With everything else on your mind, have you put your auto insurance on auto pilot? It's not your fault if you have -- lots of people do it. In fact, the insurance companies count on it. They make more money that way by raising your rates over time.
But maybe it's time you review your policy and compare it with what else might be out there that can save you substantial amounts of money this coming year.
Here are 10 tips that can help you make an informed decision as to whether you are paying too much for auto insurance:
Request higher deductibles.
Your auto insurance deductible is the amount you agree to pay upfront before your insurance company pays its share to repair your damages. Inquire about increasing your deductible from, say, $200 to $500 -- you might be surprised at how much you can save every year. In some cases, you could save between 15-30% on the cost of your collision and comprehensive coverage. If you increase your deductible to $1,000, you may be able to cut it even further -- perhaps by as much as could decrease that cost by at least 40 percent, or more.
Drop coverage you don't need.
Do you drive an old beater? Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverage altogether. Who needs to pay a premium that is higher than the actual value of the car to begin with? So go online and check out how much your car is actually worth. You can do this at Edmunds.com.
Don't pay for double coverage for medical.
If you're already covered with a decent health, life and/or disability insurance policy, just buy the the minimum personal injury protection that your state requires.
Don't buy a car that thieves like to steal.
It’s more expensive to insure a car that is popular with car thieves. You can check out the statistics for that at ConsumerAffairs.com. And while you're at it, don't buy a car that is expensive to repair.
Many insurance companies offer a “low-mileage discount” to drivers who qualify. So if you can carpool to work, you might save on gas AND insurance. And not only that -- you'll sustain less wear and tear on your vehicle too. Lastly, many cities reserve an express lane on the freeway/interstate for carpoolers -- so you'll get to work faster, too. Call your insurer and find out whether you qualify.
Safety features can save you money, too.
Did you know that You can often get a discount if you own a car with automatic seat belts, anti-lock brakes and/or daytime running lights? Also, if you have an approved alarm system or other anti-theft device you can save money, too.
Put your teenager on your policy.
Don't put teens on their own policy -- it costs too much. And another thing about teens: if they keep decent grads and pass an approved drivers’ training course, you can get a reduced rate for that as well. Lastly, if your teen goes to college more than 100 miles from home, they can qualify for further discounts -- if they leave their car at home.
Put all your family's vehicles with one insurance carrier.
Many insurance companies will be happy to take your premiums for more than one car at a time. And not only that -- if you buy homeowner's and/or life insurance too, you'll save even more.
Ask this simple question: "What other discounts should I know about?"
If you’re older than 50 and/or retired, you might qualify for a discount through organizations like AARP; if you have no accidents or points on your record, you could qualify for a safe-driver discount; and/or if you’re a longtime customer with your carrier, you could save some money that way.
Reconsider before paying extra for roadside assistance.
Here's the thing: getting towed might actually increase your premium and/or affect your eligibility for coverage. And adding insult to injury -- you might have had coverage through your credit card. Check it out. Sometimes having roadside assistance through an independent company might be the best deal of all.
So there you have it -- lots of ways to save on your auto insurance. Pick up the phone and check it out. After all, who wouldn't like to have an extra few hundred (or thousand) dollars to save or spend?