In almost every U.S. state you must purchase auto insurance if you plan to drive. There are two reasons for this:
Here are a few tips for getting the best rate on auto insurance while getting the most coverage for your money:
- Auto insurance helps protect you from monetary loss.
- Liability auto insurance helps protect other parties
from monetary loss in the event that you're found to be at fault.
- Ask around - Ask your friends and associates what auto insurance company they use. Ask if they have ever had to file a claim and how smoothly the process went.
Unbelievably cheap auto insurance means little if the company doesn't provide an acceptable level of service.
- Get multiple quotes - Get 3 or 4 quotes from different auto insurance companies. Record as much information as you can about each firm.
If the agent is unable or unwilling to answer your questions, you would probably be better off buying your auto insurance elsewhere. And never buy from the first company you get a quote from!
- Check your credit profile - Some auto insurance companies consider your credit history when calculating their rates. Unresolved issues in your credit file can raise your premiums!
- Select your vehicle carefully - The worth of the car, the make and model, and even the color will affect your insurance rates.
If you're buying a new car, ask your auto insurance company what the insurance coverage for that car will cost. If you buy an older car and don't need financing you can get by with less insurance coverage and save lots of money.
- Ask about available discounts - If you have a good driving record, check to see if there is a safe driver discount. If you don't drive a whole lot inquire about a low-mileage discount.
Here is a list of commonly available auto insurance discounts that the Insurance Information Institute recommends inquiring about:
There are numerous discounts on auto insurance that may be available to you, but many times you'll have to ask to get them. Create a handy table with the list of auto insurance discounts above for when you request your quotes.
- $500 deductible
- $1,000 deductible
- No citations within the past two years
- Insuring more than one vehicle
- Joint auto and homeowners coverage
- Drivers over 50-55
- Completion of a driver training course
- Completion of a defensive driving course
- Anti-theft device
- Low annual mileage
- Air bag
- Anti-lock brakes
- Daytime running lights
- Student with good grades
- College students
- Long-time customer
- Other available auto insurance discounts
- Reduce Your auto insurance coverage amounts - If you'll be financing your car, you'll be required to purchase adequate comprehensive coverage, but when you pay off the loan you can lower your coverage amounts and save a lot a money on premiums.
Less insurance coverage means carrying more risk, but if you're a safe driver you can probably get by with liability insurance only.
- Most important of all - Drive safely and control the urge to speed!
About the author:
Fisher Swanson is a regular contributor to the Daily Thrifty Tips newsletter.
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