The following is a contribution from a reader.
Shopping for car insurance can be a real pain in the neck. From choosing among all the different auto insurance companies that are out there to figure out exactly what coverage you should have can leave one feeling overwhelmed, confused, and possibly spending more money than you need to be.
While every situation is different, there are some things you can do to try and optimize your auto insurance, so that you’re not spending too much and you still get the coverage that is right for your individual needs. Here is a short list of things you can try, keeping in mind there are even more things you can do to optimize your auto insurance than what is listed here.
1) Bundle your insurance policies. While different companies have different rates for bundling your policies, you can almost always find some discounts if you are able to combine your insurance policies within a single company. For example, in the United States, a 2016 study found that people saved between $172 and $548 (average $295) when they bundled their home and auto insurance with the same company. Don’t own your own home? You could try bundling your auto insurance with renter’s insurance.
2) Shop around. Say your insurance company will give you a nice deal on bundling your insurance policies. But, could you find a better deal if you bundled with a different company? When you first ask your insurance company about bundling your different insurance policies, it may sound like you’re getting a great deal, but it is possible that you could find an even better deal by bundling your insurance policies with a different company. Shop around to see what’s available.
3) Do your research to find out if you have the right coverage for your vehicle and for your situation. Did you just randomly select coverage values when you were purchasing your auto insurance? You could potentially have way more coverage that you need or should have to begin with. There are a lot of resources online to help you understand exactly what kind of coverage you need. Additionally, you can always call your insurance company to have them talk you through the details. The bottom line is that you need to educate yourself on the minute details of the policy and get rid of whatever you don’t actually need.
4) Ask the insurance company what kinds of discounts they offer. Are you a student? Or a great driver with no accidents on your driving record? You may be entitled to discounts! Call your insurance company and ask them to tell you all about the different discount programs they offer. You might be entitled to more discounts than you could have known without asking!
Auto insurance can be very complicated, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. By checking out some of the tips listed above, you may be able to save yourself potentially hundreds of dollars and significantly reduce the financial headache caused by auto insurance premiums.