16 Helpful Tips to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance

16 Helpful Tips to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance

16 Helpful Tips to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance

It seems like the cost of car insurance premiums is constantly rising!  Running a car can be very expensive when you consider the price of gas, the expense of maintaining the vehicle and paying those insurance premiums.  Fortunately there are a number of clever tactics that can be used to obtain the cheapest car insurance premiums possible.  This article will go over 16 clever ways to ensure you get the cheapest car insurance premium possible.

Look at the cost insuring the car before you buy it

The smartest time to look at the cost of car insurance is before you actually purchase the vehicle you are interested in.  You can visit a number of insurance companies online or use online comparison tools to check how much the car you like will cost to insure.  If it is a private sale, you can even use the registration number of the car when getting the quote from the insurance company.

Avoid cars with high performance modifications

Including the cost of any high performance car modifications in the insurance will add to your premiums.  So while many modifications can look good, they can be very costly to insure.

Avoid cars that have large engines, turbo or have sports in their name

Any cars that are capable of extreme speeds will cost more to insure because the insurance companies knows those kinds of cars are more likely to be involved in a crash.

Get additional driving skills

This one works for young drivers especially — gain some additional qualifications and tell you insurance company.   Programs like “Pass Plus” can give insurance companies some additional certainty that the young driver has basic skills and is less likely to crash.

Use Online comparison tools

With the advent of the Internet, comparing policies is incredibly easy.  You no longer have to walk to an insurance broker to get a quote, you can get a dozen quotes in 10 minutes via insurance comparison websites. 

Be sure they take into account any special circumstances you have or discounts you are eligible for.  To obtain the very cheapest insurance it’s usually important to negotiate with your insurance company, so the comparison tools should be considered a ballpark figure.

Check for discounts

Ask your insurance company about every kind of discount they offer.  Insurance companies offer many types of discounts including: discounts for retired people, army veterans, single mothers, low income families, for loyal customers and more.  Make sure you aren’t missing out on any savings!

Compare renewal costs to new policy costs

Some insurance companies offer fantastic deals to attract new customers, and current customers sometimes miss out.  If you spot a deal for new customers that you didn’t receive as an existing customer, simply ring the insurance company.  Demand they give you the deal — you will usually find them very apologetic and helpful because they want to retain you as a customer.

Pay yearly, not month

You can receive some hefty savings on car insurance premiums by simply paying it annually.

Drive carefully and avoid getting any traffic fines

One of the worst things you can do as a driver looking for cheaper premiums is to get a traffic fine, or worse still a conviction for a traffic offense!  Insurance companies will know of any traffic infringements you are involved in, so always drive carefully!

Avoid claiming for small bumps and scratches on your car

If you have a small fender bender that only damages your car, reconsider claiming it.  If it is minor damage to your vehicle it might only cost $500 to repair, however if you claim it your excess may be $300, then on top of that your premiums might be higher for the next 5 years.  You will lose any “no-claim” bonus that you had, and you will be paying higher premiums for a few years — Insurance companies don’t forget.

Use multi car policies

If a number of people in your family are driving, for example your two teenage children have cars, you should look at multi car policies.  You could get a better deal if you insure 3 or 4 cars at once.

Drive Less

Some companies offer discounts if you can demonstrate you rarely drive your vehicle and it is garaged in a safe location most of the time.

Pay as you go insurance

“Pay as you go” insurance uses telematics technology to track your car use and give you cheaper insurance based on that usage pattern.  The devices track things like including total miles traveled, speed and trip distance (long trips or short trips).  These devices are becoming more complex and are starting to track things like deceleration (braking speed) to evaluate your driving ability.  If you are proud of your driving record, you don’t speed and you don’t drive regularly, pay as you go insurance could save you a lot of money.

Increase your excess

The simplest way to obtain cheaper premiums is by increasing your excess, something that can done by emailing or calling your insurance provider.

Do you really need theft coverage?

Some people tend to buy theft coverage or premium insurance for piece of mind.  However if you own an aging car, you should consider the declining replacement cost of the vehicle.  Comprehensive insurance may only be a sensible decision for the first 8-10 years of owning a vehicle. If your car is rarely left on the street and usually secure in your locked garage, you should also reconsider comprehensive insurance.

