Saturday, January 18, 2020

Tips and Ideas to Reduce Auto Insurance Costs

Auto insurance is a large expense.  Especially, once you add a new driver (child) to the policy.  It is also necessary as it mitigates your risk of loss.  I was fortunate to go years without using insurance and always gritted my teeth a little bit when the bill came due.  In the past year, have had a couple incidences, while minor, would have costs thousands without the insurance.  Net, I still have paid more for insurance than used.  That is good from a safety perspective.

From a cost perspective, you can not passively continue to roll the bill over as it comes due.  It will creep up and active management of it, I have found to be the best solution.  The following are some items that could save you some money:

  •  Review -- review your policy with your agent on an annual basis.  The industry is always evolving and there could be some changes that can be initiated to keep the costs down.  In addition to the review, get a couple comparison quotes on an annual basis.  It can be tough to consider changing long time relationships and the comparison quotes may simply prove that you have the best deal.  If the difference is material different, discuss with your insurance provider.  End of day, you want quality insurance, research the providers and if a change is comparative, make the move.
  • Car/Truck -- Consider the car/truck you drive.  A Mercedes versus a Honda will have substantially different rates.  When considering auto options, remember to factor the insurance costs into the equation.  There are a number of websites that can help evaluate this including
  • Deductible -- the deductible you carry can make a difference.  Common deductibles are $250, $500, and $1000.  Insurance gets cheaper as you increase the deductible, as you are transferring risk from the insurance company to yourself.  My typical recommendation is $1,000.  However, ask the differences in savings as in some instances, $500 is virtually the same cost.
  • Combine Policies -- If you have a home or rent, combine those policies with auto can create a more favorable rate at your carrier.
  • Discounts -- your agent will probably look for discounts.  Ask to ensure all are applied.  There are a number of group discounts including; accident free, alumni, multicar, combined home, paperless, military, etc.  Don't assume you know all the discounts, ask what other discounts that agency offers.
  • Payment -- there can be different rates and service fees that vary in how you pay.  For example, a semi-annual payment may skip the billing service fee and also have a reduced rate.  Method of payment can also be a factor.  ACH (account debit), check payment, and credit card can all have a different premium rate.
While working with your agent and getting comparisons, ask questions and learn what fits your situation the best.

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.  Proverbs 15:22

After getting the best rate, consider it a good year if you never use it.  Drive safe.

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