Rejoice, New Yorkers! The Empire State is not included in the list of states with the most expensive auto insurance. However, this does not mean that insurance coverage is cheap here. According to MSN Money, the average annual premium in New York is $1,627, which is still a considerable amount for most.
Fortunately, you can reduce your auto insurance costs, and without having to compromise quality or coverage. Here are some tips on how you can do it:
Think about insurance before making a purchase
It is wrong to consider auto insurance as an afterthought. Many car buyers think of the vehicle or auto loan first before thinking about insurance. To save money, don’t make the same mistake. Before you buy a car, consider the overall cost of car ownership, which includes insurance coverage expenses.
Also, choose your car carefully. Your choice of vehicle significantly affects the insurance premium you will pay. The amount you will pay is determined by a number of factors, including the vehicle’s price, safety record, repair costs and the probability of it being stolen. Know that some cars are cheaper to insure than others. You will find out how cheap or costly your insurance premium will be by looking at the vehicle’s claim history. If owners of a particular model frequently file claims, especially the expensive ones, that model’s rates are bound to be higher than others.
Opt for single-carrier insurance policies
In some instances, buying insurance policies from different providers can save you more money. In most cases though, merging policies with one carrier allows more savings. Do some research to find out which is the best option for you. Insurance firms often offer discounts to those who avail of several policies from them, such as home and auto coverage. Other times, they charge less if all the vehicles in a single household are insured under the same policy.
Comparison shop insurance providers
Knowing which insurance options are available out there can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in premiums. Insurance policies and rates vary, so you need to do some shopping around to find the best yet affordable option. You can make use of online services that allow you to get multiple quotes at one time, but you always have the option to contact insurance carriers directly to request for their quotes. Before you make a decision, get quotes from at least three insurance companies.
Raise your deductible
The deductible is a specific amount of money that you need to pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company provides the claims specified in your policy. The more you pay out-of-pocket, the lower your insurance premiums. While you may need to pay more money upfront in the event of an accident, the insurance savings you will get over time will be more substantial. You can save 15 to 40 percent in collision and comprehensive coverage just by increasing your deductible.
If you are worried about needing to pay a huge sum should you need to claim, start saving money as soon as possible. You should keep the money you save on insurance premiums and build a fund that will come in handy for future claims.
Ask about discounts
To get some savings, you need to seek them. Ask the insurance company about discounts that you can avail. Insurance carriers typically offer discounts to people who meet certain criteria, such as teen drivers who have taken a driver’s education course. You may also pay less insurance if your vehicle is equipped with safety features such as anti-lock brakes and alarm systems.
Maintain or improve credit
If you have damaged credit, take steps to repair it. If you have good credit, try to improve it before you get auto insurance. You should do this to reduce your insurance expenses.
Credit scores are now being considered when determining insurance rates. Insurance companies view drivers with strong credit more favorably than those with weak credit; they believe the former are involved in less accidents. You should therefore get a copy of your credit report and see what you can do to boost your credit standing.
Drive safer and drive less
Believe it or not, the way you drive and the frequency of your driving affects the rate you will get. The better your driving skills, the more savings you can have. This makes sense since those with clean driving histories are less likely to make claims because there are lesser chances of them getting involved in accidents. The same thing applies for low mileage drivers—if you drive less than the average number of miles per year, the likelihood of you getting involved in an accident is lesser.