Let’s face it; paying for car insurance always seems like a burden. Well, you can’t deny the fact that having car insurance, apart from being mandatory in India, is helpful when your vehicle meets with an accident or theft. So, now that we must buy car insurance here are some tips and tricks to lower the cost of hefty premiums.
Research before you buy
Before you commit to buying a new car, be sure to do your research. Some makes and models of cars, particularly those with excellent safety, theft loss or accident records, can be less expensive to insure.
If you’re considering several models and can’t decide, your Farmers insurance agent can help you make an informed decision. Your agent can provide some coverage price comparisons for the models you’re interested in. A higher — or lower — insurance coverage premium may make the decision for you.
Be A Good Driver
Being a good driver can reward you with a lower insurance rate. The very best and most basic way to reduce your car insurance bill is to have a good driving record. This means you need to exercise caution when you are driving and obey the speed limit. Here are a few everyday reminders:
Focus on the road: Don’t talk on your cell phone, send text messages or consume things that are difficult or messy to eat (like tacos or sub sandwiches) behind the wheel. Operating a GPS system behind the wheel is also dangerous. And on this point I’ll add one other thing–your kids are watching you. Do you want your 16 year old texting while they drive? They’ll will follow your lead in how to operate car. If you text, they’ll text (and I’m preaching to the choir on this one).
Obey speed limit signs: Speeding tickets add points to your record and often result in automatic increases in your insurance bill.
Extra caution in residential areas, construction zones and school zones: These areas present more opportunities for accidents, and the fines for moving violations are higher.
Drive defensively: Be aware of other vehicles in front of you and behind you. When in doubt, err on the side of caution. I suspect the car that passed me yesterday could have avoided the accident. From my vantage point, he was more interest in not letting the SUV get in front of him than he was avoiding an accident.
Prepare in advance when driving in unfamiliar territory: Review maps prior to your trip. Pull over if you need to look at a map again or ask for directions.
Start looking early : You can ‘freeze’ the price of a quote usually up to 28 days before the start date it’s needed. That way, if the price goes up, you won’t be affected.
Marry someone : Drivers who are married are seen as a less risky proposition (they’re more ‘stable’ by nature, apparently). Of course, insurers view ‘less risky’ more favourably.
Increase your excess : This is one of the most immediate ways of slashing insurance costs. Basically, the higher the excess you choose (the ‘excess’ is the first part of any claim which you have to pay), the lower your premiums.
Install Safety Features : Do you really need to install safety features in your car? While most of the new vehicles come pre-equipped with standard safety features, those with older cars have to think it through. Vehicles equipped with safety features such as anti-theft device, alarm system, anti-lock braking system etc., have generally low premium slabs. Installing additional safety features to older cars can reduce your car insurance premiums in a big way.
Shopping online for insurance : Shopping online for insurance definitely offers you a better deal than shopping offline. There could be a difference of as much as 20 percent in your annual premiums. Though we do not recommend you buy only a third party cover on your car, if your car is four-to-five-years old and you plan to sell the clunker, you could buy third-party cover, to reduce premiums.
No-Claim Bonus (NCB) : When you do not have any claim in a year, you are eligible for no-claim bonus in subsequent car insurance premiums. Many insurance companies offer 30% to 50% deduction from premiums if you are not claiming for more than 3-5 years continuously. Stick to one insurance company so that you can benefit from NCB. Even in case you are having small claim, pay your own money instead of claiming from insurance company so that you are entitled for high NCB in long run.
Absorb the pain : Voluntary Excess is the amount you are ready to absorb (pay out of your own pocket), when you make a claim. When you choose a voluntary excess option, you can easily decrease the premium on own-damage by up to 35 percent. Ideally, the voluntary excess amount should be less than the No-Claim Bonus amount you are eligible for next year.
Keep Young Drivers on Their Parents’ Policy : Having a young driver on their parents’ policy usually results in much lower auto insurance costs. Compared to the cost of insuring a teen driver on their own policy, we found that adding young drivers on their parents’ plan can save 66% on car insurance.
The flip side, however, is that insurance rates for the parents could increase if their children get into a car accident and have to file a claim. It’s wise to explore pricing for both a separate policy for your teen driver and for adding them to (or retaining them on) the family policy, and to consider both premium costs and your comfort level with their driving.
FICO rating: Great credit brings down your auto protection rates. Terrible credit expands them. So you ought not to have the bad credits otherwise the bill of your insurance plan will be increased and you have to pay it on any cost. If you do not want this to happen then you have to bear the good credit for this cause. Moreover, if your vehicle is expensive then the rates of your insurance will be increased as compared with the cheap and simple vehicle as they are have the low insurance bill.
When it comes to saving on car insurance, it’s all about knowledge and research. Stay informed and act smart!