Car insurance is absolutely necessary. Not only do most states require it, but if you drive, you really do need insurance to protect you from the sometimes exorbitant costs of medical care, car repair, and property damage that you could incur after a car crash. That being said, car insurance can get expensive, and many people look for ways to save on their bill. But there are good ways and not-so-good ways to save on car insurance. Here's a look at how to get cheap auto insurance.
Good Ways to Save on Car Insurance
These methods of saving on car insurance don't have any downsides. In other words, if you employ these methods, you will still be getting the same car insurance, but for less.
1. Ask about discounts for professional organization membership.
Many insurance companies offer discounts for members of certain professional organizations. For example, if you are in a teacher's union, your insurance provider may give you a 5% discount. Make a list of all the organizations you're a member of, and call your insurance provider. Inform them of your memberships, and ask if you qualify for any discounts.
2. Switch providers.
Your current car insurance provider may be charging more than another company would charge you. It's worth getting quotes from a few different car insurance companies so you can compare them. Sometimes, you might even be given a one-time discount for switching providers. Just make sure that when you buy insurance from a new company, you are getting the same level of coverage you were getting from your previous insurer.
3. Upgrade your car's safety mechanisms.
The safer your car is, the lower your risk of serious injuries will be in a crash. When you're safer, your insurance company is less likely to have to pay out on a large claim. This means they're likely to charge you a lower rate for your insurance.
Call your insurer, who should have a list of the safety mechanisms currently in your vehicle. They can tell you whether there are any updates you can make for a lower insurance rate. For example, they may recommend adding side monitoring or a backup camera to reduce the chances of a crash.
4. Drive with a tracker for a month.
Some insurance companies have trackers they can put inside your vehicle. You drive around with the tracker for a month or so. Then, your insurance company reviews the "footage" and determines how safely you drive. If you're a safe driver, you will get a discount on your car insurance.
Not-So-Good Ways to Save on Car Insurance
These saving ideas are not so good because they put you at an increased risk of having to incur large costs if you are in a crash. That's not really a smart trade-off. It's not worth saving $10 a month on car insurance if it means you're liable for $50,000 when you're in an accident.
1. Cutting back on coverage.
Sure, if you cut back on your coverage, you'll pay less for insurance. However, you may find yourself without coverage when you really need it. For example, say you cut your medical coverage from $100,000 to $25,000. Your monthly fee will go down, but it's really easy to end up with more than $25,000 in medical bills after an accident — and then your insurance won't cover everything.
2. Letting your coverage lapse.
Sometimes people try to save by letting their coverage lapse, going without it for a month, and then re-applying. You might get a lower rate at this point, but it's illegal and risky to drive without insurance. You absolutely need continuous coverage!
It's smart to save money on car insurance. Just make sure you're going about it in a smart way!