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Ways To Lower Your Auto Insurance


LEXIRX330
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The insurance rates that you pay are dependent on many factors such as your age, credit, marital status, your car type, your driving record, prior insurance, and the area you reside in. You may want to check with your agent about other discounts such as discounts for education, good student, paperless billing, owning a home, multiple policy discounts.

One of the most costly mistakes you can make is letting your current policy cancel without replacing coverage. This will create a lapse in your insurance, which can cause fines to start with the state the vehicle is registered in. The fines may only be the start of your problems if you have a lien holder they can force place coverage to protect their interest, which can easily double your current premiums. Also if you are involved in an accident you can find yourself in a huge legal mess. Many states have the technology today to use tag readers on the back of state police and other state cars. When the scanners pull a registration that has been suspended due to a lapse in insurance your car may be impounded and you can face some huge fines to get your car back. If you find yourself in a situation that your policy may cancel call your agent and ask if there are any options before letting your policy lapse for non-payment.

Other great ideas to lower your cost on your policies are:

Keep a clean driving record. Speeding tickets and accidents can and usually result in higher premiums. Most carriers offer good driving discounts but will also surcharge for claims and tickets. Avoid filing small claims since the surcharge or loss of a discount may be more than you get back from the insurance company. When it comes to glass claims and other comprehensive claims they are viewed differently by carriers and generally don’t cause surcharges and loss of discounts, as a collision would so check with your agent.

Carry higher deductibles for coverage’s such as collision. The deductible is the amount that you must pay before your insurance company will pay for the damage. Years ago it was typical for people to carry $100 or maybe $250 collision deductibles. Raising your collision deductible to $500 or even $1000 could reduce your premium by 20% or more. This can lead to a higher out of pocket expense if you are involved in a claim however the saving could easily offset this in a few years. Watch raising your comprehensive deductible though as this usually will not result in a huge savings for you and comprehensive covers claims such as glass breakage, vandalism, fire, theft, etc. Also most insurance carriers do not surcharge for comprehensive losses but they can be used for discounts.

When comparing your insurance check with an independent agency that can use multiple carriers to run quotes for you. This can save you a lot of time. Instead of having to give the same information out to 10 companies you can give it to one person and they can take care of running all of the quotes for you. Be sure to compare apples to apples and keep deductibles the same in all quotes to get an accurate comparison.

If you have excess vehicles don’t carry rental coverage. If you have a spare car or two why pay for rental reimbursement coverage unless you want to. Your rental coverage will only pay when you are involved in a claim for the period of time that your car is in the shop or for the period of time that it takes to settle the claim. If you add up the cost of rental for 4 cars you may be spending $100 or more per year.

Drop towing off of new cars that have roadside assistance, or towing. Even though this type of coverage is relatively inexpensive if you already have the coverage why pay for it twice.

Take full coverage off of older cars that are not worth much. How much? That is only decision that can be made by you. Look up the value of your car using tools such as www.kbb.com or www.nada.com now if you totaled your car yesterday would it be worth it to save what you are paying in premiums?

Some things that are bad ideas:

Lowering your coverage’s to state minimums. With today’s litigious society it is more important than ever to carry adequate coverage. Many times this can result in you actually getting placed in a non-standard tier also. Some companies have prior limit requirements in order to qualify to go with the preferred tier and only offer higher coverage’s in the preferred tier.

Failing to list young operators or operators with bad driving records. Make sure you add all drivers in the household.

Letting excluded operator’s drive your car. They are excluded meaning they are not covered to drive.

Letting others borrow your car. Remember insurance follows the vehicle not the driver. So if someone has a claim driving your car…you will be the one paying with higher premiums.

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Thank you LEXIR for the excellent info. Unfortunately I learned some of it just within the last few weeks. After 26 years with the same company, and with both our homeowners and auto insurance with them, they canceled our auto policy for too many accidents within a one year period. My wife had one and I had two. In retrospect, had I known about the accident scoring thing, I wouldn't even have turned one in as it was under $2,000 and only my car was damaged. Live and learn.

Again, nice article!

Paul

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Thank you LEXIR for the excellent info. Unfortunately I learned some of it just within the last few weeks. After 26 years with the same company, and with both our homeowners and auto insurance with them, they canceled our auto policy for too many accidents within a one year period. My wife had one and I had two. In retrospect, had I known about the accident scoring thing, I wouldn't even have turned one in as it was under $2,000 and only my car was damaged. Live and learn.

Again, nice article!

Paul

Paul that's a shame...did you talk to your agent and see if he could ask for any kind of exception?

