For quite some time I’ve enjoyed pretty low rates from my auto insurance company. Like you, I’m sure you don’t want your hard earned money going to something that you hope you’ll rarely use. Still, it is one of life’s necessities that you can’t live without if you drive a car for any reason.
Insurance companies look for any reason to jack your rate up. And I mean anything, down to the color of your car since red cars have a higher theft rate.
Talk To Your Insurance Company
Ask your insurance company about all possible (not available) discounts for your insurance policy and pursue them. Consider which ones you are eligible for and which ones may take some work on your part to get so that you can reap the benefits.
Never plead guilty to a speeding ticket if you can help it. Always go to court to get it plead down or take a defensive driving course in exchange to have the charge reduced possibly to a non moving violation. Once you have a moving violation on your record, that gives the insurance company permission to jack up your rates.
Take a Defensive Driving Course
See above. This generally yields around a 10% discount which helps chop the premium down.
Check to see if your employer participates in a plan with your insurance company
Some government agencies, credit unions and other business types tend to have an arrangement with the insurance company to give their employees a %15% discount should the employees utilize their services. Ask your insurance company if your employer participates in such a plan.
Raise Your deductible
Raise your deductible to $500 or even $1000 if you plan to have that money on hand should you need to use it. This tends to be a significant area of savings depending on your policy needs.
Move to a safer neighborhood
The reality is that insurance companies participate in something knows as redlining. If you live in an area where thefts are high then you will have higher car insurance rates. These are also areas that insurance companies target for redlining.
Redlining is the practice of denying, or increasing the cost of services such as banking, insurance, access to jobs, access to health care, or even supermarkets to residents in certain, often racially determined, areas.  It describes the practice of marking a red line on a map to delineate the area where banks would not invest; later the term was applied to discrimination against a particular group of people (usually by race or sex) no matter the geography.
When I moved to DC some years ago I remember my uncle telling me I would need to move out of my neighborhood at the time if I wanted to get decent car insurance. My first place was in the hood and I chose to live their because of the cheap rent but it would also cost me hundreds more in car insurance. When I eventually moved down the beltway and across state lines, that’s when my car insurance dropped by 35%. You could not pay me to go back there.
Buy a Safer Car
Is your car rated highly for safety? Check out recent consumer ratings to determine your car’s safety score. A red Ferrari will cost more to insure than a Toyota. This is also do to parts cost but mainly due to the safety options that come loaded with the car. Add a car alarm or get low jack – talk to your insurance company about the options available to you in this area. Most of the time you can buy a car with all of these things already installed instead of buying them after market.
Do Not Tell the Insurance Company That You have Teenagers Living with You
My mom taught me this when I was younger. She did not tell the insurance company that I was in the home because it would jack up her insurance. I would not tell them that you have teenagers, in my opinion, they only need to know who will actually be driving the car. If the teenager will drive the car then yes, but otherwise, no. Teenagers in the home are rated as a high risk factor, therefore some insurance companies will increase your premium once they know you have teenagers that reside with you.
Do Not tell The Insurance company that you allow anyone else but you to drive your car. Nor should you allow anyone else to drive the car that isn’t on the registration or title. Their driving and credit history factors in which hurts your changes of getting a low premium. For years, I did not allow my husband to be listed on my car insurance because he had a speeding ticket that was still on his record. I waited for 5 years to pass after that speeding ticket before I added him to the policy. Surprisingly, adding him helped because he has a longer driving history due to being a few years older than I am.
Their credit score will play a huge role as well. Insurance companies engage in the practice of tying your credit score with your ability to pay your car insurance. I’m not sure that I agree with this but within their realm of trying to determine risk, I can see how it would play a role.
Improve Your Credit
See above. The lower your credit score, the higher the premium. When you apply for car insurance, a soft pull on your credit score is done which helps to determine your risk and ultimately your premium. Late payments are a sign that you will be late with your insurance payment and the insurance company will see you as high risk which equals higher premiums.
Bundle Your Policies
Should you need several insurance policies, insurance companies like this and will give a discount for keeping all policies with them.
Shop Around And Compare Rates
Once you know and understand the coverage that you need, take this and shop around with different companies and see who comes in the lowest. Local car insurance agents will give you the best rates. Try not to go with cut rate car insurance but don’t go with a company because you like their ads either. Check out the reviews around customer service and reliability to make sure they will be there when you need them.
Ask for Discounts
Ask the rep about qualifying discounts such as an alarm system or taking a driving course. Weight the cost vs benefit to make sure taking a class is worth it. If your class costs $300 and the discount is only $50 then not it isn’t worth it.
What are some tips that you’ve used to reduce your auto insurance premium? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook!