Increasing traffic and the rising costs of car repair indicate that there is no avoiding auto insurance. Unless your car sits undisturbed in the garage, do not make the mistake of not insuring it.
If a comprehensive policy does not fit your current budget, get at least third party, fire and theft cover. Cash-strapped individuals should consider insurance costs before even buying a vehicle. Yet, for most others, the car comes first. Are there any possibilities to save money regardless of the car model? Of course there are. Here are my top tips:
Go Shopping: There is no alternative to shopping around for car insurance policies. Seek quotes from different insurance companies. The costs could vary even for similar coverage amounts.
A Higher Deductible: The deductible is the amount that you pay out of your own pocket for repairs following damage to your car; your insurance starts paying out thereafter. Increasing your deductible could lead to a proportionate decrease in your premiums. Make sure to choose an amount that you can afford to pay in case you need to file a claim.
No Excess Coverage: Car insurance has its own list of frills. Things like roadside assistance and loan payoff sound good on paper but will inflate your premiums. Do not scrimp on these benefits if you have the money, but scrape away this excess coverage if you are on a tight budget. If you plan to insure an old car whose value has depreciated, comprehensive and collision insurance may not be financially worthwhile.
Be a Good Driver: A good driving record can work wonders when it comes to lowering your car insurance premiums. Even little things like speeding tickets can push up your premiums. Drive safely to cut costs.
Seek Discounts: Insurers offer a host of discounts on car insurance. You will find everything from group discounts to low mileage discounts. Buy your home and car insurance from the same company to avail of discounted rates. If you have more than one vehicle, buy insurance for all of them from the same company. Fitting your car with anti-theft devices would also fetch you discounts on your premiums.
Ask for Rate Reductions: Life is in a constant state of flux, so why should your auto insurance remain unchanged year after year? Insurers will reduce your rates if you have moved to the suburbs or gotten married. You could even get a reduction on the basis of your good driving record.
Maintain Good Credit: A good credit record will endear you to insurance companies because people with good credit ratings are believed to file fewer claims.
Buy Insurance Online: The online insurance market is gaining everyday because buyers end up saving on agent commissions. Moreover, the online platform allows car owners to shop around extensively before zeroing in on a policy that gives them adequate coverage and suits their budgets.
Be Careful with Other Drivers: If you hire a driver or allow somebody else to drive your car, ensure that they drive safely. A traffic violation or accident while somebody else was behind the wheel would result in higher insurance premiums for you.
Pay in Full: Avoid making monthly premium payments as these come with a monthly payment charge. If possible, pay at one go to avail of the cheapest rates.
—The author is the CEO of MyInsuranceClub.com