In a sagging economic environment we are all looking for innovative ways to save money. In recent months, a large number of not only American households, but households all over the developed world have had to make changes in how they spend and how they live.
A major expense facing most Americans are expenses related to transportation, namely your car. If you do own a car, you will need general auto insurance. Are you paying too much? You probably are. Take the following checklist to your insurance provider to see what kind of savings could be coming your way before your next payment.
Take an online drivers education course
In most states, if you enroll in an online defensive driving course you may be eligible for a discount of 10% or more. Some states do not recognize these courses so before taking one, it is best to check with your insurance provider to see what kind of discounts they offer with a defensive driving course. For a list of driving schools in your city or state, visit Wannadrive.
Get a low risk job
Insurance companies keep more statistics than can be imagined. One of them is accidents by occupation. If your chosen profession has more accidents than the average, than your premiums will reflect this. Engineers tend to pay lower premiums because engineers get in fewer accidents than other professionals. Simply by doing some research and adjusting your job title might be enough to reduce your monthly premium.
Tell them you are Retired
If you are retired, you may be eligible for an additional discount. We have all seen the commercials. This savings applies especially to you if you have a clean driving record. If you are retired and your insurance provider does not know this than you could be missing out on substantial savings.
Join a Professional Organization or Auto Club
Select organizations and auto clubs receive discounts at all sorts of retail outlets that include hotels and restaurants. Membership in some of these organizations may also help you reduce your insurance costs. If you are a member of any organization or club, it never hurts to ask your provider if members of that organization receive a discount.
Combine Your Insurance
Some insurance companies may reduce your premium if you use their company for both home and auto insurance. If you currently have two different providers for home and auto insurance ask both of them what kind of premium reduction you are eligible for if you combine your home and car insurance into one.
Auto Safety Features
If you have any additional safety features on your automobile your insurance rates could also go down. Look for vehicles that have air bags for both the driver and the passenger, traction control, good head restraints, anti-lock braking and all wheel drive are all features that improve the safety performance of your vehicle. Bring a list of the safety features that your vehicle has to your insurance provider and ask specifically how additional safety features lower your premiums.
Assume more Risk
By raising your deductible from say $400 to $800, you will likely have to pay more out of pocket in the case of an accident but you do save significantly on your monthly premium. If you are a prudent driver, the savings that you incur by paying a lower premium will pay for itself over the course of the year. The amount of coverage that you have will not change by increasing your deductible.
Be a good citizen
Simply by having a good credit score, or by performing well in school can reduce your premiums. Insurance companies have found a correlation between credit score, academic performance and your likelihood of getting into an accident. If you do have a good credit score and you perform well academically, you could be eligible for a discount.
Pay in fewer installments
Insurance companies will charge you a fee to make a payment in installments. The more installments, the more fees you will pay. If you are fiscally responsible enough, ask your insurance provider about different payment options, such as paying once a year, every six months, or a quarterly payment. Be careful using this strategy because it is possible to lose your insurance by missing just one payment.
Demand better service
Believe it or not, there is still some moral fabric in the business world. If you have been with the same insurance company for years, ask them for a discount as a loyal customer. If they refuse, shop around. Another provider may offer better rates, or provide you with better information regarding your insurance needs.
Hopefully, this article has made you a little wiser when it comes to purchasing general auto insurance. Use this information and turn it into dollars and cents.