Many consumers are unknowingly overpaying every month for their auto insurance coverage. There are many factors which affect your insurance rate these days, and they are changing. You need to take the time to examine your policy. Eliminating actions which raise your liability and shopping around for rates could easily save you thousands of dollars on your premiums annually. Explore the ways to get the best rate today.
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Start With Your Current Policy
When people receive their insurance premium bills, they typically just pay them without a second thought. What most people don’t know is that like most things we buy and sell in this world, your premiums are not set; they are negotiable. If you have been with the same company for several years, or have multiple cars under the same policy, you are an important asset to your insurer. Also those who have multiple types of insurance policies with the same company, such as life, home, and auto have leverage to negotiate better rates. With so many insurance brokers available these days, especially online, competition for your business is high…it’s a buyers market. Contact your current policy holder and check and see if they are currently offering you the following discounts:
Loyalty Discounts: If you have been with the same company for a long time or you have multiple accounts with them, request a customer loyalty discount. Suggest that you will take your policy to another insurer for a better rate if they are unwilling to match it.
Low Risk Occupations: Insurance is based on risk assessment and math. Certain professions simply have lower incidences of auto accidents, making them safer bets for insurers. Engineers for example, are statistically proven to have lower incidences of claims. Tell your insurer what you do for a living, and find out if you qualify for a discount.
Professional Auto Clubs: Memberships in certain automobile programs and clubs, such as AAA, are offered discounts by most insurers. Ask them if you are an active member of these organizations or see how much you will save if you join. You may find that those membership fees you pay for can be deducted right out of your savings for a win-win situation for you.
Combination Discounts: Many insurers offer coverage on much more than your vehicle. Ask your provider about the discounts available should you keep your home, life and other insurance policy with them in addition to you car.
Safety Features: If your car is equipped with certain safety features, your vehicle may qualify you for a discount. These include: airbags, crumple zones, and anti-lock brakes. Make sure your insurer knows everything about your car in order to offer you the best discount. Be aware that certain vehicles are judged higher risk vehicles, such as 4x4’s, and will cost you more.
Shop Around for a New Policy
If these discounts are not available, or your insurer is unwilling to lower your premium, start shopping around. With the advance of the internet, shopping for auto insurance online has never been easier or more practical. Many carriers will actually show you their rates when compared to others, right on their website. Also certain companies specialize in different aspects of coverage.
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For example, Allstate offers good rates to good drivers, so if your record is clean they may be your best bet. However, the same company will typically offer a driver with a blemished history a much higher rate than another company. Bottom line, you need to look around as rates vary significantly from one to the other.
There are a few things you should know before applying for your insurance andyou’re your rate will be affected. Your credit score will be factored into your risk assessment. The higher the score you have the lower you will pay. How you use your vehicle will be asked and how you answer will affect your rate. Long commutes to and from work will add lots of mileage to your monthly estimate. Look into carpooling or maybe taking the train if possible. Finally registering your vehicle in an area deemed high risk will make you a higher risk, meaning you will pay more. Try registering your vehicle under another address if you have one available to you.