It’s easy to overpay for car insurance. All you have to do is take the agent’s word for it that you’re saving money. There’s a lot of hype out there. What you need is facts – substance – not hype. Insurers are willing to give you incentives to save money, but only enough to save you more than what you’re paying right now. However, insurers can often save you more than what they advertise. You just have to know what questions to ask.
Get “Secret” Discounts
Discounts are often cliched, but they work. You already know that taking a safe-driver course can lower your premium. You’ve probably also already considered consolidating your insurance coverages. But what else can you do? Plenty. Did you know some insurers offer discounts for belonging to certain fraternities or sororities? They do. Ask about it.
Many insurers will also offer discounts for switching early – before your renewal date. Another “secret” discount is one for being an alumni of certain colleges. Ask if the insurer offers discounts for having attended college. You might be surprised.
Ditch Unnecessary Riders
Many insurance agents will add riders to your policy because they’re concerned you’re not getting enough coverage. It’s understandable. They want you to be well insured, but these agents aren’t financial planners. They don’t know what other coverages you might have, or what other financial plans you have set up to deal with life’s uncertainties.
For example, some agents will recommend accidental death coverage on your auto policy. Do you need it? Usually not, but that depends on how much life insurance you own. Accidental death pays a death claim only if you die as a result of a car accident. However, what if you survive the accident, but later die of complications in the hospital? Your policy may not pay out.
Life insurance is often a more comprehensive approach, and will pay regardless of the cause of death (with the exception being suicide within the first 2 years of the policy).
Other unnecessary riders might include excessive medical coverage that duplicates your health insurance, rental coverage, towing coverage that overlaps your AAA membership, and Personal Injury Protection when you already have sufficient savings to pay for a deductible on your major medical insurance policy or when you know others you’re riding with have major medical insurance.
Mention Your Low-Risk Profession
Did you know insurers will discount your premiums if you work in a “low-risk” profession? They will. Insurers follow trends of low-risk professions like teachers, accountants, and engineers. They’ve seen a trend that these professions are associated with lower accident risks. Guess what? Teachers, engineers, and accountants (among others) pay lower premiums. Ask your agent about which professions the insurer deems to be “low risk,” and see if you can score yourself a discount.
Get Your VIN Etched In Glass
You’re 64 percent less likely to have your vehicle stolen if the VIN number is etched into your windshield and other parts of your car. Insurers give discounts for this sort of thing so ask them about it. The discount could be significant – anywhere between 2 and 15 percent.
Be A Smart Cookie
Being a member of MENSA could earn you a discount with some insurers. Even having good grades in college helps. Insurers often look at good grades as a sign of responsibility. The more responsible you are as a person, the higher the odds are that you’ll be a responsible driver.