If you own a car, then you almost certainly need to purchase auto insurance. Every state requires proof of financial responsibility, and for most vehicle owners, this means you have to satisfy the requirements that the state sets of liability insurance. If you’re still making payments on your auto loan, you’ll also need to satisfy your lender’s requirements for collision and comprehensive coverage. Liability insurance is the kind of coverage that pays for damage to the other guy, but comprehensive and collision insurance protect your vehicle.
These are some quick facts about U.S. auto insurance:
- The average cost of car insurance in the United States was a little over $900 in 2014.
- The cost of coverage has increased in most states in the past year between one and five percent.
- Averages aren’t that useful because they could include various kinds of coverage, and premiums vary quite a bit in different states and cities.
5 Ways to Buy Cheaper Auto Insurance
If you have to pay auto insurance premiums each month, it makes sense to take some time to learn a little bit about how this kind of coverage works. Consider these five tips to curb your premiums:
- Some cars are cheaper to insure than others: If you’re planning on buying a new or used car, you should get quotes on that make and model before you decide which one to buy. For many, premiums are a big part of the cost of ownership. You might think that older or cheaper vehicles are always cheaper to insure, but that isn’t always true. In general, safer cars are less expensive to cover.
- You could change your driving habits: If your current insurer has just raised your rates, you might consider commuting by bus or rail and leaving your vehicle at home during the week. Many insurers offer discounts for low-mileage drivers, and you’ll also help save wear on your car, gas money, and the environment. You might be surprised to find that it actually works out cheaper to buy a bus or rail pass.
- You might consider increasing your deductible: Increasing your deductible from $250 to $1,000 could save you hundreds of dollars each year in premiums. You just need to be sure that you know there’s a risk of paying more out of your pocket if you do have a claim. It’s a good idea to set some of that money inside just in case, but if you don’t have a wreck, you’ll get to keep it.
- Look for an insurer with the right discounts: Many large insurers offer discounts for things you might already be doing or could easily do. For example, you might save money if you bundle policies with the same company, take a defensive driving course, or make sure any teen drivers in your family maintain at least a B average in school.
- Shop around for the cheapest auto insurance premiums: Some companies are better for some drivers than others. For example, the insurer that offered you low rates might not be the one who will write your your teenaged driver in for an affordable price. Even great drivers won’t get the best rates from some companies if they have low credit scores.
This may seem like a lot to keep in mind, and it’s only a portion of the help that you can get with FinancialHelpers.com. You might need to buy auto insurance, but you don’t need to overpay.