Auto Insurance Quotes, Ways to $ave
Shop around. That is rule number one and the simplest way to save money. We all know about “bundling”…. That philosophy applies to insurance as well. You often get breaks if you have more than one car on your policy or if you buy your policy through the same company that insures your home. So, be sure that your current insurers are on your list. If you call around for quotes, include a few brand name companies as well as a few independent brokers who will compile the rates of more than one company for you.
Next, ask about every possible discount. For example, if you've racked up years without an accident or ticket, store your car in a garage, live in a certain zip code or drive less than a certain number of miles each year, most companies will offer you a discount. Safety features such as airbags or anti-lock brakes, or anti-theft devices such as a tracking system or alarm can also get you a price break.
Another choice is to pay your premium annually. Senior drivers can get a discount for taking a defensive driving course. Likewise, teens can trim a little off their premium with good grades or completing a driver education course.
Be sensible and rational when making your coverage choices, especially when it comes to the amount of liability coverage and the deductible you choose. A $750 deductible could certainly be an inconvenience. However, a $250,000 lawsuit would be a disaster. Think twice before you pay extra for a low deductible and then choose the minimum liability. If you need to choose one or the other, the smarter choice is usually to raise your liability and deductible. That way, your premium should remain comparatively the same. Remember, you are purchasing insurance to protect yourself and your assets.
Lastly, a few insurance companies are offering really deep discounts to good drivers who maintain low mileage and drive at off-peak times. What constitutes a “good” driver, you might ask? Well, here’s how Progressive’s Casualty Insurance general manager of usage-based car insurance, Richard Hutchinson, described it Donna Fuscaldo of Bankrate.com:
“As part of our pay-as-you-drive program, we require drivers to pay $5 a month for a device the size of a garage door opener that plugs in below the steering wheel. That device tells us the time you drive, the miles you go and how much you accelerate and stop suddenly, and based on that, the company gives you either a discount or a surcharge.”
He added, “Discounts can be as high as 30% for the six-month policy period, but the surcharge can cost a driver an additional 9%. With a 30% discount, a driver who might normally pay $700 per six-month premium could cut his bill to $490. Drivers who go less than 9,000 miles per year, drive at off-peak times during the day and don't accelerate often get the biggest discounts.”
Those who drive between midnight and 4 a.m., the time when most accidents occur, according to Hutchinson, and accelerate often could get hit with a surcharge, even if they drive less than 9,000 miles per year. Drivers are allowed to opt out of the program whenever they want. The majority of the people get an average discount in the 10 percent to 15 percent range. Although certainly not for everyone, these new pay as you drive programs are worth looking into - especially for seniors who often prefer daylight driving and maintain low mileage.
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