Top Ten Secrets to Cheap Auto Insurance

When you have been arranging automobile insurance for years you may start to believe that you know everything there is to know. This may be true but would you be applying your knowledge when you are buying policies? Listing down the ways you can lower your premium helps you maximize the savings. So, here are some of the biggest discounts you can achieve and how you can achieve them.

  1. Drive a Low Risk Automobile

Every vehicle has an insurance rating. The lower it is the cheaper your premium will be. Generally, safer automobiles with higher security features are preferred by auto insurers. Their value and engine power are other two important considerations taken into account when you are getting quotes.

  1. Drive Carefully

Along with the vehicle insured the drivers insured is pretty important. If you can prove that you have been driving cars for some time without any claims it is a good indication that you will carry on the same. This will provide a high level of comfort for your insurer. And they would be happy to offer you cheap auto insurance rates as long as you stay claim free. You also need to mind traffic tickets too as they will see them on your records and adjust the premium accordingly.

  1. Make Sure You Keep a Good Credit

Vehicle insurers look at applicants’ credit score and adjust premiums accordingly. You can get quarter of your premium knocked out if you have a good credit with some providers. Also, you can get better interest rates for your credit applications and mortgage if you have a high credit score.

  1. Find a Home in a Low Risk Neighborhood

Quotes depend on your zip code as well. Every zip code has its own risk profile and companies know what is going on in there in terms of auto thefts, accidents, vandalism and other crimes. Generally, quieter areas out of the city are cheaper. You should consider the possible effects on premiums when you are moving next time. Furthermore, you can get extra discounts if you have secure, private parking.

  1. Look into Multi-car Policies

If you have more than one car in the family you can save a lot of money by insuring them all on the same policy. Multi-vehicle policies may include your RV as well with some providers.

  1. Bundle your Home and Auto Insurance

You would normally get further discounts if you buy all your policies from the same company. They offer intensives to bring other policies to them and this usually comes in the form of discounts.

  1. Take Advance Driving Courses

Young drivers can get discounts for advance driving licenses and older drivers can save money by completing safe driving courses. You should check which courses would qualify you for discounts before paying the course fees. Some companies may offer you discounts if you complete their online courses and pass the tests.

  1. Pay Premiums Upfront

A few carriers offer extra discounts if you pay the premium upfront. And many of them charge interest for instalment payments. So, you could at least save on additional costs when you pay the premium in full at the start.

  1. Consider Increasing Deductibles

Get quotes for higher deductibles and see if there is a point in increasing them. Generally, premiums go down when deductibles increased. This is a double edged blade as you will have to pay more out of the pocket if you increase deductibles. So, think carefully before hastily increasing them.

    10.  Shop Around for Lower Quotes

You can shave off large chunk of your car insurance costs if you shop around for the lowest rates. These days it is quite easy to get a few quotes online about half an hour. So, why not try and see how low your premium can go down.

This entry was posted on August 1, 2014.

Making Family Road Trips Safe and Enjoyable

The whole family will be looking forward to the holidays planned ahead. You need to get there safe and sound to enjoy your vacation. If you are driving to your destination taking precautions and planning ahead would make the journey enjoyable as well. How often you will be able to gather your family around. Take this chance to enjoy each other’s company.

Preparing your Automobile for the Journey

The last thing you would want is your family get stranded on the side of the road. You will probably see a few of them on favorite holiday routes every year. The first thing to do is to either get your car serviced properly if it is due or at least get it checked before you leave. Pay special attention to issues you have been having or noticing.

A quick oil and filter change, replacement windscreen wipers, tire, brake and exhaust checks are some of the cheap and essential ones you should have it carried out. Depending on season you should prepare your vehicle accordingly. You would check water coolant for summer and add antifreeze for the winter. You should also check that essential emergency kits are still in the car.

Planning for the Trip

Get a big tourist map out and plan ahead your breaks during the day and any overnight stays. Hopefully you will notice something to look forward to and visit on the way. These opportunities can be great to break the journey nicely and reduce tension. You may need to plan ahead for them. For example you may need to start a little early from home so that you reach to a nice picnic lunch location by noon time.

Ensure that everyone is involved in this planning. People are less likely to complain if they agreed to it and they can be excited to reach to the first location rather than being bored inside. Try to negotiate and find a mutual solution with your main target of making to your final destination in mind.

