Everyone wants to save money on car insurance, but how can you do it?
Your first steps should include dropping coverage you don’t need and raising your deductibles (assuming you are a safe driver who rarely gets in an accident).
Safety Features That Save You Money
Certain safety features can also help you save on car insurance. According to DMV.org, a private company that aims to help drivers navigate their local Department of Motor Vehicles, these safety features include:
- Passive restraint systems such as airbags and automatic seatbelts, which help save lives
- Antilock brakes, which help drivers maintain control of a vehicle
- Daytime running lights, which are believed to make your car more visible to other drivers
- Rearview cameras, which help drivers avoid backing into people or objects
- Blind spot detection/lane-departure warning systems, which help prevent crashes during lateral moves
- Tire pressure warning system, which can alert you to underinflated tires, which can lead to easier rolling of the vehicle
- Alarm systems and LoJack devices, which can help thwart thieves
- Emergency response systems, which help you get assistance quickly in the event of an accident
It may or may not be cost-effective to install any of these systems as a way to save on car insurance, but if you are car shopping, take into account that a vehicle with these systems will be cheaper to insure. Not every insurance company will ask about these features either, so if any of your vehicles are equipped with them, call to make sure you are getting the proper discounts.
Traffic Violations Cost $$$
You may think it sounds obvious, but avoiding traffic violations is an effective way to save money on car insurance.
Different types of violations have different corresponding points in each state, but in general, actions that will prevent you from saving on car insurance include:
- Speeding more than 20 mph over the speed limit
- Reckless driving
- Getting in an accident that’s your fault
- Hit and run
- Driving with a suspended license or no license
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to stop for a school bus
- Disobeying traffic signals
- Not having your child in the proper restraint system
- Illegal U-turns
- Trying to outrun the police
- Crossing the double yellow line
In states that have red-light cameras and speed cameras, points are not generally assessed when you are charged with a violation.
Some states will suspend your license if you commit enough violations to amass a certain number of points. Any points you get will cost you more in insurance rates. The rates will go down slowly over time if you maintain a clean driving record. Some states allow you to attend a driver education program to reduce your number of points. If your state has one, check to see if the fee for the program is less than the extra insurance fee you’d have to pay.
Choose a Good Agent to Save on Auto Insurance
One of the best ways to save money is to have a good insurance agent you can trust. I have been with my agent at the same insurance firm for many years, and his whole team is a great resource for me.
Unlike some insurance agencies where you call and get a recording and are asked to leave your name and number so they can call back at an inconvenient time, someone always answers the phone at this insurance office. I have called them numerous times in the past few years as I have added life insurance, a second car, and a teenage driver, and they are always helpful and supportive.
In fact, an agent called me recently to tell me I was eligible for a discount. Ensuring a new driver is notoriously expensive, and he called to tell me that my daughter was eligible for a safe driver discount, then he emailed me the paperwork. This same employee previously helped me save more money when I neglected to fill out some other paperwork in time.
I have also had to itemize insurance costs for financial statements several times in the last few years, and whoever answers the phone always helps me immediately.
When your agent is looking out for you, you know you’re in the right place.
Compare Rates to Save Money on Car Insurance
When you’re looking for a good agent, you might want to try The Zebra. This website helps you compare auto insurance rates in your area. It will tell you who’s the cheapest, but not who’s the best, so remember to check third-party review sites before making a decision.
Auto insurance is not optional, so since you have to buy it, you may as well take the time to get the best deal you can. Use our tips to learn how to save money on your car insurance, and use those savings for something fun!