Off
One obvious way to cut costs is to take advantage of discounts. Jason, creator of Frugal Dad, suggests examining the discounts you might already qualify for, by virtue of having a low-risk occupation, belonging to a professional organization (such as AAA), or, of course, being a senior citizen.
You might also save if you insure your cars with the same company that insures your home or business. According to Phillip Reed, Senior Advice Columnist at Edmunds.com, you could end up making "your homeowner's policy cheaper too."
Lastly, take control of your coverage by assuming a higher risk. For instance: If you have an old car, is your collision insurance really worth its price? You can easily ask your present insurance company for a higher deductible. That means you'll have to pay for the scrapes yourself, and only use your insurance company if you have a major accident. It's a lot like what health insurance companies offer as alternative health plan options. Worst comes to worst, you can always invest the change floating around your car towards your insurance. You might be surprised at how much that change adds up.