Cheaper Auto Insurance Quotes Don't Always Translate Into Below Average Insurance Coverage
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Cheaper Auto Insurance Quotes Don't Always Translate Into Below Average Insurance Coverage

If you've ever wondered about getting cheaper auto insurance, you should take a few moments to check your coverage and your rates

August 17, 2021

Getting a cheap auto insurance quote feels great. Who doesn't like to save money, after all? There are ways to get the cheapest auto insurance quotes possible while still maintaining good insurance coverage. So whether you are looking for a cheaper full coverage policy or trying to go from full coverage to liability only, make sure you are taking advantage of every discount and money-saving trick.

Auto insurance quotes are free, so get a few.

Prices vary from one auto insurance company to another, so it pays to shop around for more than one insurance quote. One insurance company can quote you more than double what another insurance company quotes. So shop around! Make comparisons using the same insurance limits, deductibles and add-ons to ensure you're comparing apples to apples.

local / regional Auto insurance companies can offer cheap quotes.

Four auto insurance companies account for about half of the country's auto insurance business: Allstate, Geico, Progressive, and State Farm. Regional auto insurance companies, such as Erie Insurance and Auto Owners Insurance, often get higher customer satisfaction ratings than the bigger companies and sometimes offer lower insurance rates.

Get auto insurance quotes before you buy a new car and before adding it to your current Insurance policy.

If you buy a new car and then decide to add it to your existing auto insurance policy, you might end spending more for car insurance than you have to. Each auto insurance company sets rates a little differently, so the best auto insurance company for your old car may not be the best insurance company for your new car. Some insurance companies might not like you driving sports cars while other insurance companies might not care as much. That's why you should always get a new insurance quote each time you are considering changes to an existing policy.

lower auto insurance deductibles mean a higher insurance premium

If you're like many people, you copy the coverage limits and deductibles that your parents had when you were on their policy. But this practice might not be best. You might have a very low insurance deductible because that'd the way it's always been. But the amount of money you can save on your insurance premium could be substantially if you raise your deductible even a little. In other cases, changing your insurance deductible might not change your auto insurance rate much. Always get a quote on different deductibles. You might find that raising your insurance deductible for comprehensive (glass, animals, fire, theft) from zero to $500 might only save you a few dollars per year on your premium, so you might decide it to be worth keeping the lower deductible. On the other hand, raising your collision deductible may save a few hundred dollars per year. If you only expect to file a periodic windshield claim and you know your current deductible is more than the cost to replace, you can raise your deductible without incurring additional cost if you ever need to make a claim.

lower auto insurance coverages mean a lower insurance premium

The same thing goes for coverage limits. Have they always just been the same? Look at changing them. In North Carolina, the minimum coverage requirements are $30,000 Bodily Injury for each person, $60,000 total Bodily Injury for all persons in an accident and $25,000 for Property Damage. If you have significantly more coverage, you can save money on your auto insurance premium by reducing the amount of coverage. But make sure to maintain enough insurance coverage to pay for any claims you may need to file! If you happen to do $50,000 of property damage and you only have the minimum property damage coverage in North Carolina, you can end up short.

On the other hand, if you have a great driving record and a good insurance company, raising your coverages might not cost you much at all. Some drivers can get insurance premium increases of around $20 per year by raising their coverages four times above the minimum just because of their good driving histories and length of time with their auto insurance companies.

auto insurance claim averages

Making a decision to change your auto insurance policy or to get a new policy can be daunting. But consider that the average auto insurance policyholder makes a claim only once in 11 years and reports a total loss only once in 50 years. It's always a risk when you decide to reduce or remove coverage, but it's one that statistically could be in your favor. But you probably don't want to remove or reduce coverage if you get into more trouble than the average driver or if you have a teen driver in the house.

Dropping collision coverage on older cars

If you have collision coverage on an older car, you might end up paying more in auto insurance costs than the car is worth. If your collision premium multiplied by 10 is more than your car's value, you should consider whether you really need it. It might be cheaper to risk a loss and not have a claim than to pay out high insurance premiums for years on the possibility that you might suffer a loss.

A higher credit score usually means lower auto insurance quotes

More and more auto insurance companies are taking credit scores into account when they calculate rates. If you have bad credit, your auto insurance quote can end up being 50 percent more than if you had good credit. You should be getting multiple auto insurance quotes anyway, but it's even more important if your credit is less than perfect.

