Car in motion driving

10 Auto Insurance Buying Tips  

April 11, 2024

Auto insurance is an ongoing and essential expense for drivers. With raising rates people are searching for effective ways to reduce their insurance expenses without compromising the quality of their auto insurance coverage. Education and consulting your independent insurance agent at Robertson Ryan are key to building a customized insurance program for you. Below are ten established methods to reduce costs without compromising necessary coverage.


Qualify for Insurance Discounts

Many insurance companies offer discounts you may not be aware of. For instance, bundling your car and Umbrella or Property insurance can lead to a lower premium and owning a home or condo often times qualifies you for a discount. Paying your premiums upfront instead of monthly may also help reduce costs. Your agent can help identify these and other discounts that may apply to your carrier.


Embrace Safe Driving Programs

A good number of insurance companies reward safe driving and can monitor your habits via an app you upload onto your phone. By joining these programs, your premium may align more closely with your actual driving style. If you’re a cautious driver who avoids rapid acceleration and hard braking, this could be an excellent way to reduce your rates. However, riskier driving might result in higher premiums.


Increase Your Deductible

Increasing your deductible can be smart if you’re willing to pay more out of pocket in the event of a claim. This means you would shoulder a larger portion of the costs in case of an accident, but your regular premium payments would typically be lower. It balances immediate savings and potential future costs, so weigh this option carefully based on your financial situation and driving habits. It is often times not recommend to turn in smaller amounts of damage, so having a deductible of $1,000 or more can help.


Reevaluate Your Coverage

It’s wise to review your coverage periodically. In terms of saving, some policies may have bells and whistles that might not be important to you such as towing or rental coverage. If you’re comfortable with it, consider reducing your liability limits (rarely recommend this) or dropping optional coverages like comprehensive coverage, especially if your car is older and not financed or leased. Work with your agent to ensure you have enough coverage to protect yourself adequately. Most importantly, when appropriate, allow your independent agent to compare your auto
insurance with other carriers to see if better options are available.


Take a Defensive Driving Course

Some insurers and states offer discounts for completing a defensive driving course. These courses have the potential to lower your insurance rates, as well as improve your driving skills, leading to safer driving and possibly fewer violations and claims in the future.


Choose a Car That’s Less to Insure

The make and model of your car significantly impact your insurance rates. Some vehicles are inherently cheaper to insure due to their safety record, the statistical likelihood that they’ll be stolen or the cost of repairs. Next time you’re in the market for a new car, talk with your agent to identify what these cars are and consider having them run a quote between different makes or models.


Inform Your Insurer About Secured Parking

If you live in a big city with higher risks of damage or theft, securing a parking spot in a garage can positively impact your insurance rates. Let your insurance provider know if you’ve decided to use a paid parking garage for your vehicle. This could be considered a safer option for storing your car and might result in a lower premium due to reduced risk.


Boost Your Credit Score

Improving your credit score can significantly reduce your car insurance rates. Many drivers save on auto insurance by moving from a fair to a good credit tier. This adjustment may help decrease insurance costs in states where insurers can use credit ratings as part of their rate-setting algorithm.


Regularly Update Policy Details

Ensure all details on your car insurance policy are accurate and up to date. Small variations, such as your car’s trim level and safety features, can influence insurance costs. Also, update your policy if there are changes to the drivers in your household, commute or annual mileage, as these can lead to lower rates.


Keep Young Drivers on a Parent’s Policy

For young drivers, being on their parents’ insurance policy can cut costs significantly, sometimes by as much as 62%. Adding a teen to a family policy is usually cheaper than having them on a separate policy. However, expect higher rates if the young driver has a history of accidents or violations. Work with your agent to compare individual and family policy costs in such situations.

For more details, contact us at Robertson Ryan Insurance today.