Tips to Save on Car Insurance
Car insurance is one purchase that most people hope they will never have to use but are thankful to have when an accident occurs. It’s important to find the best insurance coverage for you at a price you can afford. Below are several ways you can save on your auto insurance while ensuring you have the right protection in place.
Do an Annual Rate Check
You got a great rate on your insurance when you purchased it a few years ago. But is it still the best rate for your circumstances? The same insurer may not have the best rate for you today. Check with your current insurer or shop insurance every year or so to see if you can get a better rate. With a large network of insurers, NWIA’s agents are always ready to shop insurance on your behalf.
Pick a Top-Rated Insurer
Saving money isn’t only a matter of finding the lowest premium. Some insurers offer lower premiums but end up costing you more in the end by lowballing loss estimates, hassling the repair shop to cut corners or forcing you to pay extra for original-equipment replacement parts. They might even unfairly jack up your premiums after an accident. NWIA partners with a network of top-rated insurance carriers to ensure value for our customers.
Insurers also offer fairly hefty auto discounts if you also buy your homeowners or renter’s insurance from them, aka “bundling.” But be sure you check out total costs both ways: premiums from different insurers compared with single-insurer packages.
NW Insurance Agency saves customers an average of $1,144 per year by bundling home and auto insurance policies!1
Set the Right Deductible
A higher deductible reduces your premium because you pay more out of pocket if you have a claim. Hiking your deductible from $200 to $500 can cut your premium on collision by 15 to 30 percent. Go up to a $1,000 deductible on collision and you could save 40 percent. If you have a good driving record and haven’t had an at-fault accident in years, if ever, opting for a higher deductible on collision might be a good bet. Just make sure you can afford to pay that amount if you need to file a claim.
Review All of Your Coverage
Your liability coverage pays for bodily injury and property damage that you cause in accidents. Don’t get caught short by reducing your liability limits to the state minimums. Buying more coverage might seem like an odd way to save, but the benefit comes if you have a costly claim, which can put your life’s savings at risk. If you have another car that you can use while your vehicle is being repaired, you don’t need to pay for rental reimbursement coverage. Drop roadside assistance if you have an auto club membership that’s a better deal, or if it’s part of your new car’s warranty.
Think carefully about personal injury protection and medical payments coverage: Don’t purchase it if you have good healthcare coverage; keep it if you don’t or if your usual passengers are not well insured.
Take Advantage of Discounts
Car insurers offer a whole range of modest but worthwhile discounts that are essentially based on a low-risk lifestyle. The lower the risk your insurance carrier has to take on, the lower your costs will be. Here are some discounts to ask your insurer about if they don’t mention them to you first:
• Students with good high school or college grades, generally a B or higher
• New drivers who have taken a driver training course
• Older drivers who have taken a refresher course
• Any driver who takes a defensive-driving course
• Installing anti-theft and safety equipment
NWIA insurance agents will help you review your insurance needs and check to see if you qualify for any discounts.
Manage Teenage Driver Risk
Adding a teenager to your policy can hike your costs by 50 to 100 percent. Make sure your child takes a safe-driving course before getting a license. Make it a rule that unsafe driving will mean loss of driving privileges. Inform your insurer if the child isn’t licensed, or if your child is a college student residing more than 100 miles from your home and doesn’t have a car.
Maintain a Good Credit Score
Most states allow insurance companies to use your credit score as a factor in setting your premiums. Ask your insurance company if it does that. Regardless, regularly check and correct any credit reporting errors you may find. If your finances have been adversely affected by military deployment, divorce, job loss, death of a family member or medical problems, ask your insurer for an exception.
Report Reduced Mileage
A major cost component in auto insurance is miles driven per year. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the average is 13,476 miles. But if you’re driving a lot less than usual for some reason, such as a job change, a recent shift to working from home or retirement, let your insurer know. Reduced mileage, typically 7,500 miles per year or less, could cut 5 to 10 percent off your premiums.
Choose Your Car Shrewdly
Vehicle damage is the biggest cost component for auto insurers, so premiums will vary by auto make and model. According to NerdWallet, a Honda CR-V is less expensive to insure than a Tesla Model Y. When comparing vehicles to purchase, ask your insurer for quotes on the different models you are considering.
A good insurance agent will consider all of the above when evaluating auto insurance policies for you. Contact an NW Insurance Agency agent today with any questions you have about saving on your auto insurance or Request a Quote today.
1Average customer savings January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021.