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A Penny Pincher’s Guide to Lowering Your Auto Insurance Costs

Nobody wants to pay more than they absolutely have to for a mandatory expense like car insurance. But since we all have to bite the bullet and deal with auto insurance bills, we have to get creative and find new, innovative ways to save money on our premiums. Below, we’ll suggest some simple strategies you can use in order to get the best possible price quote on your car insurance policy. So if you’re ready to save money, read on!

Strategy #3: Adjust the Type and the Amount of Coverage You Own

For starters, if you want to lower your auto insurance costs, then you might want to think about adjusting the amount of coverage you purchase. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this task is to lower the amount of liability coverage that is on your policy. Just be careful of how you go about this. Obviously, carrying the bare minimum amount that is legally required in your state will get you some of the lowest possible premiums around.

Mandatory Minimum vs. Recommended Liability Limits Legend: Mandatory State Minimum Recommended Liability Limits Minnesota Iowa New Jersey California Wyoming 15 30 45 60 75 90 105 120 135 150 165 180 $30 $60 $12 $41 $72 $125 $84 $194 $27 $83

 
But there can be serious financial consequences for you if you make this gamble and the coin does not flip in your favor. If you get into a serious accident, and you are deemed to be mostly or completely at fault, paying out the medical and property damage costs of the accident will come directly from your liability coverage limits. If it is a serious accident, there’s a very real chance that you may not have enough coverage to pay the costs. In such an event, anyone involved in the accident who you owe money to can come after you and sue you for both civil and punitive damages. The courts can seize and liquidate your assets in order to fulfill your financial obligations.

A safer way to adjust your premiums is to either raise or lower your deductible on your comprehensive and collision coverage. If you have a newer vehicle, or if you believe that repairs or replacement of your car be prohibitively expensive in the event of an accident, then you’ll probably be better off adjusting your deductible rather than eliminating the coverage altogether. Yes, you will have to pay a little bit more money to get your car back if you do get into an accident, but it could still save you a ton of money as opposed to paying 100% out of pocket. And if you never get into an accident, then you’ll save even more money on top of that.

Raising vs. Lowering Your Dedictuble Legend: Lowest Deductible Highest Deductible Florida Kansas California 25 50 75 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 $137 $62 $94 $25 $284 $85

 
Then again, there may be some situations in which you could save a decent amount of money getting rid of your comprehensive and collision coverage entirely. Older cars, cars with cheaper parts, or cars that have an extremely low trade-in value may not benefit very much from comprehensive and collision coverage. Really, the only way that it would cost less to file a claim and pay a deductible for damage to an older vehicle would be if your deductible with set very low – but as you can see in this chart, lowering your deductible will significantly raise your monthly premium. Over time, and especially if nothing ever happens to your car, you’ll end up wasting more money than you save.

Eliminating Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Legend: Without Comprehensive Coverage With Comprehensive Coverage Wyoming California New Jersey Iowa Minnesota 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 $83 $114 $194 $239 $125 $164 $41 $57 $60 $75

Strategy #2: Sniff Out the Discounts

When it comes to car insurance discounts, some companies are wise enough to be upfront and offer you every single discount they can find, based on your profile. This helps engender customer loyalty and benefits their business in the long run, even if they aren’t making as big of a profit off of you. But not all auto insurance providers are so forthcoming. If you suspect that you aren’t getting the discounts you deserve, then you have to channel your inner bloodhound and find them for yourself.

Standard Discounts vs. Extra Discounts Legend: Extra Discounts Standard Discounts Nationwide Mercury State Farm 21st Century ALFA 15 30 45 60 75 90 105 120 135 150 165 180 195 210 $139 $206 $138 $215 $124 $149 $121 $186 $93 $157

 
There are lots of hidden discounts out there that most drivers don’t even know exist. But if you start asking around, you’ll discover that you can save some serious cash. For example, did you know that there’s an advanced renewal discount if you contact your car insurance company two weeks before your next policy renewal and ask for it in advance? Most people can save between 8% and 10% off their next six months of coverage this way. There are also discounts for drivers with a higher education, drivers who own (rather than lease) their vehicle, and even drivers who can prove that they have a very short work commute. And no, this is not the same as a low-mileage discount – but it’ll be very easy to pair the two together and save even more!

Strategy #1: Compare Price Quotes from Different Companies

There’s a reason that comparing quotes among auto insurance providers is number one on our penny-pinching list. This is basically the Golden Rule when it comes to saving money on your auto insurance premiums. You don’t even have to compare that many companies at the same time – even getting as little as three separate quotes could potentially save you 22% or more on your policy.

Comparing Quotes Between Companies Legend: Average Quote State Farm Electric Esurance Safe Auto The General 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 $84 $77 $78 $76 $138

 
Of course, the more quotes you compare at the same time, the better. And you can compare as many quotes as you want with our help. Our website is designed and optimized to help you get fast, free quotes from dozens of different auto insurance companies in a matter of minutes. When you’re ready to start saving money, just type your zip code into the box and start searching for affordable providers.

 

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