Consumers are countering rising gasoline prices and other vehicle operating costs by capitalizing on lower auto insurance rates, according to leading insurers.
Auto insurance policy costs and regulations vary significantly from state to state, but there are a number of areas that consumers can control and adjust to optimize car insurance prices and quality. Here are 10 tips for keeping your auto insurance rates down from Answer Financial, a leading online insurance shopping service:
- Check Credit Rating: In all states except California and Georgia, an individual’s credit rating is a key factor that affects auto insurance rates. Get copies of your credit report and correct any inaccurate derogatory points.
- Check Motor Vehicle Report: Like credit reports, state driving records may include inaccurate data on personal driving records. Report errors to both your state motor vehicle department and your auto insurance carrier.
- Double-Check Accident Reports: Local law enforcement and car insurance accident reports occasionally include mistakes that will result in a higher rate.
- Never Let Coverage Lapse and Review Deductibles: Maintaining auto insurance coverage without a lapse makes a significant difference in rates. Additionally, drivers almost always save on car insurance premiums with higher deductibles of $500 or $1,000.
- Look for Package Rates: In addition to multiple-vehicle discounts, consumers often save substantially by packaging all their insurance policies together with one company.
- Don’t Miss Good-Student and Mature-Driver Discounts: Most insurers lower rates for mature drivers (55 years and over) and for students who carry a 3.0 grade point average or better.
- Take a Driving Safety Course: Many insurers will cut auto insurance rates for drivers who take an approved driving safety course.
- Don’t Forget Car Pool Credit: Many auto insurance carriers drop premiums if you carpool to the office, especially if you drive more than 10 miles round-trip.
- Check Rates Before Buying a New Car: Auto insurance rates vary considerably from car to car.
- Take Credit for Safety/Security Features: Drivers should make sure they are receiving lower car insurance rates for safety features such as air bags and antilock brakes.
Finally, all the experts agree; comparison-shopping is the No. 1 way to save on auto insurance. A recent study showed that auto insurance premiums can vary hundreds of dollars from company to company for the same coverage.
For help in maximizing savings with competitive, comparative quotes from top insurance carriers, call Answer Financial toll-free at 1-888-588-5111, or click here.