So you already have car insurance. That’s important (and probably mandatory where you live), but it seems to be more expensive than you’d like.
The good news is there are ways to lower your current bill or find cheaper options out there — that don’t require you downgrading to the state minimum. And there’s no need to spend hours researching or calling agents to find these deals.
If you’re looking for how to get cheap auto insurance, here are our tips to cut your bill (and your research-induced stress) while still staying fully covered.
1. Let Someone Else Shop Around For You
This is true for most things, but especially car insurance. You definitely need to get quotes from a few different places to make sure you’re getting the absolute best deal.
So how do you know which companies to get quotes from? We suggest letting someone else quote tons of them for you.
A free website called Savvy will help you find the best rates — in just 30 seconds. In fact, it saves people an average of $826 a year.
All you have to do is connect your current insurance, then Savvy will search hundreds of insurers for a better price on the same coverage. It’ll even help you cancel your old policy and get you a refund from your current insurer. Best yet: This is totally free.
If you find a better deal, you can switch right away and don’t have to wait for your next renewal or even your next payment.
2. Straight Up Ask for Discounts
It never hurts to just ask your auto insurer about any additional discounts you might qualify for. Some of the most common ones include:
- Good student
- Multi-car (include more than one car on your policy)
- Safe driver
- New car
- Anti-lock brakes
- Airbag (usually for older cars made before 1990)
- Anti-theft devices
- Paperless (view your bill online)
Honestly, there are too many to list, so it never hurts to ask. Chances are, your agent will be able to dig up something to help you out.
3. Pay Your Policy in Full
This one requires little explanation — if you pay your premium up-front, you can save big bucks. A company called The Zebra found that if you adjust your payment plan to pay every six months or for a full year, you can save an average of 12%.
It doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re paying $1500 a year in car insurance, that’s $180 you get to keep in your pocket.
We know $1,500 is a lot to pay at once, but you can still save by paying in three-month increments or even a week in advance every month. Every little bit helps, so ask your insurance provider what you can do to knock off a few more dollars.
4. Let Someone Else Shop Around For You (Again)
Comparing rates just once won’t cut it. Prices can change month to month — even day to day.
There are a number of fluctuating personal factors that can affect your insurance rates, including your age, location, marital status and credit score. But consider external factors, too, like natural disasters, crime rates and the economy.
We suggest checking for better rates every six months with Savvy — it can help you compare rates (again) easily.
With Savvy, you’ll get your free comparison insurance quote — for the same coverage levels and deductibles you currently have. Then once you sign up, you can depend on Savvy to find you the best rate again and again and again.
5. Take a Defensive Driving Course
OK, so maybe you recently got a speeding ticket. Or you didn’t see that stop sign and received a moving violation. Whatever the case, taking a defensive driving course can be a great way to wipe the points from your driving record and help offset an increase in insurance costs.
And guess what? You don’t have to sit through a weekend of classes. There’s this thing called the internet, and you can take online defensive driving courses through AARP, the National Safety Council or your state’s DMV. The cost of the course will vary by state, but you shouldn’t pay more than about $40.
Even if you’re a safe driver with a good driving record, you can still take the course for an insurance discount — just be sure to check with your insurance agent to make sure the discount applies (and that it’s worth the cost of the course).
Kari Faber ([email protected]) is a staff writer at Codetic.