Happy Car Insurance Day! Yes, it is a real thing.
Technically, February 1st is car insurance day, and while we do not exchange gifts or even splurge on a nice meal, it is a great reminder to look at your auto insurance policy. Some motorists may be shocked to hear their insurance premium could be a lot lower.
Are you paying more than needed? Do you have enough coverage? Is your deductible at a level you can actually afford?
These are all the questions to consider on Car Insurance Day. If you want to potentially find the biggest bang for your buck, it will require a little bit of time and research, but it is not hard.
According to WalletHub, car insurance rates can range from $716/year up to more than $3,000/year. There are several factors taken into consideration including age, driving history and even where you live…just to name a few. As you may have guessed, teen drivers and senior citizens are considered the highest risk and will more than likely bump up your policy’s premium.
While it is tempting to just go with the most inexpensive option, there are definitely a few factors you may want to consider. For example, if you happen to find a great deal on an insurance premium, you might want to check the policy’s deductible and ask yourself a few questions.
Is it too high?
Would you realistically be able to pay that deductible if you ever filed a claim?
Ignoring the deductible rate could be very costly if you ever needed to put your policy to use. On the other side, if you are a safe driver, the allure of keeping a lower payment might outweigh a higher deductible. That is a decision only you can make.
So, where do you go to compare rates? You have several options. There are sites like insurance.com that will give you free quotes from different auto insurance providers all at once. It can be as simple as answering a few questions about yourself and your vehicle.
However, you may want to consider picking up the phone and calling the insurance agencies instead. Oftentimes, insurance agents can help you maneuver the system and find discounts you were unaware were out there. Ask potential insurance companies if they will give you a discount for paying your yearly premium in full. You may also want to ask if they offer discounts based on monitoring your driving skills. Tracking devices, when used have the ability and technology to watch your driving habits.
Also, if you happen to be a fantastic defensive driver with a clear record, make sure the insurance company knows your driving history and ask if they are willing to reward your driving behavior with a discount. To be clear, nothing is guaranteed, but it is worth asking.
Insurance bundling is another way that could help you cut costs. For example, some insurance companies may give you a discount if you purchase both your home and auto insurance policies through them.
Another possibility that a lot of drivers do not consider is group insurance. Does your employer offer a group plan? If so, make sure this quote is included in your research.
When comparing quotes, it is also important to look at the same types of coverage AND the same amounts of coverage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, you may want to consider primary liability, medical payment coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, collision and comprehensive coverage. Compare quotes from at least 3 different providers. Your family and friends are also great sources of information. Be sure to ask if they know of an independent insurance agent who can do the research for you! These agents may get quotes from different companies and can shop for the best insurance coverage and rates to meet your needs.
Finally, make sure the insurance company you go with has a good reputation. It is stressful enough dealing with an auto collision. You do not want to fight with your insurance company along the way. You can check your state’s insurance division to look at any consumer complaints made against insurance companies.
Remember, YOU are in the driver’s seat throughout this process so never feel pressured to make a quick decision. Take the time to do your research. It could, quite literally, pay off in the end.
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