If you own a car, then you're already paying for car insurance. This can take a bite out of an already limited budget, especially if you have teenage drivers in the home. You might think that you have to pay whatever the insurance company asks, but there are ways to save money. While your state requires you to have a minimum amount of coverage, it doesn't require you to use a specific company. Here are a few tips to save money on car insurance.
Driver's Education and Good Grades
Insurance companies charge considerably more when there are young and first-time drivers in the home. However, many of the companies offer discounts if the teen has taken a driver's education class through their school or an official course run by the local government or certified businesses. These classes provide a combination of book learning and practical experience to help young drivers gain experience and learn how to handle emergency situations.
Another common discount for teens is directly tied to the grades they receive in school. Some insurance companies give a discount to straight-A students. A teen with good grades demonstrates a level of maturity and ability to concentrate and take on more responsibility than lower-scoring teens. If your young driver has passed driver's ed or gets all A’s, ask your insurance company if they offer a discount.
How and How Often Do You Pay Your Premium
Most insurance companies offer coverage that runs for six or 12 months before renewing. Your insurance company probably allows you to pay a down payment and then monthly payments.
In some cases, the insurance company charges the customer a monthly charge to break the balance into multiple payments. You want to ask your company if they do this or read through your policy. If can scrap the money together to pay the entire sum in one payment you might be able to save some money.
When you make monthly payments, you may have agreed to keep a credit card on file to automatically bill each month. Most car insurance companies charge between five and 10 per month to charge a credit card.
If your company does this, they might offer the option to automatically debit your checking account with an eCheck. Many companies don't include an extra charge for that service.
Always Comparison Shop
It is important that you always keep your options open in order to save money on car insurance. It's super easy to allow your car insurance policy to automatically renew. It seems reasonable if they were the cheapest company when you originally bought insurance that they continue to be the least expensive. Your insurance company would love for you to believe this. However, that isn't always true.
Each time your policy comes up for renewal, it's a good idea to contact a couple of the other companies and ask for a quote. There are a couple of insurance companies online that offer to show you their rates and those of their competitors. You might find a way to save a little extra money.
Check Your Coverage
Your state requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance that differs from state to state. If you made or continue to make payments on your vehicle, the financing company may require that you carry additional coverage. You might find when you check your coverage that you never updated your policy when you paid off your car or that you're paying for services, such as roadside service, that you aren't required to have or necessarily need.
While you do need to carry insurance, you don't want to pay any more than you absolutely have to for it. Taking a few minutes to pursue discounts and check rates can help you significantly save money on car insurance.