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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ways To Save Money On Auto Insurance

1. Shop Around. There are hundreds if not thousands of auto insurance providers out there. Rates for comparable coverage can vary by more than 100$ a month. With that being said, wouldn't it make sense to get as many quotes as possible. There are several sites online who offer valuable free services which will allow you to get quote comparisons from multiple companies.

2. Take Advantage Of All Available Discounts. The types of discounts available will vary from state to state, and from company to company. Here are some that you should ask about:

  • Defensive Driving Classes. Insurance companies often offer a 10% discount on premiums when you complete a defensive driving course.

  • Good Student Discounts. A student with a GPA of 3.0 or higher may qualify for a discount of up to 25%. Dick Luedke, a State Farm Spokesman, says " young male drivers may especially benefit from this because their premiums are typically higher.

  • Retirement Discounts. When you retire you are likely to be driving less, and insurance companies may cut you a break. So be sure to inform your insurance agent that you have retired.

  • College-Kids-Who-Are-Far-Away-Discounts. If at least 100 miles separates your child from your car you may be able to save up to 40%.

  • Group Discounts. Discounts are available to all sorts of associations - military groups, your alma matter, and professional organizations to name a few. If you are employed by a large company that may also earn you a discount.

  • Safety Discounts. These vary by state. In some states such as Florida and New York, drivers must be rewarded for having certain safety features on their cars (anti-lock brakes, airbags, automatic seat belts, etc.). Certain ant-theft devices may qualify you for discounts as well.

  • Loyalty Discounts. Some auto insurance companies will give you a discount of 10% or more if you stick with them for a year or more.

3. Increase Your Deductible. The deductible is the amount you'll pay out of pocket when making a claim before your insurance will begin to pick up the tab. Increasing your deductible can decrease your premium dramatically. Raising your deductible from $200 to $1000 for instance, would likely save you 40% or more off your insurance premium.

4. Clean Up Your Credit Score. Like it or not, your credit report score will affect whether or not an auto insurance company is willing to insure you. And if they will insure you it will surely affect your rate.

"Someone who is extremely poor in their payment habits could pay 30% to 40% more than someone without those problems", says independent agent John Costello. Most people do not know this, but you are entitled by law to a free copy of your credit report once every year. To get yours, and for more information see my article: How To Get The Free Annual Credit Report

5. Drop Some Coverage. If your car is older, and has little monetary value, you may want to drop collision and comprehensive coverage altogether. Collision and comprehensive can account for 40% or more of the cost of your premium, and covers only your cars replacement value. If any claim payment you'd receive would not substantially exceed your premiums minus your deductible, than it is not worth it to carry that insurance.

6. Choose The Right Vehicle. If your looking to buy a new car, keep in mind that models with high theft rates and high repair costs will cost you more to insure.

5 Ways To Save Money On Homeowners Insurance

  1. Insure Your Dwelling Only. Lots of homeowners have the misconception that they need to take out a policy that covers the full value of their home. This is unnecessary. Your policy really only needs to cover the cost of rebuilding your home and any other structure on the property. After all, if a disaster were to occur your home may be destroyed, but the lot surrounding it is still there.

  2. Buy Auto And Home Insurance From The Same Company And Save. Insurance companies offer deep discounts when you insure both with them. Pet owners who are looking for pet insurance may want to use this method as well.

  3. Take The Highest Deductible You Can Afford. Raising a deductible from $250 to $1000 may save you about $150 per year. This may also discourage you from filing minor claims, which brings us to the next tip.

  4. File Claims As Seldom As Possible. The more often you file a claim; the more likely they are to raise your premium. If it is a minor issue it may be wise to pay out of pocket. This could save you money in the long run.

  5. Choose Pets Carefully. Believe it or not insurance companies could raise your rates depending on the breed of your pet. Take the Pit-bull for instance. This breed has a bad record of causing liability damages, and the insurance companies will raise your premium as a result.