Car insurance can be an expense that many Americans struggle with, but is legally required to be on the road. If you feel as though you can’t afford the top tiers of coverage and don’t know what to do, there are options out there for you that can be less expensive. It’s always a good idea to see if you qualify for available discounts, and find ways to potentially reduce your coverage limits. Take a look at some of the important factors that affect your rates, and see how you can help make your rates more affordable in the days to come!
Locating the Least Expensive Providers:
Insurance companies don’t always leave a lot of room for people to negotiate insurance rates, but it’s always wise to compare rates from several providers to secure the least expensive option. There are 3 ways we have found that are the most effective to compare rates.
- Call independent insurance agents or companies
- Check rates directly on company websites
- Use a comparison website to investigate rates in your zip code
The Ever-Helpful Discount:
Many online car insurance quotes automatically apply discounts after obtaining your vital information. It is well worth your time to give the most accurate info possible, especially if it could lead to a decreased rate. There are many savvy ways to save money, including:
- Bundling policies together
- Including a student with good grades on your policy
- Adding another vehicle to your policy
- Maintain an acceptable driving record
- Driving a vehicle with the latest safety features
Explore Defensive Driving Courses
Taking a defensive driving course can help give you a discount depending on your provider and your location. If you are a resident over 55, you can take an eligible course or class approved by your state’s DMV or Department of Public Safety. Some of them can even be completed at home online, and quickly get you up to speed on laws and defensive driving techniques that help with avoiding accidents and taking extra steps to protect yourself.
Cut Back a bit on Coverage:
The specific type of coverage you choose is a large factor in your insurance rates. If you opt for the minimum amount of coverage your state requires, it appears at first as your least expensive option. It still does not provide you with the best financial protection in case you encounter an accident, but there is a reasonable balance you can seek out. If you are in an accident, you will be thankful to have even minimal liability coverage to avoid extreme financial hardship as a penalty.
Improving Your Credit Score:
Credit history has long been a means of determining how much you will be charged for car insurance. Your credit data is compiled along with other attributes to create a credit-based insurance score. It is an indicator of how well you manage risk and your overall behavior. Once you improve your credit score, your rates will also be more feasible over time. Immediately after an event such as bankruptcy, you may notice a harsh increase.
Using the “Buddy System”:
If you can join someone else’s car insurance policy, it is another way to save on costs. If they have a clean driving record and are within an age range that isn’t deemed high-risk, they can find themselves suddenly in quite favorable graces. If an 18-year-old driver joins a policy of an acquaintance who is in their 30s with a clean record, their rates will improve. But, for the policyholder, their rates may rise since they are taking on the one who was the brunt of the new risk.
What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your Car Insurance?
You may, unfortunately, lose your coverage if you do not keep up with your car insurance bills. Most companies provide a grace period of around 10 to 20 days before they cancel your policy. This lapse in coverage does not look good on your record, and when other companies are looking at insuring you, it will weigh on whether or not you can successfully obtain a new policy. If your debt is sent to collections, it can show up on your credit report and affect your ability to get a new place of residence, or employment.
Auto insurance coverage can be expensive, but there are many options for you if the cost seems daunting. A policy to see you safely on the road is one of our specialties here at the Alexander Agency of St Charles, and we always take pleasure in knowing your life is easier, safer, and compliant. Whether you are a large family, a recent graduate, or anyone else embarking on a new phase of life, we can assist you with finding the coverage that will instill 100% confidence in every errand or long haul you plan!