If you're willing to put in a modest amount of time and effort, you can find affordable car insurance no matter where you live. The key to finding car insurance bargains is very straightforward: research. The more thorough you are at scouting out potential insurers and policies, the better your premiums will be. Most consumers make the mistake of buying coverage prematurely on too little information, and they end up paying a steep price for their haste. On the other hand, if you are patient and follow the guidelines we've listed below, you will eventually find inexpensive auto insurance coverage.
- Shop around. Shopping around is as important as research when it comes to finding affordable auto insurance. If you only get one quote on car insurance, you will have no basis of comparison and thus no way of knowing whether the premiums are fair. By contrast, if you get at least four quotes, you will have a much better idea of which rates are the most competitive. You can either solicit quotes one by one on insurers' sites or you can get them all at once on a site like ours.
- Keep a clean driving record. Your driving record will have a powerful impact on your premiums, so try to keep it as blemish-free as possible. Don't speed or rack up other moving violations that will appear on your record. If you recently received a ticket, see if you can attend traffic school to have it expunged from your driving history.
- Hike up your deductibles. Low deductibles are nice when you have an accident, but most of the time, they don't do anything but drive your premiums up. If you're willing to deal with higher deductibles, finding affordable coverage should not be a problem. Remember not to get carried away, though. You don't ever want set your deductibles higher than you could afford to pay out of pocket.
- Look for relatively small insurers. Smaller, younger insurers tend to be more risk-tolerant than well-established insurers, so you may have better luck finding a cheap policy with them. Especially if you are considered a high-risk driver by other companies, a lesser-known insurer might charge you considerably less than other companies.
- Eliminate expendable coverages. You will have trouble finding cheap car insurance if you insist on including every possible coverage in your policy. For example, you may currently carry collision, comprehensive, and medical payments coverage on your auto insurance policy. Realistically, if you have an older car, you probably don't need to carry collision or comprehensive. Your car likely isn't worth much, which means these coverages are a waste of money. Moreover, if you have good health insurance coverage, you do not need personal injury protection, or medical payments, in your policy.
- Choose an insurer with whom you already do business. One of the most substantial discounts car insurers give is the multiple-policy discount. You qualify for this discount if you have more than one type of coverage with the same insurer. For instance, you might have your home, life, and auto policies with the same company. When you shop for car insurance, start with your current homeowner's or life insurance company to see what they can offer you.
- Research discounts. Most drivers qualify for more auto insurance discounts than they realize. Insurers offer dozens of discounts that can save you up to 20% on your premiums. Look into the discounts of all of the insurers from whom you receive quotes. See which companies offer the largest discounts for which you qualify. However, be careful not to select an insurer based solely on the size of its discounts. Often, the insurers with the biggest discounts also have the highest premiums.
- Go through an organization or an employer. Some auto insurers offer special group discounts to select corporations and other organizations. To find out about these offers, ask your employer or the clubs and groups to which you belong if they partner with any auto insurers. You may be able to get special rates through an alumni association, professional group, or business association.