Monday, November 10, 2008

Kick the tires of your car insurance

Nothing says "I'm an American" more than that car insurance sitting in the glove compartment of your ride. Car insurance is one of those requirements we must all research in depth (ahem), find the best deal for and commit to with our initials on the dotted line and reoccurring payments in our outbox.

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]
It's easy to let car insurance fall by the wayside after you've chosen your plan and commenced making payments on it, but it's not a fixed price that you have to be stuck paying forever. Woefully looks at too-trendy Gucci. Just be aware of what you need and don't need in your automobile endeavors and don't be afraid to ask your company any questions you have about certain aspects of your coverage and what specific things you may not understand.

6 comments:

MoneyMateKate said...

Another tip, from back when I had a car...check with insurance companies you've barely heard of. They're not throwing big bucks at TV advertising like Geico, Progressive and Allstate.

Deborah Johnson said...

I switched insurance companies two years ago. I was using an online provider until I met my now agent at the chiropractor's office. She gave me a quote that was better coverage than the policy I had at the time . . . and it was $600 a year cheaper!

I save even more money by bundling my home and life insurance policies with the same company.

I also do insurance audits every year when the premiums are due to make sure the coverage still fits my needs.

apieceofwood said...

I source car insurance every year to make sure I have the best deal, even if I save a few pound, then I'm happy. I've been with my current insurer for 3 years though now as they've come up cheaper every time!

Kristi Ann said...

Great tips! It's important to get the right car insurance policy for you. Looking around for the right one is so essential, and knowing WHAT to look for is even MORE imoprtant!

Crystal said...

Thanks for sharing those tips, guys! It definitely pays to shop around.

Auto said...

Good info. I also like this site:
http://www.bestautoinsurance.org/Auto-Insurance.html

It saved me money for me when I shop insurance. Knowledge is power!

that is I saved $375 on my Auto Insurance in 4 minutes

Kim

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