I had to renew my auto insurance recently. Doing research online, I found a few ways that helped me get a cheaper policy.
1. Get quotes from at least three insurance companies.
Auto-insurance providers are classified into three groups. There are the direct writers , e.g. Geico, whose in-house employees sell insurance directly to consumers over the phone or web. Next are the independent contractors who work on commission and sell products of only one company. Examples are State Farm and Allstate. The third group is comprised of independent agents who sell the insurance of various different companies.
The direct agents typically offer the lowest quotes, but they would refuse to cover you if you don't have a good driving history. They also take your credit score into consideration. The trick is to get quotes from several companies through a single website, such as Netquote. Ask the direct agents if they can beat the major providers' quotes.
2. Raise your deductible.
The higher your deductible is, the lower your premium. Deductible refers to the amount you will pay when making a claim before your insurance starts picking up the tab. It applies to your collision and comprehensive coverage (not your liability) and is the insurance that specifically covers your car.
3. Ask for discounts.
Most insurers offer discounts if you have a good driving record. You can also take a defensive driving course to get better rates. Adding safety features such as air bags, anti-lock brakes and alarms are things that could help lower your premium as well.
Other discounts may be applied if you insure more than one car or your home with the same insurance company. Good students, drivers over 50 and certain professionals are also qualified for special discounts.
4. Avoid unnecessary coverage and fees.
Review your coverage and drop those that you don't need or those that you can afford to pay for yourself. Pay the premium in full. Administrative fees are applied if you pay in installments. Other fees may be added if you pay by credit card or check. Find out what the most efficient mode of payment is available.
5. Improve your credit score.
Drivers with a stable credit rating are involved in fewer accidents and therefore, make fewer claims. There are numerous websites where you can get a copy of your credit report and provide tips on how to improve it.