Cut out optional extras from the policy

There may be some optional extras on your insurance policy which the insurance company includes without consulting you.  You may be able to remove certain aspects like free hire car rental after car theft, which could save you some money.

So there you have it, 16 simple tips to get cheaper car insurance premiums.  The key is to demand more from your insurance company, tell them about your specific circumstances and get the best deal possible!

Pay As You Drive Car Insurance Explained

Pay as you go car insurance

Pay as you go car insurance

“Pay as you drive” insurance has become more prevalent within recent years due to large advertising campaigns touting the money saving potential of this form of car insurance.  Within the insurance industry these kinds of policies are referred to as “usage based” policies.  They place more emphasis on your usage of a vehicle to determine what premium you should pay for the policy.

Many people are interested in pay as you drive insurance but don’t understand exactly how it works.  This article will look at the basics of this kind of car insurance policy and help you understand if you should purchase it!

These kinds of policies often utilize something called “telematics” to determine car usage.  Telematics deals with technologies that are capable of recording and reporting how far your car travels, what speeds it travels, how long each trip is and other information which you agree to share with your insurance company.

Telematics help an insurance company build a very detailed risk analysis profile from your car usage and driving style.  The devices can also record data like car acceleration and car braking speed, which the insurance companies can use to determine if you are a “safe” driver.  That more detailed risk analysis allows them to offer you lower instance rates if you drive your car less than the average person.

In the United States over 1 million cars have these devices fitted and that number is growing quickly.  Many of those cars are fleet vehicles that have the devices fitted so companies know where their assets are located but the insurance industry is pushing hard for customers to use these devices.

How much can you save?

Essentially it comes down to how far you drive, how frequently you drive and how safely you drive.  If you drive daily the savings might be limited because your vehicle is still regularly exposed to all of the dangers of being on the road.  If you are a safe driver who is not on the road every day, you can expect savings of between 25-50% compared to a standard insurance policy.

Because the technology is new, many companies are offering cheaper insurance premiums just to install the device, so there are savings to be had there as well.

Telematic devices are also becoming more advanced and will be capable of storing more detailed driving data.  At the most basic they measure speed, time of the trip and distance of the trip.  However the more advanced units can measure breaking power, acceleration speed and location to ascertain what kinds of traffic the vehicle is exposed to and how safely you are driving. 

Not every insurance company will use the more advanced capabilities of telematic devices and the precise capabilities of the installed device will be detailed in the insurance policy.

Are there any drawbacks?

Insurance companies claim that these devices are only designed to reward good drivers, so there are no penalties attached if you install one and drive badly.  However it is unknown if it will always remain that way and insurance companies might eventually use them to determine which drivers are high risk.

If they do eventually start using the devices to build a record of your driving ability, and that information is sold onto other insurance companies, it could mean an increase to your premiums.  However it is important to note that insurance companies are not at that stage yet and it may not be legal for them to do so.

There are also some concerns about the security of these kinds of systems also.  Every computer system has vulnerabilities, and some of these telematic devices are capable of tracking your position with GPS.  Even though it has not happened yet, there may come a point when the devices or systems that send data are compromised.

The bottom line

If you are a safe driver and drive infrequently pay as you drive insurance could save you a lot of money.  Telematic devices are becoming more popular and help insurance companies provide better coverage tailored to your particular driving habits.  If you are interested in saving money, it’s worth taking a look at these kinds of policies as soon as possible!

Do You Know These 9 Common Car Insurance Myths?

Car Insurance Myths

Car Insurance Myths

Insurance contracts can be very complex and there is often a great deal of fine print involved.  It’s no wonder that many people end up learning what they know about car insurance from other consumers.  Unfortunately a lot of the information that gets passed around about car insurance is actually incorrect.  This article will highlight some of the most common misapprehensions about car insurance!

Having a bad driving record is the only factor insurance companies consider

There are  actually a number of variables that go into determining how much your insurance premium will be, in addition to your driving record.  Your age, how many years you have been driving, the age of your vehicle, the place you live and even your credit history can go into determining your insurance premium. 

Every insurance company has their own formula for calculating risk and that is one of the reasons why it is always a good idea to shop around for car insurance.