Ask about low-mileage insurance discounts if you don't drive much.

If your yearly mileage is low, your auto insurance company might give you a discount. Got a short commute? Carpool often? Whatever your situation, having low mileage can get you a lower rate with some companies, so be sure to ask about it. Don't lie about your mileage because insurance companies can easily find out your true mileage if you end up making a claim or from your yearly North Carolina vehicle inspection.

Some auto insurance companies offer group discounts.

Auto insurance companies often give premium discounts for being members of certain organizations or professions. Each insurance company has different affiliations, so you'll have to ask each one for a list. Many of the larger companies offer discounts for members of the armed services, auto clubs, and certain large employers.

Don't be afraid to ask the auto insurance company for a list of all other discounts.

Some auto insurance companies discount rates for vehicles with certain safety features, like anti-theft devices or motorized seatbelts. Others provide discounted rates to senior citizens and to students whose grades fulfill certain requirements. Sometimes the insurance companies will advertise these discounts heavily to drum up business. But sometimes they won't, so you'll need to ask.

Auto insurance companies with the biggest discounts sometimes have the highest rates.

You've heard about stores marking up their products and then offering steep discounts as a way to fool customers into thinking they're getting a good deal. Well, auto insurance companies are no different. Keep in mind that the cheapest insurance quote may come from the insurance company offering the fewest premium discounts. One insurance quote might be $500 and include no discounts. Another might be $900 and offer a $200 discount. The $200 discount may look attractive until you realize it's still larger than the other quote. Always compare auto insurance quotes from one company to the next.

Never let your auto insurance coverage lapse.

Short lapses in auto insurance coverage, even as little as one day, can disqualify you for insurance premium discounts. So make sure to pay on time each time. If you switch auto insurance companies, don't cancel the old coverage until you are sure that the new coverage has taken effect. You don't want a simple miscalculation to disqualify you from future premium discounts.

Don't pay your auto insurance policy in installments if you can help it.

Most auto insurance companies charge an administration fee if you pay in installments. This amount can vary but will add up with the more installments you have. If you pay a service fee of $5 per installment and you pay monthly, you can end up paying $60 more per year. You might also be getting hit with other fees in your installment, such as a statement fee for not receiving your statement electronically. Watch the fees. They add up.

Bundle your auto insurance policy with other insurance policies.

Insurance companies typically give discounts if you buy two or more types of insurance from them. They might also give you a break for insuring more than one vehicle. But this isn't always the best case. You might get cheaper auto insurance from one company and cheaper insurance for your home through another company. Depending upon the insurance quotes, it may be cheaper to have your policies all with one insurance company or it may be cheaper to have them with different insurers.

Use your garage to get a lower auto insurance rate.

Parking either off-street or in a private garage can help lower your insurance premium. Your vehicle is less likely to be damaged if you park it off the street and there is even less chance of damage if you park in your garage. On the flip side, having a garage can also make your home insurance go up because a vehicle may catch fire and spread to your house.

Make sure your auto insurance policy has no unnecessary extras.

Some auto insurers offer benefits and plans meant to help drivers, such as new car replacement. Many of those packages get added to your policy automatically and sometimes aren't worth the extra money. You might have mechanical breakdown coverage added automatically to your insurance policy when you add a brand new car, which is unnecessary if you have a brand new car under warranty. You might not need towing coverage if you belong to a car club that also offers towing coverage.

Going green can save some green on your auto insurance.

Many auto insurance companies are offering lower premiums to policyholders who buy an environmentally-friendly vehicle. But before you rush out to buy a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle, keep in mind that auto insurance companies typically charge a higher premium for these vehicles anyway because they cost more to repair and replace, mostly due to the more expensive technology and their smaller footprint that causes more damage in a collision. They also have more collisions with pedestrians and bicycles due to how quiet they are.

types of auto insurance discounts commonly available

  • Customer Loyalty
  • Bundled Policies
  • Early Renewals
  • Multiple Cars
  • Good student
  • Home-Owner
  • Low Income
  • Senior Citizen
  • Car Clubs
  • Military Service
  • Accident-Free History
  • Good or Safe Driver
  • Low Usage / Low Mileage
  • Defensive Driver Training
  • Anti-Lock Brakes
  • Anti-Theft Device
  • Alternative Fuel Vehicles
  • New Cars
  • Safety Devices / Restraints
  • Auto-Pay
  • Paid-in-Full
  • Paperless