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How to Lower Car Insurance Premiums

September 17, 2012
Car insurance premiums are a necessary evil. You hope you never need your car insurance, but you want it to be there for you if you do. Also, unlike other types of insurance, car insurance is mandated in most states. You need car insurance; that is out of your control. However, how much you pay for your car insurance is something you can control. If you know how to lower car insurance premiums, you can save hundreds of dollars a year. There are plenty of tricks for how to lower car insurance premiums, and many of them are not that difficult to implement.

How to Lower Car Insurance Premiums

Bundling

A very popular way to save money on car insurance and to lower insurance payments is bundling. Bundling simply means, combining multiple insurances with the same company. Rather than seeking out one company for your home insurance, another for your life insurance, and another for your car insurance, you buy all three policies from a single company. Because the company is getting all your business, they will often offer deep premium discounts on each individual policy, resulting in cheaper premiums and more money in your pocket every month, not only with your car insurance, but the other insurance policies you need as well.

Safe Driving

Your auto insurance company assesses your insurance premium based on your perceived level of risk. The better your driving record is, the less of a risk you are, and the more competitive your rates can be. Unfortunately, there are some elements of your risk assessment you cannot control: your age, gender, marital status, etc. However, you can certainly do your best to avoid accidents and drive defensively. The longer you go without an accident or moving violation, the better your premium is likely to be. You can also improve your perceived level of risk by taking an advanced driving course and, if you are also purchasing theft insurance, adding a car alarm and/or recovery system helps lower that portion of the overall premium.

Discount Groups

Being a member of certain groups can give you a discount on your insurance premium. In fact, this type of discount can be cumulative if you are a member of more than one group. For example, you may get a discount for being a member of a military organization, for being part of AAA, or even for being a member of the AARP. If you are a member of any national organization, find out if that organization qualifies for auto insurance premium discounts, and if they do, make sure your auto insurance company is aware of your membership. You may also want to find out if the company you work for has any kind of group auto insurance deal that you can take advantage of.

Payment Options

It's nice to spread out your car insurance payments over time, but it may be costing you money. Check to see what your insurer's policy is. There's a good chance that the fewer payments you have, the lower your premium will be, so that if you pay your entire premium annually, you pay considerably less that you would if you made four quarterly payments, for example. Even two yearly payments could save you a significant amount over monthly or quarterly payments.

Change Your Policy

Remember that the nature of your policy also affects your premiums. If you're comfortable with your driving safety and need to lower your premiums, you can raise your deductible. You'll have to pay more out of pocket if there's an accident, but you'll pay less in yearly premiums. You can also check to make sure you're not carrying more auto insurance than you need. While you don't necessarily want to only carry the bare bones minimum coverage required by law, you also don't want to be paying a hefty premium for collision coverage on an old car that might not be worth a few years of premiums if it's totaled. Don't sleepwalk through your policy; make sure you have the right amount and types of coverage for your car and situation.

Change Your Carrier

Insurance companies want your business, especially if you are a safe driver. If you're not happy with your current premium, there's nothing to stop you from doing a little comparison shopping. If you like your current carrier, you may even be able to bring a lower price from another provider back to your existing provider and get them to lower your rate. There are plenty of ways to get that insurance premium down, and most of them aren't hard to implement, so there's no excuse for paying more than you should. If you think you're getting a poor deal on car insurance, make some changes now before it costs you any more of your hard earned money.

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Motor vehicles are big, complicated machines, with thousands of parts. Keeping it all running properly--and making sure your vehicle's resale value stays high--means staying on top of maintenance. Whether it's simple oil changes, selecting tires, or seeing if the repair guy at the local shop is giving you the business, we'll help guide you through. And don't forget: Proper maintenance includes keeping your car looking good, too, and we show you what works and what doesn't when it comes to keeping your car or truck looking as good as new.
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