Saving Money on Auto Insurance
Auto insurance can be expensive but there are many ways to save. Here are some money-saving ideas:
- Get several quotes to compare prices and services.
- Before buying a new car, check Consumer Reports magazine to see if the vehicle has a high accident rate or is popular with thieves, or write to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 1005 N. Glebe Rd., Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22201 and ask for the Highway Loss Data Chart.
- Increase your deductible if you can handle the out-of-pocket expense in the event of an accident. For example, increasing your deductible to $500, rather than the standard $250, will cut the cost of your insurance.
- Consider dropping collision coverage as your car ages. In an accident, your insurer may only pay up to the car’s book value. You can find out the current value of your car from the N.A.D.A. Official Used Car Guide, available at most local libraries, bookstores or banks.
- A good driving record lowers your insurance rates, a poor record raises rates.
- Ask if you qualify for any of the following discounts for saving money (which are not permitted in all states and are not offered by all insurance companies):
- Good driver. The definition of a good driver varies but usually includes those with no accidents or convictions on their records for the previous three years.
- Driver training, improvement, and defensive driving courses. You may qualify if you have taken an approved driver education course. Call the National Safety Council at 1-800-621-6244 or check your yellow pages for the number of an AAA or Top Driver near you to inquire about courses.
- Mature driver discount. For drivers between 50 and 65.
- Multi-car discount. For those insuring more than one car with the same company.
- Restricted mileage discount. For those who drive less than 7,500 miles annually.
- Anti-lock brakes discount. For cars equipped with computerized anti-lock braking systems.
- Passive seat belts and airbags discount. On cars equipped with factory-installed airbags and automatic seat belts.
- Anti-theft systems discount. For vehicles with devices that make them more difficult to steal — for example, ignition- and fuel-cutoff systems, alarms, and hood- and wheel-locking devices.
- Good student discounts. Sometimes offered for drivers under age 25 who have maintained a B average for the preceding semester in high school or college.
- Ask if a discount is available for buying your homeowners, auto, and other insurance from the same company.
- Comparison shop online. There are many websites available for saving money on auto insurance. Look for the larger and more professional ones. Some are good and offer online comparisons. Others just sell your data as leads.