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Tips for Affordable Auto Insurance

Some simple tips can save you some serious green.

No one likes to pay for auto insurance.  However, it’s a necessary cost.  It’s much better to pay for insurance you’ll never use than to get caught without insurance, and if you’re involved in a traffic incident, you’ll be glad you have it.  So how do you keep costs down while maintaining a level of coverage that will keep you safe?

  1. Shop around.  Compare prices.  Use an online service (such as the one at to compare policies that several auto companies offer, make sure they are all offering the same coverage, and find out which is the cheapest.  Some companies will offer to compare their prices to other companies and will show you these reports.  Be careful; do your own research to make sure you’re getting the unbiased truth.
  2. Don’t get collision and/or comprehensive insurance on older cars.  If your car is old enough that it has lost a lot of its value, the odds are that the insurance company will not pay you much even if you destroy the vehicle completely.  It would probably be better to save what you would have spent on extra coverage and to put that money towards a new car instead.
  3. Be a good driver.  You can get good driver’s discounts this way, and if you take defensive driving courses or other advanced driving courses, you can get even more discounts from many insurance companies.  The better driver you are, the better their investment is protected
  4. Make sure that all of your information is correct.  Sometimes insurance companies will make a mistake with your birth date or marital status on the forms, and while it’s usually an honest mistake, it’s an expensive one.  These two areas, when inaccurately reported, could cost you thousands of dollars in extra policy payments.  Be honest when answering questions from the carrier.  The more honest you are, the more accurate they can make your policy, and the more likely you are to have reasonable rates.
  5. Make sure your vehicle is protected.  If you’re buying insurance on a new vehicle, make sure the vehicle has airbags, anti-lock brakes, and an anti-theft system if possible.  These measures increase your own safety, and also make you a better investment for the insurance company.  While you’re at it, park the car in a garage or off the street.  Not every provider will offer a discount for this, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
  6. Agree to a mileage restriction.  Some companies will reward you if you don’t use your car to drive great distances, because this increases the likelihood that your car will be safe and perform for a long time.
  7. Make larger payments on premiums.  If you agree to higher premiums (such as paying the full annual amount up-front), you’ll likely be offered a discount on your premium.  Also consider increasing your voluntary excess.  If you agree to pay more in the event of an accident, your premiums may go down.  If you do have an accident and it’s not your fault, you get the excess back.
  8. Insure multiple vehicles with the same carrier.  Often, providers will offer discounts if you have multiple vehicles insured with them.  They also reward longevity.  If you stick with a good company for a long time, they will reward your loyalty with cheaper insurance rates and possibly with bonuses.

Comparing car insurance quotes gives you confidence that you found the most affordable policy.

Above all, be smart.  Do research online before you visit the provider and after you’ve met with them.  Compare rates. Don’t just price a single policy from a single carrier, shop policies and request quotes from multiple insurers. 

Don’t take anything at face value – check into it.  If you have the opportunity to do so, choose a safe car, or a safe area to live in before buying insurance.  These things increase your value to insurance companies and make their coverage of you more profitable for them.

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