Preparing for the Journey

It really can be a memorable journey if you can beat boredom and get children excited. But don’t count on finding some games to play all the way. You will wish them to do their own things for a while and leave you alone as well. So, pack enough toys, gadgets, movies and other entertainment for everybody.

Don’t forget the snacks. Meals on the road can be very disappointing and there may be long waits and delays due to accidents. Your little angel can turn into a monster if she/he is hungry and bored.  Pack some of their favorite snacks and have plenty of liquid. They will keep asking for juice.

Have the Safety Talk

Hopefully nothing will happen but you should talk about safety issues on the road with your children. You don’t want them scattering around each time you stop for a break or wander off to the middle of the road in case of an accident. You should explain about the cars in service stations and how they should watch before they move.

Get Your Documents in Order

Prepare the documents you may need on the road. Registration papers, car insurance and roadside recovery plan details are some of the ones to make sure you have. If they are due for renewal deal with them before you start. If your roadside recovery is limited consider extending it to the best package. This may save you a lot of money if something happens.

One of the advantages of taking a car trip is that you can load a lot on them. Generally people load all sorts of useless things but forget few basic items. Concentrate on what you may really need and what is essential. You should mind not to overload the vehicle and close your views. Remember that you can buy most essentials anywhere.

This entry was posted on July 14, 2014.

Key Factors Affecting Your Car Insurance Quotes

Have you ever thought why some people get low and others get high vehicle insurance quotes? There are a few good reasons behind each price be it low or high. Companies take risk when they insure a particular driver and car and that risk has a price. They are pretty good at sorting out bad drivers and charging them expensive rates while they reward good drivers. However, there are a few more factors that affect your costs and they are discussed below.

  1. Your Personal Details: There is not much you can do about your age and gender and they affect the rates more than you think. Furthermore, your background, zip code, education and profession affect the costs as well. If you have a university degree you should check if your hard work in getting it will pay off with low premiums. Some companies offer special discounts for the graduates of a particular university or member of a certain profession.
  2. Specifications of Your Auto: Are you looking for engine power and how fast it can go up to 100 miles when you are buying a car? If you want to get low automobile insurance you should be looking for its insurance ratings, safety and security features. Certain cars are safer to drive than others and this is a sought after specification by insurers.
  3. How Customized Your Policy Is: The more you customize your car and policy the more you need to pay. If you can keep it simple you will have plenty choices available to you. However, you will have to pass a few good deals if you insist on certain types of coverage, insurers and you have specific conditions or requirements.
  4. Credit Score: This has nothing to do with driving but still one of the most influential factor in premium calculations. Companies are looking at other indications that they will not get claims from policyholders. According to their studies, people with good financial standing are less likely to make a claim and therefore deserve lower rates.
  5. Your Driving and Claim History: It would be shocking if they didn’t look at how good a driver you are and how many claims you have made in the last few years. These are clear indications of the risks they are accepting. You prove your abilities behind the wheel when you have no traffic violation tickets or claims in the last few years. Generally, they look at last three years.
  6. Where You Live: This is clearly visible when you compare prices in the cities and small country towns. There are higher auto thefts, crimes and congestion in the cities that force the insurers charge more for increased risks. It is a very important factor that can result in tripling the costs. Also, the increased coverage requirements and laws that protect consumers better in your state can result in higher premiums.

Anything that causes companies to pay claims or increased amount of money for such claims is a factor taken into account. At least ten more of them can easily be listed here but those above are the key ones and they can deliver the largest savings for you.

This entry was posted on June 21, 2014.

How Much Can You Really Save on Auto Insurance?

We regularly see enticing advertisements that suggest we can save 15% or $500 on our premiums. It may be naïve to believe everything that we hear within an advert. In the same way, there may not be any reason for being skeptical about them.  The answer may be both yes and no to the question of can you save money.

What Discounts You Can Qualify?

It will mostly depend on your circumstances and what discounts you can qualify. Companies will not offer you savings unless they are likely to save money as well. Generally, good drivers with no claim and traffic tickets are profitable for car insurers and they are likely to get around thirty percent savings.

It doesn’t make sense that you pay as much as any other driver. When you prove that you are a safe bet you see your dues to be reduced. This is a perfect example of risk and rewards playing to cancel each other. Risky drivers pay more while low risk ones enjoy low premiums.

