How to Save on Automobile Insurance

There are a number of easy ways to save money with automobile insurance. Your current insurance carrier may have pointed out some of the discounts that could benefit you but in the end it is up to you to be aware of your options and to ask what they have available and what you qualify for.Insurance rates are based on a number of factors but the number of ways you can decrease your rates are also numerous. The programs are outlined below. Be aware that not all insurers offer these discounts or rebates and some states’ laws prohibit them from being applied. Everything is mentioned because of 2 main reasons – knowledge is power and it doesn’t hurt to ask the insurance provider.Occupational DiscountInsurance companies pay attention to which occupations tend to mean less driving and less risk-taking as this translates into fewer accidents. If you’re in one of those professions, you could enjoy savings. Some of the qualifying occupations are police officers, firefighters, doctors, dentists, registered nurses, teachers, engineers and scientists.If you are a current or former member of the armed forces, or are a college student taking part in a commissioning program such as ROTC, you might be eligible for certain savings. For insurers that cater specifically to the military there are additional factors which may help to lower premiums such as your rank, whether or not your vehicle is parked in a base garage and if your automobile is stored during deployment or while otherwise away from home.Additionally, some employee car insurance discounts stem from the business relationships your insurer maintains with other companies. Being an employee of one of these companies could translate into savings for you.Generally it’s a good idea to check with all the organizations to which you belong and find out what discounts (if any) they have arranged and with what companies.Credit ScoreChecked your credit score lately? The vast majority of insurance companies take credit scores into account these days, and a high one could help cut your auto premiums by as much as half, The specific scores which trigger discounts are a closely kept secret but industry sources say that someone with a score above 700 will be more eligible for lower premiums than someone with a score in the 500s.AffiliationsInsurance carriers sometimes offer discounts because of their sponsorship relationships. The relationship could be with a sorority or fraternity, a trade association or a university, to name a few. Whether you are a student or an alumni you may be eligible for a discount.Going GreenIt is a common practice these days for companies to offer the option to go green by opting to reduce paper statements. What may not be commonly known is that your insurer may reward you with a rebate for choosing this option.MileageMost people know that reducing the number of miles you drive on an annual basis will result in savings on your insurance bill. Some companies, also offer discounts of up to 10 percent if you go green by driving a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle. It’s not that the hybrid cars are safer, insurance experts say; it’s that the people who go out of their way to buy and drive them are seen as a better risk.Safety and ProtectionYou may already know that safety features such as air bags or anti-lock brakes can reduce your premiums. But you might not realize you can save money on the comprehensive portion of your insurance by installing anti-theft measures including: car alarms; fuel or ignition cutoff switches; stolen-car tracking systems such as LoJack; and VIN etchings, or engravings of your vehicle identification number on your windshield and windows.Taking defensive driving courses is another way to get a discount on your auto insurance rates. It can represent as much as ten percent off on your premium. Not only that, You may not only end up learning some important defensive driving techniques to keep you and your passengers safe, but you may also end up saving yourself some money.The Good Driver Discount is a well known benefit available to those who have no moving violations. The discount may also take into consideration where you live and where you park. Savings could be as much as 20% if you qualify.Planning AheadPlanning ahead when it’s time to renew your policy can put money in your pocket. Some insurance companies,give discounts of 5-10% if you switch to them before your next premium is due. To take advantage of these early shop-around savings, you should start looking at least two weeks before your current auto policy is up. However, before jumping ask your current provider if they will match the competitor’s early switcher discount with a renewal discount. Chances are they will consent if you are a good customer with a good driving record in order to keep you.LoyaltySome car insurance providers reward loyalty. Nationwide gives customers who have been with the company at least five years a 15 percent discount, or 5 percent off if they have been with them for three years.Good GradesIf you fit into the category your provider defines as qualifying for the “good student discount” you can save money on your car insurance. In fact, companies often provide discounts in excess of ten percent. This is based on the theory that good students are better drivers. Generally the discount only applies to full time students. The qualifications vary but the discount generally applies to both high school and college students. Savings can be 10-25%.Two’s CompanyIt may not make sense to you but premiums can drop when you get married, as insurance company statistics show that drivers who are coupled up tend to be safer than those who are footloose and fancy-free. Some insurers will even extend the discount to unmarried same -sex couplesOther unmarried couples might insure their vehicles together to receive a multicar discount, which almost all providers offer. Or, if the two of you own property together and have homeowners insurance, there’s usually a bundling discount to insure your car with the same company.Whether you’re married or single, do some research before you renew an auto policy to make sure you’re getting all the discounts you canBundling DiscountIf you buy multiple types of insurance from the same provider you can often save money. For example – if you get your life insurance, auto insurance and home-owners insurance from the same company they may give you discounts on each and every one of them. With most companies the more types of insurance you bundle, the more you save off the price of buying them all separately.Payment Method DiscountA lot of insurance companies offer a discount if you set up some form of automated payment. Most of these discounts are cumulative so, if you’ve got a lot of them you might really be able to save.Multiple Automobile DiscountMuch like bundling, insuring more than one car will qualify you for a multiple car discount. The make, model and year of the vehicles, the number of vehicles and other factors are taken into consideration but the savings can be significant.Saving Money with Pay as You Drive InsuranceThis new and increasingly popular type of insurance can be based on specific mileage amounts you and the insurer agree to, the time you spend in your automobile, verified odometer readings or installed technology, such as a GPS.Although considerable savings can be realized with this type of insurance it is important to remain within the mileage constrictions agreed to with the insurance company. Violations can be costly.ConclusionThere are many possibilities for saving money with automobile insurance. Your insurance representative may point some out to you but in the end it will be up to you to do your research and ask the questions.When looking around for the cheapest insurance you can qualify for don’t lose sight of the big picture. What I mean is, an insurance provider that offers many discounts may still not be cheaper than a company that offers few discounts.

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