Following these tips might save you some money on insurance

Having a vehicle is pretty much a necessity for most people. Having insurance on those vehicles is a necessity, too. However, if you don't know much about your insurance policy, you could be paying more than you need to. You can try the tips below and they just might lead to some savings for you!
  1. Compare rates annually. Once a year, you should use insurance comparison tools to see how your auto policy stacks up against other companies.
  2. Make sure you're covered by a company that is top-rated. Some large insurers have poor ratings for claim response time, whereas some small insurers have great ratings for claim times. Figure out which features are most important to you, and choose the company that has the best ratings for that feature.
  3. Check your credit using free tools such as Credit Karma. Believe it or not, your insurance premiums can be affected by your credit score!
  4. Choose a deductible that works for you. If you're young and living paycheck to paycheck, an auto accident could really sideline your life if you don't have that $1000 to cover your portion of the repair bill. You'll pay a higher premium to have a lower deductible, but for most people it's worth the peace of mind they get.
  5. Check to make sure your policy meets state minimums. The State of Ohio requires a $25,000 bodily injury policy along with a $25,000 property damage policy to cover the costs of another person if you cause an accident. However, these minimums are very low and could easily be used up in even a minor accident. What happens if you have an accident and you cause $75,000 worth of damage and your insurance only covers $25,000? You get sued, that's what. NO ONE wants that!
  6. Premiums are calculated on lots of different factors; your age, your credit, how new your vehicle is, and also how far you drive it daily. If your circumstances have recently changed and you're driving less than you used to, your policy premiums may reduce.
  7. If you do need to file a claim for repairs to your vehicle, make sure your policy covers use of OEM parts to fix your vehicle. Many insurance companies will direct body shops to use aftermarket parts which don't fit well, can rust easily, and can be inferior quality.
  8. Consider driving a different type of vehicle. Let's face it...that brand new Corvette is gorgeous and it's a blast to drive, but the insurance on it is pretty costly. If you're looking for more affordable insurance, consider driving a vehicle that has a reasonable amount of power, has excellent safety ratings, has an average repair cost, and is low on the list of vehicles that are most often stolen.
  9. Don't abuse your insurance, and don't let anyone else abuse it, either! Unfortunately, insurance companies can and do cancel policies if they feel you've made too many claims. For example, if you're hit by a person who has no insurance at all, but you have your own un-insured or under-insured driver policy, you can ask your insurance company to cover the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle since the person that hit you can't. The problem that exists with this scenario is that insurance companies will then look at any other claims you've had, and if they feel you've made more claims than the average person, they'll cancel your insurance. So don't file frivolous claims. If your deductible is $1000 and you get $1500 worth of damage to your car, don't file a claim. Just take care of the $1500 repair yourself. Likewise, many accidents are staged, where  people will purposely plan accidents just to get money from your insurance company. If you feel this has happened, take plenty of pictures at the scene of the accident and do not leave until the police arrive. Explain to the police in a calm manner how and why you feel that you've been the victim of a targeted accident.
  10. Ask your agent if you qualify for any discounts. If you have a good driving record or if you've added a security system to your house or vehicle, you may qualify for a discount. You don't know until you ask though so give your agent a call!
Categories: Finance