There are two more large discounts to qualify before looking at smaller savings. You can maximize your savings by choosing a car with low insurance ratings. Cars are rated based on their crash test results and statistical claims evidence. If your new automobile is considered high risk then you would be paying higher premiums.

On the other hand, you will qualify for discounts if you drive a safe automobile and it has all sorts of security features to prevent it from being stolen. So, specifications of your vehicle will affect your insurance rates considerably. You may have to change your auto to maximize the discounts.

The next large savings can be achieved by having a great credit score. This is getting even more important as everyday a new study proved the correlation between claims and credit score. You may need to find a company that offer the largest discount for motorists with good credit history.

There are a few more reasons for offering you lower premiums. These are your zip code, profession, yearly mileage and any memberships to recovery services and other professional bodies. For example, soldiers can get better rates from USAA.

How Else You Can Save? 

You can indeed take up the companies on their offer and see if they can beat your current renewal terms. Every company that you approach for a quote potentially can offer you lower prices. You just have to check if this is the case or you are still better off where you are.

Ideally, you want to get four or five quotes and compare them to each other and your current policy. The trick here is to ask the quotations always on the same basis. This will make your life a lot simpler when you sit down to compare them and choose one. Otherwise, you may only confuse yourself and not realize why certain policies are more expensive than the others.

Combining Policies 

Insuring all your cars under one policy or buying home and auto insurance from the same company can save you money. The good thing is that you would probably be able to tell which company is better and switch to the one you like. There are a few other ways and you can find out about them by checking other blogs and forums. Use all the information available to you and pay less.

This entry was posted on May 23, 2014.

How Much Do Zip Codes Affect Car Insurance Rates?

People choose their location for many different reasons. Some people like to be close to work or children’s school. A few others may have the money and flexibility to choose where they live and go for the best neighborhoods. Lower income families may not have many choices and look for apartments in locations with low rents.

These areas can be poor and troublesome neighborhoods where crime rates including auto crimes can be higher. Also, they may be densely populated areas with high level of congestion on the roads. So, how much your zip code can save you money or increase your premium? This question has been regularly dealt with in the press and vehicle insurance websites.

How Auto Insurers Look at Applicants’ Addresses?

First of all, it is legal for car insurers to take zip codes into account while they are preparing their rates. And generally, each company has their own formula that rates each zip code based on traffic, crime and accident statistics. The fact is that their formula is secret they there are questions as to what else they may be looking at when they set these rates.

A few authors have suggested in the past that some carriers may be charging extra for poorer neighborhoods even it is not warranted by the losses suffered from policyholders in such zones. This is a hot topic and we should leave it aside by saying that it is difficult to deny these allegations if the companies doesn’t come forward and explain their pricing strategies.

How High Can Your Premium Go If You Live in a Poor Neighborhood?

Several quote based comparisons carried out by various authors and sites suggest that you may end up paying as much as twice more due to your zip code. This would be a lot clearer when you compare city centers with suburbs. Generally, city centers can be really expensive for many reasons. There are higher concentrations of traffic as you go towards the center of most cities. Parking spaces are limited and private parking is scarce. Accident, auto theft and vandalism claims are higher as well.

As a result it is not a surprise to see much higher rates in the centers with high population.  You shouldn’t be surprised if you have to pay twice more and this causes serious problems for low income families. Many cannot afford the costs and give up driving. So, they may be driving without insurance. Cities like Detroit and Chicago have higher uninsured drivers rate compared to rest of the country mainly because of these reasons.

However, drivers in some pockets of the cities can be paying a lot more than the drivers in their neighboring zip codes. This may be because of the other factors that are taken into account in premium calculation. These are mainly credit scores, educational background and profession. Certain areas may have a higher concentration of working class motorists. When high rate of unemployment is taken into account as well you can see why those motorists may not have high credit scores.

Would Moving Out Help?

Moving out of these areas to another zip code zone can save you a lot on your premiums. This has been demonstrated many a times. The savings can be much sharper in certain regions and depending on which direction you go. If you are moving further out of the city center you can see the rate changes clearly.

This entry was posted on October 25, 2013.