Having a good driving record will bring down my premium

You might have 20 years of good driving under your belt and expect your premiums to go down.  However if you continued to drive the same model car that you did 20 years ago, your premiums might go up despite the good driving record.

The color of your car influences insurance costs

Many people incorrectly believe that a red car will cost less to insure because it is very easy to see on the road or that a black/grey car will cost more to insure because it blends in with the road.  The reality is car insurance costs are not affected by the colour of the car.

Little cars are cheaper to insure

Smaller vehicles tend to take more damage in crashes, so are easier to write off.  For that reason small cars are not always cheaper to insure. Some cheap smaller cars might not have the safety equipment of larger vehicles either, for example, ABS braking systems.

If I still owe money on my car loan, the insurance will pay for it

Some people incorrectly believe that if a car is written off after an accident, the insurance company will give you cash equivalent to the amount you still owe on the car.  Unfortunately this is not true, and the insurance company will only pay you what the car was worth.

Because my car is old it is less likely to be stolen

On the surface it seems logical that car thieves would try to steal more valuable newer cars.  However older cars tend to be targeted because there is a market for parts for those cars and the security on older cars is typically weaker than a new car.

Insurance companies can cancel your insurance at any time

Without a compelling reason (for example fraud), insurance companies must fulfil their end of the insurance contract.

If your car is stolen, the contents are covered

Unfortunately anything inside the car when it is stolen are not covered by insurance.  However if you have a good home and contents insurance policy they might provide coverage if one of your personal items is lost when the car is stolen.

Drivers of fast and expensive sports cars pay more for insurance

This is not always the case because there are various factors at play when determining the cost of your insurance premium.  A 40 year old person who drives a sporty Mercedes coupe but has an impeccable driving record might end up with cheaper premiums than someone under 25 who has had a few crashes and drives a Subaru WRX. 

So we have checked out some of the most common car insurance myths.  Just remember, any time you are shopping for car insurance, it always pays to look around for the best deal!

10 Ways For Retirees to Save on Car Insurance

10 Ways For Retirees to Save on Car Insurance

10 Ways For Retirees to Save on Car Insurance

Most people see a significant change to their driving habits once they retire.  Instead of driving to work everyday, they usually end up driving irregularly.  Usually the driving involves a trip away or a trip to visit friends.

For most retirees, that means they drive less often than they used to.  Why should they pay the same level of insurance as someone who is constantly on the road?

Here are some tips to help retirees save on their car insurance.

Look for Limited-Driving Discounts

Many companies offer discounts that specifically target older drivers.  The fact that your driving is less frequent than a younger person should immediately obtain a significant discount.  Make sure that your insurance provider is giving you this discount and if not, call them about it.  Inform them of your retiree status and tell them about your driving habits.  If they don’t provide a discount, change providers.

Collision Coverage

If you have an older car you might consider completely removing your collision coverage.  When you are driving less, you might be perfectly happy with your old car that is not worth much money.  If it is only worth a few thousand dollars, there isn’t much point insuring it.

Increase Your Collision Deductible

By increasing your deductible you can save hundreds of dollars.  You won’t be driving much and most older drivers take a great deal of care on the road.  It is unlikely you will be involved in a crash so increase the deductible.

Install a Telematics Device

A telematics device keeps track of how often you drive your car, how far you drive and how fast you go.  It allows insurance companies to offer better value on your insurance policy based on your driving habits.  This can be a big saving for people who don’t drive very often.

Keep the Kids off Your Policy!

Young people who don’t have a proven driving record can be extremely expensive to insure.  Keep your grandchildren off you policy!

Use Your Good Track Record to Negotiate

If you have decades of unblemished driving, make sure you impress your insurance company with it, then ask for another discount.  If they will not reward you for that sterling driving record, find a company that will.

Loyalty Discounts

You probably have years of car insurance through the same company.  Ask for a loyalty discount, even it’s not mentioned in their brochures.  Insurance companies like to hang onto customers who have good driving records and who have been with the company for many years.

Take a Driving Safety Course

This tip applies to anyone who wants to obtain cheaper insurance premiums.  Many insurers will offer you a discount if you have successfully completed a driver’s safety course.

