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9 Easy Ways YOU Can Really SAVE On Your Auto Insurance
By John Page
So you’re shopping around for auto insurance. What do you need to know? Well, there are lots of ways that can save money. After 30 years of shopping daily for our clients we’ve decided it was time to share some of our “Page” family secrets. Many of these money saving ideas may apply to you.
1. Discounts, Discounts, Discounts – Auto insurance companies offer several discounts for a variety of reasons. Some won’t surprise you like Multi-Vehicle discounts for more than one auto on your policy. Discounts for Driver Training for your young driver. Some companies give a Student Away at School Discount if your child is at a college/university over 100 miles away from your home.
However there are lesser known discounts that you need to ask for, as each company offers different discounts. It can get overwhelming comparing all the different companies in the marketplace and their discounts. Here is a checklist to help:
- College Degree
- Good Credit
- Safe Driver
- 55 Alive Program
- Drivers Training
- AAA Member
- Future Effective Date
- Pay in Full
- Currently Insured
- Current Life Insurance
- Student Away
- Multi Car
- Clean in 3
- Clean in 5
- Accident Free
- Anti Theft Device
- Passive Restraint
- Low Annual Miles
2. One Insurer, Multiple Policies – Do you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy? If so, is it with the same insurance company that provides your auto insurance? Typically if the answer is no, you’re paying too much – for both policies. However, we’ve found that some companies don’t understand Idaho property. A trampoline, fireplace, acreage, and pets can scare some companies enough to increase your premium. But other companies understand that Idaho is Different and the risk like a trampoline in your backyard is much smaller compared to the trampoline in a BIG City, like New York.
Tip: Talk to your broker/Independent agent about multi-policy discounts.
3. Good Driver, Good Price? – It’s no secret that the better your driving record, the less you will pay for auto insurance. But did you know that most people qualify as “good drivers” and are eligible for discounted premiums? Some good drivers pay a lot more than others, however. Many auto insurers are actually a collection of several insurance companies in which each caters to a certain type of driver. The worst drivers go in one company, the best in another, and a lot of people wind up in one of the middle companies. These middle people pay less than the worst drivers, but more than the best. The thing is many of these middle people have driving records that are just as good as those who are insured by the companies that offer the lowest rates. Yet these middle people are paying more. Why? The usual reason is that they don’t know any better. No one told them which insurance company in the group had the best prices. And, probably, no one told them there was even a group of insurance companies. If you have a spotless driving record, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be paying the lowest price a group of insurance companies has to offer.
4. The Beauty of the Bus – Do you drive to and from work? If you do, you are literally paying a premium to do so. Insurance companies charge you significantly higher premiums if you drive to work. And, the more miles to your commute, the higher the premium. Many companies offer a discount if you don’t drive your vehicle to and from work. Many INL workers qualify for this discount, even if they drive to the bus stop.
Tip: If you drive a short distance to work or ride the bus.
You should be sure to reap the savings of lower insurance cost.
5. High-Profile, High-Cost – The type of car you drive is a major factor in what you pay for insurance. Is your vehicle a magnet for thieves? Is it more expensive to repair than most cars? If the answer to either of the last two questions is yes, you’re paying more than the average car owner for insurance. However, some companies prefer high-profile cars and will even give big discounts for classic and exotic cars.
6. Raise Your Deductible – The deductible is the amount you pay before insurance kicks in if you have a claim. For example, if you have a $250 deductible and you have an accident in which your car sustains $1,000 in damage, you pay the first $250 and your insurer pays the balance, $750. The lower the deductible you choose, the more you pay. If you have assets, you can probably afford to absorb at least $250 and probably $500 if you have a claim. Also, many companies we work with have disappearing deductibles. For example they’ll lower your deductible by $50 per year claim free. So if you’ve had your same auto policy for a few years you might consider raising your deductible to save even more money.
Tip: If it’s been years since you’ve had an accident, you
may be better off raising your deductible and paying less
each year for insurance.
7. Drop Unnecessary Coverage – Let’s say you have an older car, one not worth very much. There’s really little point in having collision and comprehensive coverage. You don’t have much to protect. Remember, too, that you have to subtract your deductible from any potential payout you might get.
Tip: As a general rule if your car is worth less than $2,000 you shouldn’t have full (Comp and Collision) coverage. Between the deductible and the extra expense of these coverage, the cost is probably greater than the benefit. How much is your car worth? A local bank or auto dealer can tell you, or you could search the internet.
Tip: Make sure you are taking advantage of ALL the discounts available to you.
8. Taking the Defensive – Many insurance companies also offer discounts to those who have taken defensive driving training courses recently. Idaho Insurance law requires insurers to honor a request for this discount if you’ve taken an approved course. But you’ve got to ask for it. Some of the companies we work with have an online course you can take to earn up to 10% more off your premium.
9. Make Em Compete For Your Business – Every insurance company has a different preferred target of customers that they want to attract by offering those customers the best price. Auto insurance companies are very aggressive in marketing their products. So it’s very important devote time and effort in carefully scrutinizing each offer in order to find the best deal. And to be sure that the company meets your standards for Customer Service, Claims Handling, and Coverage.
It would seem that finding car insurance discounts and which companies would fit you best would be easy. But we’ve found that to be very confusing and that most people simply tire of shopping after checking with only two or three companies and then chose one out of expediency or confusion instead of careful consideration.
However, whatever your driving record or coverage needs, you should shop around, or let an experienced insurance professional shop around, for the best deal for you. There are literally thousands and thousands of coverage options from hundreds and hundreds of insurance companies.
In addition, not only should you try to get the best deal you can, you also need to make sure you have all the coverage you want/need. Using an Independent Insurance Broker is usually your best bet to get the most value for your auto insurance dollar.
At Page Insurance we take a personal interest in our clients. We like to share information about insurance that helps you protect yourself and your family. If you have any questions, regarding this information or your insurance coverage, please don’t hesitate to give us a call (208) 522-5151 or visit us at www.PageInsuranceLive.com
Wishing you the very best!
Page Insurance, LLC
© 2010, Page Insurance LLC, The reader assumes all responsibilities for his/her own actions in regards to any items discussed in this report. Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, federal, provincial and local, governing the use of any product or service described in this report in United States or any other jurisdiction is the sole responsibility of the reader. The publisher and author assume no responsibility or liability whatsoever on the behalf of the reader of these materials. The reader is encouraged to consult directly with his/her insurance professional.
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