We all want to save money. When it comes to your auto insurance, doing so may be harder than it seems. Even if you have a low rate, there are money saving tips that your insurance agent probably didn't tell you about. MSN Money has compiled their top 12 ways to save money on your car insurance. We hope that their ideas will help you better understand the way the auto insurance industry works and save you some money.
- If you have good credit, you should be paying less- Nearly all insurance companies use your credit score to help set your rate. Research has shown a direct correlation between your credit score and the likelihood of filing a claim. If you want to save money on your auto insurance, work on improving your credit score.
- The model of your car affects your premium- Insurance companies keep a tight lid on their auto rating system. They use this information to rate your car by the cost of the vehicle, safety factors and theft data.
- Pay in full- Though you can pay your auto insurance in installments, you may be charged fees for doing so. In addition, paying over time increases your risk of late payments. Many companies will cancel your policy for even one late payment.
- Items in your car are not covered- If your iPod, phone or other items are stolen from your car, chances are your auto insurance will not pay for their replacement. If you do lose a significant amount of property, it is wise to contact your home insurance company. They often cover items stolen from your car.
- You will pay for at-fault accidents- Though some car insurance companies have first accident forgiveness, many do not. If you are involved in an accident and you are at fault, the insurance company may raise your premium by at least 40%. If you have been involved in an accident, be sure to ask your company about their accident forgiveness policy.
- You will pay for your friend's bad driving- If you lend your car and the driver gets in an accident, then you may be responsible for the deductible and a rate increase. Your best bet is not to lend out your car.
- You may lose money on a totaled car- Auto insurers don't figure the value of your car the traditional way. Instead they use their own formula. To ensure that you get more for your totaled car get gap insurance, keep maintenance records and, if necessary, go through mediation with your company.
- Ask about diminished value- If your car has been in an accident and has been repaired you may be able to file a claim with your insurance company for the loss of value to your vehicle.
- You may not owe sales tax on your replacement car- In both Illinois and Wisconsin auto insurers are required to pay for the sales tax when you replace your car. Be sure to ask about this. Many companies will not offer it up front.
- Hit by an uninsured motorist? Try to "stack."- Depending on the state you live in you may be able to collect from your underinsured and uninsured motorist coverages, or "stack" the coverages.
- Wait to add your teenager- If your teen is over the legal age to drive but does not yet have their license, you do not have to have a policy for them. However, if your child does have their permit or license, be sure to let your insurance company know. This will save you money if your teen has an accident and you need to file a claim.
- Officially cancel your insurance policy if you switch- If you do not do so, you may get two bills, one from each company. Not paying this bill will cause your credit record to suffer. Be very specific about the date you would like to cancel when you call to do so.
The staff and attorneys at Hupy & Abraham hope that the information provided here will save you some time and money. Our goal is to help you not only after an accident, but before as well. However, while we understand the urge to save money on car insurance we encourage you to consider what would happen if you were involved in a serious accident and to make sure that you are sufficiently insured against such a catastrophe.