Buy a Car That is Cheap to Insure

It might be nice having a fast sports car to show off to your friends.  But when you retire you won’t be speeding around like a hoon anymore.  Sports cars with large engines can be more expensive to insure.  Consider buying another car that focuses on safety features instead of speed.

Keep Your Car in Great Condition

Even you have an older car, make sure it is well maintained.  Some insurance policies have clauses that limit coverage if your car causes an accident, due to mechanical failure.  Read the fine print and make sure your car is in great shape.



How Gender Affects Car Insurance

Women Get Cheaper Car Insurance

Women Get Cheaper Car Insurance

Despite women getting paid less than men in the United States, there are some benefits for being a woman, particularly when it comes to car insurance!  Most insurers charge women less for car insurance.  Many people would be curious as to why, so here are some reasons why women get cheaper car insurance.

Men Choose Faster and Riskier Cars

Men are more inclined to choose a car that is faster than a car that has the best safety features.  The faster the car is, the more likely it is that the driver will be involved in a crash.  Fast cars can be harder to control and fast sports cars are more likely to be stolen.  The drivers of these cars are more likely to be involved in risky activity like speeding or drag racing. 

Men Crash More

Despite what some chauvinistic males suggest, men crash cars more than women.  They are more likely to speed than a woman and more likely to drink drive.  Even though only 11% of the adult population is made up of males between the ages of 21 and 34, they are responsible for 32% of all drunk driving episodes (http://www.drunkdrivingstats.org/menversuswomendrunkdrivingstatistics.html).  Men are also more likely to speed, increasing their crash risk substantially.

Men are more likely to be involved in other forms of risky driver behaviour as well. They are more likely to drive like hoons, brake quickly and are more likely to be involved in road rage events.

Men Are Fined More
Men are more likely to be ticketed for speeding offences than women.  As a result of this, their insurance premiums will be higher.

Women Drive Less

Statistically, women are less likely to be in the drivers seat and they spend less hours per week driving.  The less time spent driving, the less risk of a crash.

Women Buy Cheaper Cars
Men are more likely to spend substantial amounts of money on an expensive car.  Generally, the more expensive the car, the more expensive the insurance costs.

Some Statistics

The statistics are very compelling.  According to the DMV:

  • 71% of all car accident-related deaths in 2012 were male.
  • Men are 50% more likely to die in a car crash (2008 figures)
  • Men drive under the influence of alcohol more often.  In 2012, 38% of fatally injured male drivers had BACs of over 0.08%, compared to 20% of fatally injured female drivers.
  • Women are more likely to use seat belts.  88% compared to 84% for males
  • For all fatal accidents, 23% of males were speeding at the time of the accident.  14% of females were speeding (2012 figures).

It is estimated that men pay as much as $15’000 more for insurance over their lifetimes, so this is a substantial difference!

What Can Be Done?

There are many ways for men to lower their car insurance premiums.

Important Steps When Changing Car Insurance

Changing Car Insurance

Changing Car Insurance

Many people can be lazy when it comes to car insurance and simply pay the bill as it comes in without considering the possibility that other insurers may be offering better deals. Well the car insurance market is increasingly competitive and you might be able to save as much as 40% off of your current insurance bill by simply looking at competitors and negotiating a better premium.

Insurance experts say you should actually shop around for a better deal every couple of years because the car insurance market is increasingly competitive and premiums fluctuate greatly. Your trusty insurance provider may have slipped from providing the best value for money to providing the worst value for money in only a few short years.

Why throw money away?

Here are a couple of things to look out for when changing car insurance policies to make sure you really do improve the value for money you are receiving:

Checkout as many providers as you can

You only buy a car insurance policy once or twice a year and it is typically an expansive purchasing decision. So take your time and explore a number of options.

You should get quotes from at least 5 separate insurance companies before deciding on one, and typically, the more the better. Luckily, there are various websites on the Internet which allow you to do quick comparisons between insurance providers. At the very least, these websites can help you whittle down a large number of selections into a few front runners.

Also make sure you are comparing apples to apples. That is, make sure the policies offering the same or similar levels of liability protection and service. If you don’t have time to do the research yourself, you can always employ the services of an insurance agent!