The Best Ways to Save on Automobile Insurance

Who doesn’t want to save money on their essential spending? Any money you saved on one part of your spending can be used for another item in the list or for pleasure. When you are running on a tight budget you may not have much left for pleasure and you may have to be creative about it. Here are the best and largest discounts you can get on automobile insurance.

Good Driving History and Claim Record.

The clearest indicator that you will not cause large losses to auto insurers is your driving record and claim history. If you haven’t had any traffic fines, speeding tickets and loss point on your licence it is obvious that you are following the rules. Also, if you haven’t had any accidents or make a claim for some time there is a good chance you will not make one in the near future.

When you have a clean driving history and no claims for at least three years you would get pretty good discounts ranging from twenty to thirty percent depending on the company you apply. So, find the one that offers you the most discounts.

Choose an Insurance Friendly Car

Depending on your choice of automobile you may be getting cheap auto insurance premiums for the life of it or paying tons of money to insure it. Not every vehicle is liked by companies and the rates would vary a lot depending on safety and security rating of the automobile you are buying.

So, make sure to check the rating of the car you are considering buying. You can either check online for insurance rating of a particular vehicle or you can get a few quotes quickly for it. This will reveal how insurers see this particular make and model. Otherwise, you may end up regretting your decision of going with a particular one.

Maintain a Good Credit Record

These days you will end up suffering a lot if you don’t have a good credit record. Everyone looks at your credit score from banks, credit card companies to landlords and car insurance companies. You can save a lot of money on premium payments if you have a perfect record. Keep this in mind and see how you can improve your score and have the largest discounts.

Shop Around for the Lowest Rates

People pay around thousand to couple of thousand dollars for premiums. This is a large expense to make without shopping around for the lowest prices. You shop around when you are buying even small things. Why wouldn’t you look for the best deals on policies? It is a lot easier than you think and you can save a lot of money for yourself.

So, you can either get a few quotes online quickly or talk an agent and see what they can do for you. Or there is no reasons why you cannot do both and make sure you used every options. Also, it is pretty easy to switch providers once you find a lot cheaper vehicle policy somewhere else. All you need to do is to set up your new policy to start from the date the old one finish. Remember to call your old insurer to tell them that you are not going to renew or want to cancel.

This entry was posted on October 21, 2011.

Auto Insurance for Teenage Drivers

If you have just passed your driving test you cannot probably wait to start driving. It is a big step in your life and you want to get on it as quick as possible. Hopefully, there are plans ahead to make this transition easy for you. Many parents decide to splash for a new automobile for their children’s birthday or when they pass the test.

You probably have a car in mind and probably not going to get it if your parents are sensible. A new car should be carefully chosen for its safety features. Teen drivers are the group that cause the four times more accidents than any other driving age group. When they crash a car they cause a lot of damages, injuries and death.

When this is the case looking for a sports car, a light automobile or even a small one wouldn’t really be the best choice. Maybe a small car is alright as long as you don’t take it to highways. They shake when you pass a truck that you worry what would happen if you have an accident. Sports cars are never a smart choice for a new driver. Besides, you may not be able to find insurance coverage for it.

Perhaps you should take your time and do plenty research on which cars are cool and safe enough. In the meantime you can go on your parents’ policy and drive the family auto. They will need to inform their carriers that you have passed the test and they now have a teen driver at home. Regardless of you intending to drive their car or not their premium would be affected by you.

If a teenager gets his/her own car and insurance policy they may be taken off parents’ policies. Otherwise, companies will have to include them when they are offering quotes. People may not even realize that their premium is expensive because of young drivers in the household and may be paying high rates even though the youngsters are never driving the insured cars. This may be because they have their own vehicles or they are away at the college. You need to talk to your insurer about the position and make sure that you don’t pay more than you need.

It is expensive to insure a teenage driver. But you can reduce the costs by buying them safer automobiles, encouraging them to get at least B grades at school and looking for the most competitive teen driver insurer. Not every company likes them and a few tries to avoid them at all costs. They are not going to offer you a low rate.

However, teen driver auto insurance is a good business for smart insurers. First of all they charge a lot of money to insure them. Secondly, they grab the chance of being their first insurance providers. People don’t forget their first cars, insurers, loves and this puts the company in a special place with young policyholders. This advantage is taken seriously by some companies who have special incentives for teenagers.  You should find these companies that are willing to take a chance on you.

This entry was posted on December 10, 2010.