I’ve found that one of the most annoying aspects of being a car owner is the insurance. I think it’s just plain evil! The premiums, making sure it’s renewed, fluctuating rates, dodgy salesmen, the whole nine yards, my life is complicated enough without having to deal with it. When I was a kid, I thought school was evil, now that I’ve grown up I realize that if it wasn’t for school I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’d be flipping burgers at the nearest fast-food chain instead. Don’t get me wrong, I still think school is evil, but I’ve grown to realize that it was a necessary evil, and the same applies for insurance, as tedious as it is, it’s very, very important.
Look, I’m a good driver, cautious, safe, and I leave the speeding to the bi-weekly track day visits, but you can’t account for others on the road right? If a young punk decides to yell ‘swag’ or ‘YOLO’ (if you don’t know what those mean, count yourself as blessed, thank the Lord and forget about it, I wish I could) or whatever the latest fad is, and jumps the signal, ramming into me in the process I sure as heck don’t want to pay for it just because I suffered the abject misfortune of being there at the receiving end of his or her idiocy. So I look for damage limitation instead, since I’ve accepted that insurance is inevitable, I looked into the best ways to keep the costs down.
You can get cheaper insurance rates if…
- If you have a clean record. DUIs, speeding tickets, reckless driving, everything goes on your permanent record. The worse the rap sheet, the higher the premium, so don’t speed, don’t drink and drive, and if you feel you’re channeling the inner spirit of the lead from that action movie you just saw, just don’t.
- If you use all the safety gadgets. Anti-lock braking systems, airbags, traction control, all these things make your car safer. If your car is safer it’s less likely to swerve off the road, hence the insurance company will go easy on you. So load up on the safety features and not only will you and family be more safe and secure, but you’ll save on premiums too.
- If you are a woman. No jokes, women on an average pay less than their male counterparts. I’m not suggesting you go in for a gender change procedure (unless you want to that is, I won’t judge) what you could do however is buy the car and the policy on your wife’s name with comprehensive coverage which means even if you’re using the car, it’s still covered by the insurance policy.
- If you drive less. Some insurers will charge you less if you drive less on an average. Some firms in some states even have a pay-as-you-drive concept where your mileage decides the amount of insurance you pay. So use car pools and public transport when you can, and drive only when you have to – you’ll save a lot on insurance.
- If you aren’t young. I know what you’re thinking, it’s not like you have a time machine stocked in your background so that you can get past the magic number of 26 years after which insurance becomes cheaper (if you do however then why are you reading this article? You have a time machine!) Similar to the women suggestion, get the policy in your dad, or preferably your mom’s name and enjoy the double benefit of a women policy older who even qualifies in terms of age.
- If you apply for discounts. There are a whole bunch of discounts available based on a wide array of variables. A clean record, regular premium payments, no claims bonuses, loyalty bonuses and even relatively safer professions can mean more discounts, so explore these options. The Hartford, GAINSCO and Selective Insurance are just a few examples from the hundreds that offer discounts on at least one of the above factors, so dig deep and find them.
- If you refrain from ‘pimping your ride.’ Modifications, to insurance companies, are a big no-no, so if you’re thinking of getting custom, one-of-a-kind body work done, then be prepared to pay a custom, one-of-a-kind, and really expensive insurance. So keep it stock and simple and you’ll do just fine.
Don’t go overboard however and get a really cheap policy that gives you only the meanest most meager of coverage. Being that thrifty can end up causing more harm than good, so make sure you’re adequately covered and are getting the best possible deal, but don’t compromise on the former for the latter.
Author Bio: Elvis Donnelly is a father of two who works from home and lives with his wife. He is a voracious reader and likes to keep abreast of current affairs on personal finance, technology and innovation, and takes a keen interest in environmental issues. In his spare time, he loves taking on home improvement projects and considers himself a closet chef.
My insurance company also provides discounts the longer I stay with them. I’ve been with them now for 15+ years so the loyalty factor actually saves me quite a nice sum each year.
That is great to hear. In Canada, we don’t get deals like that. Things are pretty regulated.
My insurance is pretty high now since I had two fender benders and a few tickets but that was about two years ago. My driving records been good since. I’m hoping my insurance company will cut me a break soon.
The longer you go accident free, the better. In the next year or two you should see a reduction in your premiums.
Our car insurance is pretty low. We shopped around like crazy and applied for all applicable discounts.
It pays to shop around. Taking time to find the best deal is often worth the work.
Good list! I prefer to always check out my options when making financial decision
I think that is a good life skill. Check out your options for any decision.
I lowered my rate by taking the defensive driving course (online). I’m also over 30 and married so that helps too.
I know a few people that have taken that course. They said it was quite helpful.
We have full coverage on two vehicles, but have a $250 deductible for comprehensive and $500 deductible for collision on each. Our payment is $1,115 per year. This will be known as the good old days, because our son will reach driving age in 4 more years. We’ll see.
Lol. He might be a really good driver. Time will tell I guess.
Missed an obvious one…increase your deductible 🙂
True. In Canada this is definitely a factor in the price. I used to have a $100 deductable when I was younger and made less money but now with a stable income I increased it. My insurance is less.
Interesting. I have never done the calculations before for the long term.
Great to hear from you guys. @Mark – yes the deductibles was an obvious one. But make sure you’ve kept money aside to be able to put up the deductible. That’s obvious too but you’d be surprised how many people take that kind of risk.