Posted August 30, 2013 | Filed under topic Auto Insurance Buying Tips
When people are looking for car insurance quotes, they are often comparing companies based on the premiums for comprehensive and collision deductibles as well as personal injury and property protections. While the actuaries who determine these rates may differ from company to company, insurance shoppers should know that there are a variety of discounts that are sometimes available that could save hundreds of dollars.
Insurance companies often offer policies for home insurance, ATVs, motorcycles and others. It benefits them to have a customer that takes advantage of each of them because they know they will receive multiple premiums. If you can combine multiple vehicles, or a vehicle and home or renters’ insurance, for example, you will often be able to improve upon the quote once you’ve shopped around.
Vehicle Safety and Protection Car Insurance Discounts
Since every state requires some amount of personal injury protection for occupants of one’s own vehicle as well as those in other vehicles involved in any accident, they like to see cars that are relatively safe. While you might have a vehicle that gets great government or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ratings, car insurance companies are looking for anti-lock brakes that are standard on most vehicles, as well as air bags and motorized seat belts. Other companies may offer lower rates for cars with additional protections.
Car insurance shoppers who are looking for low-cost comprehensive coverage will also want to look into dealer-installed or after-market anti-theft systems. These can include alarm systems or immobilizers that will limit the possibility of a car thief making off with your vehicle.
Driver History and Usage
Insurance companies often pull your record from your state department of motor vehicles. The “look-back” period can range from three to five years in most cases for both accidents and moving violations. What many people may not realize is that many states have cooperative agreements so that a ticket you got on a vacation may transfer to your own state and add points to your own driver’s license. You can request a copy of your record from your state before you begin the quote process.
The other major factor regarding how you drive is the amount of mileage you put on your vehicle in a given year. While the average that companies use is 12,000 miles, if you work from home or close to it, you likely drive much less. If you want, you can keep track of your last gas receipt or two and multiple it by your vehicle’s fuel mileage to get a decent estimate.
Billing and Loyalty
Any time an insurance company can reduce costs or guarantee income, people shopping for car insurance rates will see lower premiums. If you pay on a monthly basis, you may be paying up to 10 percent more that you would if you paid twice a year or even on an annual basis. While this may not be possible on some budgets, companies also offer lower rates for those who allow for an automatic debit. In addition, if you are comfortable printing out receipts or simply saving them on your computer, you can also receive paperless discounts.
If you are shopping for a new policy, you may not be able to take advantage of loyalty discounts, but you should still be mindful of what one’s are available. If you can save $1,000 in your third year of coverage, that’s the equivalent of saving more than $300 per year, for example.
Getting a car quote online is an important first step because it allows you to compare companies based on their regular offerings, and you can also get a sense of their financial stability which affects their ability to pay for repairs or any medical bills caused by an injury. However, some also offer discounts for members of the military and students in good standing, so if there is a relatively small difference in two premiums quoted based on your background, it could be worth checking these out as well.