Is there anything I can do to lower my auto insurance bill?
Yes. Insurance companies base auto insurance rates on a variety of criteria, such as your age, driving record, residence, and even the type of car that you drive (though factors vary from state to state). If you find that you're paying more than you think you should for auto insurance, there are ways you can lower your premiums.
- Shop around: Auto insurance rates vary from company to company, sometimes significantly. As a result, a good way to save money is to look into whether another insurer offers the same coverage at a lower rate.
- Consider raising your deductible: For the most part, the higher your deductible, the lower your premiums. Before you raise your deductible, though, you'll want to be sure you can cover the out-of-pocket expense should an accident occur.
- Eliminate unnecessary coverages: For example, if you have an older car, it may make sense to drop your collision and comprehensive coverage since a claim paid by your insurance company may be minimal and might not exceed what you'd pay in premiums and deductibles. Or, maybe you are paying your insurer for roadside assistance coverage that you already have through a separate road and travel club membership.
- Consider changing the type of car you drive: The type of car that you drive directly impacts what you pay for insurance. Typically, newer, higher-priced cars and sport/high-performance vehicles cost more to insure than used/lower-end models.
- Check for discounts with your insurer: Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for one or more auto insurance discounts. For example, your insurer might provide discounts to those with a safe driving record or to those who insure more than one car with them.
One final note: don't be tempted to save money on your auto insurance by lowering your liability coverage limits (although state minimums do apply). Having less than adequate amounts of liability coverage can expose you personally to claims for other people's losses--which in the case of a serious accident, can be significant.