What would you do with a few hundred dollars in your pocket? Pay off a credit card bill? Take a weekend trip? Save for a new car? Those are all great ideas and they can become a reality simply by saving on your next car insurance policy.
But what do you have to do to find those kinds of savings, and is it worth your time and effort? Well, think about it this way: you could pay upwards of $1,500 for annual car insurance if you don’t look for any savings on your policy. So keep your mind on that extra money in your wallet! Here are some suggestions to help you determine if you’re getting the best deal and savings on that policy:
New Driver Safety Course
Are you a good driver? Can you prove that? If so, then you might be entitled to a discount. Several insurance companies have set up an online safety course for those they consider to be new drivers: anyone who has been behind the wheel for less than nine years. This test takes an hour to complete but could net you some serious savings. You’ve probably already taken something like this to get your license. Time to break out that driver’s handbook and cram for a new test!
Full-time students who carry a 3.0 GPA or better could be eligible for a “good student” discount. Look for the companies that offer this type of discount because, hey, you’re already working hard to maintain those grades – why not get a financial break for it? In some cases that discount could be up to 25 percent less than what you’re currently paying in premiums.
Driving Record Discounts
Everyone knows that when you get into an accident and file a claim there is a good chance your insurance premiums will go up. The reverse happens to be true as well. You might earn a discount for driving without an accident for a certain period of time. Your driving experience is based on the amount of time you’ve had your license, beginning with your first learner’s permit. Every year that you are a licensed driver, even if you’re not actually driving, contributes to your safe driving record. If you’ve been doing a good job behind the wheel, it’s time to benefit from being a good driver.
There was a time when auto insurance companies just sold auto insurance. Now most major auto insurance companies sell all kinds of insurance policies, from homeowners to renters and even life insurance. Generating a new auto insurance policy might be the time to seek out discounts for your other policies. When you can bundle those policies together, you might earn savings across the board on all of them.
It’s no secret that auto insurance companies would like nothing better than if you stopped driving: there’s less risk for an accident to occur. That doesn’t mean you should give up your car altogether, but if you find that your annual mileage is pretty low then you could be entitled to a discount.
This discount in particular can help high school and college students score a big deal. You could go for days without getting into your car or at least only drive a few miles each week. Make sure your insurance company is aware of your mileage. They should also be aware of your correct zip code — where your car is “garaged” and not a P.O. Box. These details can all factor into your overall rate and potentially lower your monthly premiums.
This list of discounts is a great place to start looking for auto insurance deals, but don’t stop there! Check out group rates offered through clubs, organizations, or employers, and remember that fluctuating rates may make it worth your while to shop for a new policy on an annual basis. Yes, it does take some time and effort, but you owe it to your wallet to avoid paying more than you should for auto insurance.
Anum Yoon started and maintains Current on Currency, where she shares her hard-earned insights on money management.