But with Veteran's Day around the corner, have you done your "duty" to your budget and kicked the tires of the ol' car insurance plan to see if it's still the best deal for you? In the beginning you may have signed up for too many bells and whistles in your insurance plan, because, well you wanted to cover all your bases, right? It's like buying your first designer bag and choosing the way-too-trendy Gucci hobo that by next season will be living on a Nordstrom's clearance table under a pile of Juicy Couture bags. Shudders. Luckily for you, your car insurance (unlike that Gucci disaster -- hey, it was your first big buy) is "returnable" in that you can add and subtract what pieces of the plan you want to keep and discard in order to get the best deal.
When signing up for car insurance or reviewing your old plan, make sure to consider these factors:
- If you stick close to home when driving, ask your insurance agent about a "recreational use" policy. It's designed for those who rarely drive out of their neighborhoods and can save you 10% or more on your policy.
- Take a defensive driving class. (The AARP and driving schools offer them.) Your diploma can save you up to 10% on your insurance premiums. (Cue visions of me blasting down a test-area roadway, running over parking cones and shrieking out of terror.)
- Compare your current auto policy with others before you renew, since identical coverage can vary wildly in price from company to company. Visit Progressive.com to compare your policy to those from other companies and potentially save hundreds of dollars.
- Raise your annual deductible. If you boost your deductible from $200 to $500, you can save up to 30% on your collision and comprehensive auto coverage.
- Ask for discounts for multiple policies, cars with anti theft devices and drives with no accidents or speeding violations.
- Either drop or reduce the comprehensive and collision part of your car insurance if you own an older automobile. If your insurance premiums are at least 10% of your car's market value, get rid of that particular coverage.
- Unless you use AAA for its discounts at hotels and area attractions, you may want to reconsider your membership. Your insurance company -- or even your cell phone providers -- may offer roadside assistance for substantially less. [Good Deals & Smart Steals]