Nowadays, car insurance has become a necessity instead of a luxury. With a plethora of companies offering various policy options under the guise of seemingly reasonable rates, it’s almost impossible to choose the best option.
Moreover, many people end up being ripped off by these insurance companies since low rates are often synonymous with insufficient coverage or hidden charges. Thus, to select the best car insurance company, you should learn about the coverage they offer, what is their reputation in the market and whether they will be there for you when disaster strikes, amongst other things.
Following are a few steps that will help you discover the most affordable auto insurance:
Do a Comprehensive Research
There are numerous car insurance companies including large firms and regional insurers. Consequently, you have a lot of good options to choose from, but it also means that you have to sift through them to discover the most affordable rates.
Begin by calling or visiting your local agencies (you can find them in your state insurance commissioner’s website). Also, conduct online research for online insurers to expand the scope of your search. Take plenty of notes regarding the policies and rates they offer. Consult your friends and family about their insurance agencies and their experience so far.
Next, make a concise list of the options that offer the cheapest rates according to your desired coverage. Make sure to check the reputation of the firm by asking around and looking at their online profile before coming to a final decision.
Check for Discounts
Car insurance companies offer many discounts. These can include reduced prices for customers who:
- Are retired
- Are students with good grades
- Have a clean record of driving
- Buy all insurance policies such as home insurance, car insurance, etc. from one agency
- Own a car with safety features such as car alarm, anti-theft features, side airbags and motorized seatbelts
- Are a part of specific professional organizations
- Choose a single agency for multiple cars
- Pay in advance for a six-month period or an entire year
You might be tempted to choose a company that offers a multitude of discounts and advertises them well. However, make sure to compare the end price for all the insurers on your list.
Raise your Deductibles
A deductible is an amount you pay in case of an accident before the insurance company pays your claim. By opting for a higher annual deductible, you will have to pay a lower amount of coverage on a monthly basis. This is an ideal route to take for the cheapest insurance rate, especially if you have a clean driving record.
Check your Credit Score
Your credit score can play an essential role in deciding your car insurance quote. In many states, insurers are allowed to take into account your credit score before calculating your premium. Therefore, if you have a poor credit history, your insurance rates can increase by hundreds of dollars a year.
Therefore, pay your bills on time, regularly check your credit score and fix any problems that arise to avail lower rates.
Skip some Coverage Options
The amount you pay for comprehensive and collision coverage depends on the condition of your car. Comprehensive coverage is for when your vehicle was damaged from the weather, fire, vandalism or was stolen. Collision coverage pays if your car was damaged in an accident.
Many drivers automatically go for full coverage, when in reality you might not need it. If your car is an older model, you can skip this type of coverage altogether. This is because you might receive a much lower coverage amount as compared to what you paid in insurance.
You can opt to buy the cheapest coverage, which only includes the liability insurance. Liability insurance pays for others’ car damage and medical bill and is the lowest legal limit required in most states to drive a car legally.
Keep Insurance Cost in Mind when Buying a Car
The quest to choose affordable insurance begins as soon as you begin looking for a car to buy. In general, the more expensive, newer models of cars have a higher premium as compared to inexpensive ones. Therefore, choose a vehicle according to the insurance you can afford.
Assess your insurance policy on a yearly basis. Adjust your premium according to the number of miles you are driving at that moment and check your eligibility for additional discounts. Also, review your policy to determine if you are paying for any unnecessary add-ons because some insurers automatically include certain packages to your standard insurance policy.