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Thank you LEXIR for the excellent info. Unfortunately I learned some of it just within the last few weeks. After 26 years with the same company, and with both our homeowners and auto insurance with them, they canceled our auto policy for too many accidents within a one year period. My wife had one and I had two. In retrospect, had I known about the accident scoring thing, I wouldn't even have turned one in as it was under $2,000 and only my car was damaged. Live and learn.

Again, nice article!

Paul

Paul that's a shame...did you talk to your agent and see if he could ask for any kind of exception?

That was part of the problem. We had no agent. All of our business was done over the phone with Allied/Nationwide for the last three or four years. We have now switched to American Family so that we could not only have a good rate, but that one on one relationship with an agent, not some voice in a call center.

My job now is to be a more careful driver and quit doing that 150mph that guy talked about in a previous article!!

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Well I know you said that you did not have a agent but a lot depends on your agent...how far he or she is willing to go up the chain...and the company. Just today I had a carrier reinstate a policy that has been canceled since 03/06 he had only been with the company for two years. I have a geat relationship with the underwriter so most of the time when I ask for a favor they do it. Most carriers will bend over backwards if you have over 10 years with them.

Paul don't feel bad Nationwide drops a lot of people. I love Nationwide most of the time when someone gets dropped by them I can still save them money even with the claim. They have gotten so bad in our area when someone calls my agency for a quote we know we can save them at least 30%.

If you haven't already pull the home so you can get your multi policy discount too.

Oh yea...shake and bake! NC! Ricky-Bobby is the man... :cheers:

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One thing I have always said is you HAVE to have an insurance AGENT. These Geico and Progressive things might be cheaper, but without an agent you can call who will give you straight up advice without penalizing you for just calling in...you're out of luck.

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One thing I have always said is you HAVE to have an insurance AGENT. These Geico and Progressive things might be cheaper, but without an agent you can call who will give you straight up advice without penalizing you for just calling in...you're out of luck.

To be honest they usually are not even cheaper comparing apples to apples. There are all kinds of tricks that direct carriers use, raising comp deductibles, having confusing terms on their websites. I have seen some relatively smart people make some dumb mistakes that have cost them some big money because they thought they understood what they were doing. I have a license in all states that I sell in I have to complete CE classes, have e and o insurance...how much knowledge does the average person have and if they are wrong what kind of insurance do they have if they make a mistake? Geico spends much more advertising trying to get people to call than most companies pay out in commission. It's a business like anything else they win a few they loose a few...they have actually found that people prefer having a local office and are opening more local agencies which I find amusing. Progressive which I do use here and there is a total different thing. They took a name built by independent agencies and tried to steal it a few years back and change agents over to drive insurance. This didn't work out well and have went back however 90% of their ads are for direct which makes me sick. I took down both of my progressive signs in front of my offices and don't know if I will ever put them back up.

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One thing I have always said is you HAVE to have an insurance AGENT. These Geico and Progressive things might be cheaper, but without an agent you can call who will give you straight up advice without penalizing you for just calling in...you're out of luck.

To be honest they usually are not even cheaper comparing apples to apples. There are all kinds of tricks that direct carriers use, raising comp deductibles, having confusing terms on their websites. I have seen some relatively smart people make some dumb mistakes that have cost them some big money because they thought they understood what they were doing. I have a license in all states that I sell in I have to complete CE classes, have e and o insurance...how much knowledge does the average person have and if they are wrong what kind of insurance do they have if they make a mistake? Geico spends much more advertising trying to get people to call than most companies pay out in commission. It's a business like anything else they win a few they loose a few...they have actually found that people prefer having a local office and are opening more local agencies which I find amusing. Progressive which I do use here and there is a total different thing. They took a name built by independent agencies and tried to steal it a few years back and change agents over to drive insurance. This didn't work out well and have went back however 90% of their ads are for direct which makes me sick. I took down both of my progressive signs in front of my offices and don't know if I will ever put them back up.

Lexir do you Rep. American Family, and if so what, in your opinion, is their reputation? Before we switched to them I looked at Consumer Reports as that was the only resource I could find that rated Homeowners/Auto insurance companies.

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No Paul don't know of anyone around me that does either. However I do recall going to a meeting for some select agencies and I got talking to one of the big guys there and he went on and on about how great of a carrier they are.

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No Paul don't know of anyone around me that does either. However I do recall going to a meeting for some select agencies and I got talking to one of the big guys there and he went on and on about how great of a carrier they are.

Thanks Lexirx. That information alone is very helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to look into it.

Hope your week is a good one!

Paul

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