Get in touch with your current Car Insurance Company

Many insurance companies don’t like letting go of their customers, so will fight for your business. It costs these companies a lot of money to obtain new customers, so they are willing to spend money to retain their existing customers as well.

A quick phone call or email to your current provider, in which you detail what the competitors are offering you and they may very well beat the other competitors! Also consider rolling your car insurance into other types of insurance you have if possible. Contact your home insurance company and see if they will give you a discount for getting your car insurance through them as well. That is called the multi-policy discount.

Make sure there are no penalties associated with switching

In some unusual cases insurance companies have fees attached to people who leave their current insurance coverage before completion of the agreement. So if you decide to end the 12 month insurance contact around month 8, there might be a fee attached.

Consider this fee, and make sure you time your purchase decision properly. It’s a rare case, but something to consider.

Investigate the new insurer before buying in

After getting some quotes, ensuring they all offer roughly the same level of service and narrowing it down to a top 2-3 providers – investigate the company.

Do they have a good reputation? Is it a large company? Do you know anyone who uses the company in question and have they had any problems? Where is the company based?

There are a number of websites where people share their experiences with various insurance companies so you can find out a lot with some quick searching on the Internet.

Having the lowest insurance premium is fantastic, but if the company has a horrible reputation and feedback on the Internet for the company is poor, then they may not be the right choice for you.

Check that the policy dates overlap or match

Double check the start and end dates on both your old policy and your new policy to ensure that there is no gap where you are not insured. Don’t cancel anything until the new insurance is up and running.

When you have canceled the old policy, make sure it is definitely canceled and there are no recurring fees.

Auto Club to Cut Automobile Insurance Costs

Cheaper Car Insurance

Cheaper Car Insurance

The Californian State Insurance Department has announced that the Automobile Club of Southern California will be making an average $65 reduction in the cost of Auto Insurance.

On average that is a cut of about 4%, which will cost the insurer approximately $70 million dollars. The price cut affects policies that start or renew after July 1.

Auto Club CEO Robert Bouttier said that it is the 4th reduction within the last decade that the Auto Club has offered to it’s customers. Bouttier claims that in total that is $380 million worth of reductions.

The Californian Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, approved the latest cuts and include special discounts for home owners and various special rates for some group buys of insurance.

According to Auto Club, auto insurance rates have been coming down for the last decade and they want to be at the forefront of that push.

Insurance analysts suggest that rates have been coming down because cars are now much safer, people are driving less and there are less severe claims. California has some very tightly regulated Auto Insurance rates and changes in their price must be approved by the insurance commissioner. That has led to some of the most competitive Auto Insurance prices in the country.

Umbrella Insurance Explained

Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella Insurance is a form of liability insurance that will protect your assets and income in addition to any primary insurance policies you may have. That means that it provides cover additional to any property, automobile or watercraft policies you might have. Liability insurance is the portion of the insurance policy that covers for expenses associated with any injured parties and pays for their medical bills, rehabilitation and lost wages.

The term umbrella refers to the fact that the insurance covers all of your assets and income where other policies alone might not provide enough cover – it provides additional cover to all of the policies underneath it. It is different to “excess” insurance because it does not require that all other policies be exhausted before coming into effect.

Usually umbrella insurance is sold in increments of 1 million dollars. As an example of how other insurance policies with with it, if you had an automobile insurance policies which had a liability limit of $300’000, with the umbrella insurance, your total coverage is $1’300’000. If you had a home insurance policy with limits of $500’000, with the umbrella insurance policy it would become $1’500’000.

With some insurance policies, you might not be entirely covered if you acted in a way that voided the policy, but umbrella insurance will often provide coverage. So if you are involved in a automobile accident, and for some reason your primary insurance provider refuses to pay out, you still have $1 million of coverage from the umbrella policy.

In addition, umbrella insurance is particularly useful because our society is so litigious now, and any automobile accident or incident involving your home can turn into a large lawsuit. If you are sued for $1 million dollars and your automobile policy will only payout $300’000, then umbrella insurance can be used to cover the remainder.

The umbrella insurance coverage will provide for legal representation if the matter goes to court. Once you combine an injured person’s medical bills and any legal action they might take, it’s quickly apparent that the standard automobile insurance or household insurance does not include enough liability insurance.

