Car insurance is a necessary expense that helps safeguard against significant financial loss after an accident. And it’s mandatory in every state except New Hampshire.
Yet, it can also be expensive, especially if you have a higher-value car, a few points on your license, or numerous drivers in the home.
Learning how to save money on car insurance is just one way to save. Here are some tips for saving money car insurance companies want you to know.
1. Bundle car and auto insurance
Purchase more than one type of insurance policy through the same company. By bundling insurance, such as home and car insurance, the overall costs could often be lower.
You may be able to bundle renter’s insurance, RV coverage, or other valuable insurance products with your carrier to save money. This multi-policy discount is often one of the best ways to reduce your overall costs.
2. Pay less if you drive less
Some providers offer a low-mileage discount. If you drive fewer miles than others, you may qualify for a lower policy premium.
Driving less means there’s less risk to the insurance company that you will file a claim. If you don’t commute to work or drive as much as you used to, ask your insurance company about available discounts.
Want to learn how to build wealth like the 1%? Sign up for Worthy to get ideas and advice delivered to your inbox.
3. Improve your credit score
Your credit history could play a role in how much you pay for car insurance. Maintaining a good credit score indicates to insurance carriers that you take making payments on time seriously.
What’s more, some research indicates that people who have good credit tend to file fewer insurance claims, reducing the risk to the insurer.
4. Choose a policy with accident forgiveness
Will your rates go up after a car accident? They could, depending on who is at fault.
Some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness, a feature that limits or eliminates the risk of rate increases due to accidents as long as they don’t happen often.
5. Get a new quote online
If you’re paying too much for car insurance, or think you may be, just get a quote online. There’s no drawback: Switching policies doesn’t hurt your credit score, cost any money, or require fees to transfer mid-term.
Compare car insurance companies and policies to determine which coverage fits your needs for the price that works for you. Many insurance companies also offer lower introductory rates to new customers.
6. Add an anti-theft device to your car
Many car insurance policies offer a discount for anti-theft devices, such as a car alarm on the vehicle.
Other features, like VIN etching on your windows, a steering wheel device that keeps it locked, or a GPS-based tracker could help reduce your costs. If you have these, be sure your insurance company knows about them.
7. Sign up for automatic payments
Did you know that just signing up to make payments automatically could help you lower your car insurance bill? Some insurance companies offer an auto-pay discount because it helps ensure customers pay on time.
Also, find out if going paperless could also help you save money. It helps the company save on printing costs (and may help the environment as a result).
8. Reduce car insurance for an older car
Never reduce car insurance to a point where an accident could cause financial harm to you. However, if you have an older car that may not be worth a lot of money and you can afford to replace it in a significant accident, consider reducing your coverage.
Just remember that you may not be able to do this if you have a loan on your car.
9. Avoid tickets
Driving over the speed limit or running a red light may not seem like a big deal until you’re pulled over and handed a ticket. Not only will you have to pay a fine to the local police department, but you’ll also likely have points added to your license.
Your insurance company will learn about these infractions, and they could increase your coverage costs. Avoid tickets or any reckless-driving charges to keep these costs down.
10. Take a defensive driving course
A defensive driving course, approved by your insurance company and local DMV, could help you reduce the points already on your license (depending on your state laws).
That could help improve your ability to stay safe on the roads, too, because it’s designed to teach you how to avoid accidents. It never hurts to take a refresher.
Auto insurance companies want you to drive safely to lower your overall costs, and it’s worth knowing how you can save. Turn to new companies and insurance providers to find out who has the best rates.
There’s often no difference in the coverage types or amounts, but some insurers charge much less, especially if there’s an introductory offering. It pays to shop around.
More from FinanceBuzz:
This article 10 Money-Saving Secrets Car Insurers Want You to Know originally appeared on FinanceBuzz.