Do you see a lot of car insurance ads on tv? Do you get confused wondering if you are getting the best rate for your vehicle? My husband says there must be a lot of money in car insurance for the insurance companies to keep putting out so many ads.
Car insurance is one expense that many people pay more for than they need to. What would it take for you to change your car insurance company? Would you make a change if you could save several hundred dollars a year? It is definitely worth your time to look into it.
Where should you start looking for a Car Insurance Company?
You can get free insurance quotes for the price of a phone call or search on the internet. Start your list with a basic search for car insurance on Kanetix where you can compare insurance quotes.
Ask your friends, family, and co-workers if they are happy with their car insurance company and agent. Local agents can be very helpful if you have to make a claim and certainly don’t mind referrals. I’d say to compare a minimum of 3 companies with your current one, but the more you contact the better your savings potential will be.
According to Canada Trust Many Things affect your Car Insurance Premium
- Driving History
- Type of vehicle you drive
- What the vehicle is used for?
- Your Location
- How many people will drive the vehicle?
- What you chose as coverage
- Industry related factors such as markets, inflation, taxes and regulations
As you get quotes and information from various insurance companies, you will want to organize your notes on a spreadsheet or on a paper version.
Information to Include:
- Company Name
- Email Address
- Phone number
- Name of the agent you talked to
- URL of the company website
- Leave space to add comments to emphasize the positives and negatives of each company. Include another space for questions you have for that company if you call them back. I highlight questions to make sure I can see them at a glance when talking on the phone to an agent.
Tip: Always ask what discounts the company offers-for example State Farm has a Steer Clear Drivers Program you may be eligible to take part in and receive a discount. You may also find that belonging to a professional association or College or University Alumni gets you a better premium.
Here are 12 points including some questions you may want to ask your insurance agent to help you save Big Money!
- Are you Accident Free? A good driving record with few or no previous accidents may get you a great rate. Don’t lie about anything on your application, like marital status or who will drive the car. They have ways of checking your information.
- Is your Vehicle a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle? Ask if you get a discount for driving a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle.
- Which of my vehicles will be the cheapest premium for my teen driver? If you have a teen driver or young adult driver, ask which vehicle would be the lowest to insure if the young driver uses it as their primary vehicle.
- What is the difference in price between different deductibles? Many companies have the option to change your deductible from anywhere up to $1000. This means if anything were to happen and it was covered under your policy you would pay the first $1000. The higher your deductible the lower your rate potentially could be.
- Do you have any Anti-Theft Devices? If the car doesn’t have them when you buy it, you can sometimes install some after purchase to get an extra discount. Always consult your insurance company first as not all companies allow this as they maintain it must be purchased factory direct.
- How Many Miles You Drive Per Week? Be sure to let the insurance company know how many miles you drive that particular vehicle on average each week. Ask how many fewer miles you would need to drive to qualify for a lower rate. You might be able to carpool or take public transportation a couple of days a week to qualify for this.
- Which car is best for long commutes to work? If you have more than one car, ask which one would get the best rate for your daily commute. Sometimes switching vehicles can make a fairly big difference overall. Generally a newer car will cost more to insure, so driving an older car the longer distance makes sense. If you plan to insure more than one vehicle with the company, find out which arrangement of miles per week per car gives the lowest total bill for insurance.
- Do you have Good Grades? Some insurance companies even offer you a discount for good grades. See working hard in school may pay off after all. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Defensive Driving Class Young Drivers or Graduated Licensing- You may be eligible for a discount if you are or have completed the Ontario’s Graduated Licensing System with a clean driving record. If you have completed an Ministry of Transportation qualified driving course you may qualify for discounts.
- Are you Retired? If you are a retiree you may be eligible for a discount with your insurance company. Make sure to ask about what you need in order to qualify for this discount if it is offered.
- Will a Multi-Vehicle or Product discount lower the rate? Most companies will give you a better overall deal if you also switch your house, rental or life insurance to their company. If you have a boat, you will usually get your best boat insurance deal with a bundle that includes your car and house. The more policies you can include in the bundle, the more you can save. It’s extra work, but it often yields significant savings.
- Will buying a certain model or color vehicle give me a better rate? When you buy a new car, be sure to check the insurance rates on the various models you are thinking about buying. The cost difference of insurance between difference vehicles can be significant.
When you narrow down your choices to two or three insurance companies, you can make your final selection on whatever basis you like. However, the agent who consistently returns your phone calls or email messages quickly and seems happy to answer your questions should get strong consideration, in my opinion. If you are considering companies with local agents, the deciding factor between similar bottom lines could be how comfortable you are with the agent.
You don’t need to wait until your current policy expires or is almost expired to switch to a new company. The old company will refund to you what you already paid; pro-rated to how many days are left on your policy with them. So don’t let that hold you back. You can even let your new insurance company coördinate it all; they often will take care of most of it for you.
Then you can sit back and let your research pay off. You’ll reap those savings year after year without any additional work. After some years you might want to check around to see if you can find a better deal at that time, but often you won’t need to change if you did good research in the first place. We did this about 25 years ago and nobody has been able to give us a better deal yet. Twenty-Five years of savings adds up!
What other savings have you received from your insurance company? Do you get a savings for paying the year up front as opposed to month to month?
Good luck and I hope you find some big savings on car insurance for your budget!
Guest Post By: Hello! I’m Maggie from Square Pennies, a personal finance blog. I write for anyone who likes to save money. I love family, friends,nature and not wasting resources. I invite you to visit Square Pennies where my motto is: Save Money; Cook Great; Have Fun! You can live well on a budget!
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