Auto insurance can burn a big hole in your pocket. Insurance premiums vary hugely between companies, agencies, or agents, brokers, and, of course, the make of the car you own and your credit rating. To pay lower insurance, you must:
1. Always maintain a good driving record.
2. Never accept the first estimate you receive. Compare different insurance providers wisely by visiting your state insurance department’s website or calling them. Their addresses and contact numbers can be accessed from http://www.consumeraction.gov/insurance.shtml, the consumer action website. Be sure to get competitive quotes from different insurance providers. Contact providers that are strongly recommended by people you know well. Maintain your peace of mind by researching the financial stability of companies through rating agencies such as A.M. Best (http://www.ambest.com/), as well as forums and blogs.
3. Complete a market survey well before you select a car make and make a comparative table of insurance and other hidden costs. Find out which features increase insurance premiums and which ones reduce them. For example, if parts of a certain make are hard to find or expensive, such cars will have huge insurance premiums. Similarly, the installation of anti-theft devices or an extra brake system lowers insurance premiums. Many questions are answered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety at http://www.iihs.org/.
4. Choose to have higher deductibles. This will reduce the burden by at least 15–25%. However, first examine your finances to see if you can set aside US$ 200-US$ 1000 on a regular basis to create an emergency vehicle fund.
5. Consider obtaining insurance from the same company that has you covered for home, accident, or life. Many companies offer concessions to clients who have more than one kind of policy. This is known as a multi-policy discount and could benefit you.
6. Most policies are based on your personal credit record. Having an unshakeable credit history can lower costs. Pay bills on time, don’t avail too many loans, and be sure that credit balances are as low as possible.
7. Avoid duplicating medical coverage. Determine whether dropping medical coverage from your auto insurance policy will lower your premiums or the cost of personal injury protection. In some places, the reduction is as much as 40%. So, if you have adequate health insurance, you could weigh the pros and cons of eliminating this from auto insurance.
8. Find out if insurance premiums are dependent on where you live. Sometimes, staying in a rural community or the suburbs as opposed to the city center could save you a bundle.
9. Take advantage of discounts like a low-risk career, low mileage, taking public transport to work, car pooling, no violations or accidents, taking defensive driving courses, following safety rules and regulations, or having a child who studies far away.
10. Use the discounts offered for insuring more than one car belonging to the family. Many companies have special offers for corporate organizations, club members, professional groups, alumni groups, or clubs.
Make time to make a big saving. Check through all the parameters and mark areas where savings can be made. The market is competitive, and you can be the beneficiary.
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