Three Simple Ways to Save on Car Insurance

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imagesCar insurance is a source of frustration and confusion for many people.  People want to save money with low cost auto insurance, but at the same time, they worry about choosing a policy that leaves them inadequately protected in the event of an accident.  Fortunately, it is possible to save money on car insurance without getting yourself into trouble.  Here are a few ways to responsibly keep your car insurance costs down.

Be Realistic About What Coverage You Need

The value of your car is important to consider when you are choosing a policy.  If you’ve just bought a brand-new car, paying high insurance rates for full collision and comprehensive coverage makes sense.  If, however, you drive a very old car with a low value, the money that you spend annually on insurance may approach the value of the car itself.  In other words, it might cost you less to just replace the vehicle in the event of a severe collision, if one even occurs.

You should also consider whether characteristics of your car or your lifestyle make it more likely that your car will incur damage.  For instance, comprehensive coverage covers things like theft, vandalism, and weather damage.  If you live in a low-crime area, an isolated place, or a mild climate, you may not need to be as concerned about these sources of damage.

Protect Your Car and Be a Safer Driver

If you show that you are taking steps to protect your car, you may qualify for lower insurance rates.  People who park in garages and install alarm systems or tracking devices are often eligible for lower comprehensive rates, for example.  However, making modifications to your car that insurance companies see as adverse can result in higher rates.  For instance, putting a lot of work into your car to improve its power and performance could be taken as a sign that you tend to drive fast or in a reckless manner.

On a related note, your insurance rates are directly affected by the way that you drive.  Getting a ticket for a traffic violation or being involved in an accident will cause an immediate rise in what you pay every month.  Observing the speed limit, putting away your phone while driving, and refraining from driving drunk are some of the easiest ways to avoid accidents.  You may also be able to qualify for a better rate by actively demonstrating that you are working on becoming a better driver; taking defensive driving courses is one way to do this.

Find Out About Special Discounts

Many drivers actually qualify for low cost car insurance but don’t realize it because they haven’t asked about special discounts.  There are a number of factors — both obvious and surprising — that can help people save money on car insurance.  People who can demonstrate that they are low-mileage drivers may get a lower rate.  Elderly people sometimes qualify for what is basically a senior discount.  Teenagers who have a good GPA may get a reduced rate for that.

Shaving money off your car insurance policy takes some thought and research, but it is well worth the effort.  Saving even a little money each month can make a big difference, and if you ever do need to make an insurance claim, you’ll be grateful that you didn’t just choose the first inexpensive policy that you came across.

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Courtesy of New Jersey car insurance IFA Auto

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