In nearly every state of the United States, there are laws that hold drivers responsible for all bodily injury and property damage should they be at fault, so the risk is very real that you could lose everything without sufficient insurance.

Antique Car Insurance

Antique Car Insurance

Antique Car Insurance

Most people love the style and elegance of antique cars, that’s why so many people love to visit car shows every year. Many car collectors love to find these classics, restore them to mint condition and show them off. After a collector has spent many weeks or months restoring an old car, often they have become a very costly project. Some collectors spend tens of thousands of dollars restoring their cars, so having the right insurance to protect that investment is essential.

Unfortunately antique car insurance isn’t always easy to find because many insurers won’t even offer this kind of insurance. Once you find an insurer willing to provide the insurance, often the cost is very high because of the value of the item and the risk of driving it on the road.

The premiums can also be costly because these items are so rare that they are frequently a target for thieves. A rare car collection can represent hundreds of thousands of dollars and car thieves often look for these rare cars, which they steal then export overseas. However you can’t risk leaving these valuable assets uninsured.

Quite often the best way to find quality antique car insurance is to talk to other car collectors. They will have years of experience in dealing with insurance companies and should be able to point you in the right direction. Also you can use car insurance discussion forums to talk to other consumers about their experiences with different car insurers.

The companies that are more renowned for providing this kind of insurance are also more likely to be more affordable. They will know what value your car really represents and will know the risks for that car in terms of theft and road accidents.

Sometimes picking the right insurance can be complex because antique cars might have problems that regular cars don’t face. One of those problems is that parts can be very difficult to find for some antique cars. The insurance company will negotiate the policy with you and if you include repairs to the vehicle in the policy, they will look at the expense of finding replacing parts, or in very rare cases, manufacturing the required parts.

For people with extremely expensive antique cars, arely taking it on the road is one way to possibly save on your insurance premium. If you can negotiate a limit to the amount of miles driven with the car each year you may be able to obtain a cheaper premium.

For many collectors, their antique cars are like their prized children, so don’t hesitate in buying antique car insurance, you wouldn’t want anything to happen to that prized possession!

What is Any Driver Car Insurance

Any Driver Car Insurance

Any Driver Car Insurance

In recent years a few new types of car insurance products have launched which are very interesting. One of those relatively new insurance products is “Any driver car insurance”, and it has some interesting features. This kind of insurance is designed so that any driver can drive a vehicle and it is still covered by insurance. It was specifically designed for situations where a group of people, or a family share the same vehicle and any number of people could drive it within a week.

This kind of insurance can be more expensive than traditional car insurance for obvious reasons. Other factors that affect the price of the insurance are the value of the car, where the car is usually driven, the ages of the drivers and how frequently the car is driven. Similar to normal car insurance, the driving records of the parties involved also plays a role.

This kind of insurance usually comes with the very handy roadside assistance coverage. So if your car runs into an issue while on the road, regardless who is driving it help is on the way.

With a traditional car insurance plan, any roadside insurance on offer is only available of the person who bought the insurance is driving the vehicle. If you lend your car to someone else and it breaks down, they won’t receive any assistance.

The rules for exactly who is allowed to drive the car and receive full coverage are a little more complex. With an any driver policy, some companies simply allow coverage for any driver over the age of 25 who has permission to drive the vehicle. Other policies require you to list exactly who will be driving the vehicle and only those people are covered. So while anybody driving the vehicle may receive roadside assistance, sometimes the crash insurance for the vehicle still has limitations.

It’s important to note that even the policies that allow anyone over 25 to be covered also have limitations. Drivers with terrible driving records may not be covered (check the policy), drivers with a suspended license won’t be covered, drivers without a drivers license won’t be covered and anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol won’t be covered.

Some insurance policies will only cover relatives, others will only cover people who live in your home while others will cover anyone you let drive your car. As mentioned above, in addition to this you may (or may not) have to list the insured persons in your policy.

So while any driver insurance policy is a very handy form of policy at first glance, you really need to pay attention to the fine print. There are numerous differences between policies and you might have to shop around to find the perfect match for your situation!