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9 Tried-And-True Tips for How to Lower Car Insurance in 2020

By Jarrod Heil

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Sometimes you can be the safest driver in the world and still feel like you’re overpaying for car insurance premiums. Well, you actually could be overpaying based on a few factors that are completely out of your control.

Having adequate coverage is a necessity, but choosing the right carrier to insure you and making sure you’re not overinsured are just as vital factors in the equation.

Let’s take a look at nine tips that are tried and true when you want to lower your car insurance premiums.

1. Get Multiple Quotes

The most efficient way to save money on car insurance is by getting multiple quotes from different carriers.

Comparison shopping is the best way to instantly lower your car insurance premiums because each company will offer a slightly different price for the same coverage.

There are many reasons why each company offers a different price for the same amount of coverage. But the most common is the number of drivers the company insures in the metropolitan area or state in which you’re seeking coverage.

The more policies a company has, the more premium dollars it’s taking in — but that also means more drivers on the road and a greater risk of having to pay out a claim.

Unfortunately, fluctuations in premium prices will always occur. The only way to get around it is to evaluate what you’re currently paying and then shop around for a better deal.

Just remember, while you may get a cheaper premium off the bat, staying with the same insurance company for an extended period of time often leads to loyalty discounts and better service.
 
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2. Claim Your Discounts

Speaking of loyalty discounts for staying with the same insurance carrier, those will likely kick in when you’ve been with that carrier for five or more years.

After that, each company has its own pyramid of savings to abide by. So while one company offers deep discounts for 10-year customers, others may forgo loyalty discounts for a few of the following.

Safe Driver Discount

Depending on which company you’re with (or strive to be with), there are safe driving discounts that can save you upwards of 30 percent per year in premiums.

But hold the phone. In many cases, a safe driving discount is usually applied after a few years’ worth of clean driving history.

So this doesn’t usually apply to people who have been driving for less than five years. Moreover, if you get a single moving violation or are involved in an accident (even if it’s not your fault), you can usually kiss that good driving discount bye-bye.

Defensive Driving Discount

If you’re a safe driver who has a clean record, you may want to go the extra mile and take a defensive driving course. These courses usually cost anywhere from $15 to $50 and can knock off 5 to 10 percent on your premiums.

Not all insurance carriers recognize defensive driving discounts for all drivers since they’re usually meant for senior citizens. But talk with your carrier before signing up for the course and you could be driving defensively right toward a pile of savings!

Anti-Theft Devices Discount

Anti-theft devices are a key component to prevent rising car theft in America. Guess what? If your vehicle has anti-theft devices, it’s less likely to be stolen.

Since it’s less likely to be stolen, that means you’re less likely to file an auto insurance claim, which means your carrier may actually give you a discount

3. Review Your Coverage

There are many coverage options that may sound good on paper but really aren’t worth paying extra for each month. Do you really need that extra rental car coverage? Or the tow package in case your vehicle runs out of gas or you lock your keys inside?

Additionally, if you’re still paying for full coverage on a vehicle that’s 10 or 15 years old, it may be time to reevaluate. If your vehicle is only worth $2,000, it may not make sense to have full coverage auto insurance.

Consider your additional non-necessary coverages and how much they’re costing you over the life of your term.
 
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4. Adjust Your Deductible

The deductible is the amount of money you must pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in and picks up the rest up to your policy’s maximum.

The lower your deductible, the higher your premiums because your insurance provider must make up the difference in case you file a claim.

Deductibles usually range from $250 to $2,000 on the outside. If you’re a safe driver, you may want to consider a $1,000 deductible instead of $250.

Chances are, the $750 difference you’d have to pay if you filed a claim would already be wiped out by a few years’ worth of safe driving.

So if your auto premiums were $1,200 per year with a $1,000 deductible and $1,600 per year with a $250 deductible, it would take you less than two years’ worth of safe driving to negate that cost difference.

Every year after that you’re saving a decent chunk of change on your auto premiums.

5. Drive Fewer Miles

Have access to public transportation? Consider taking it! The fewer miles you spend on the road driving your vehicle, the less likely you are to be involved in an accident or get a moving violation.

Some companies offer mileage-based premiums or low mileage auto insurance for drivers who don’t put too many miles on their vehicles each year.

Check with your agent about any low-mileage car insurance discounts you may qualify for or, if your current carrier doesn’t offer any, get quotes from other carriers that do.

6. Drive Safe

The cheapest and easiest tip for how to lower car insurance is to simply drive safe. It may seem like an obvious tip, but something happens to people when they get behind the wheel.

Life happens. People run late for work, have to chow down a meal in their car, accidentally spill their coffee or get distracted by other drivers or passengers in your vehicle.

All of those things lead to distracted driving, which increases the chance of having to file an auto insurance claim. Try putting a sticky note on your vehicle’s visor, rearview mirror or somewhere visible that reminds you to drive safely.

7. Increase Your Credit Score

While increasing your credit score may not sound like an obvious way how to save money on car insurance, it is. A poor credit score leads to higher premiums while a high credit score results in lower premiums.

Studies have shown there’s a strong correlation of how people manage their credit scores and how risky they are to insure. And insurance companies have all taken notice.

8. Bundle Policies

If you have multiple insurance policies (home, auto, boat, etc.) talk to your agent about bundling those policies with the same carrier. Many times insurance carriers give discounts for bundling multiple policies or putting multiple people on the same policy.

So if you live under the same roof as your parents, siblings, spouse or children and don’t mind being associated with them on the policy, ask your agent about putting multiple people on the same policy.
 
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9. Reconsider Your Vehicle

You may have heard the saying that people driving red convertibles are more likely to get speeding tickets than people who drive grey four-door sedans. It’s actually true — and insurance companies caught on a long time ago.

Driving costly vehicles has the same effect. So driving a nice Mercedes will lead to higher insurance premiums than driving a Honda sedan. 

While reconsidering the car you currently drive is a pretty tough ask, those in the market for another vehicle may want to do some research about insurance premiums on that specific vehicle before signing the check for the down payment.

How to Save Money on Car Insurance

Even if you’re not in a place to do all the nine things on this list, simply doing a few of these tasks can help to lower auto insurance premium considerably. Just remember: the safer you drive, the lower your premiums will eventually be.
 
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