March 26, 2012

4 Quick Tips For Locking In Cheap Car Insurance Rates

For many drivers, finding and keeping cheap car insurance premiums is a difficult process. Insurance companies often raise rates after assessing vehicle damage sustained in an accident, after a driver moves or simply as a reaction to changes in the insurance market. To keep a cheap policy, drivers need to regularly research rates and take actions that will protect and lock in low premiums.

This means comparing car insurance quotes on a regular basis. Drivers should look for insurance quotes every few months and after any major changes in their rates or in the factors that drive insurance rates. Drivers who have recently purchased new vehicles, moved to a new area or filed insurance claims (particularly if an insurer raised rates after assessing vehicle damage) can often find less expensive policies simply by looking online for a few insurance quotes. Drivers should read through quotes carefully, however, as the cheapest available policy isn't always the best option.

Another way to find cheap car insurance is to call an insurance agent and ask about discounts. Although some states don't allow discounts, most do, and insurance companies gladly reward their best customers with lower premiums through a number of discount programs. An insurance agent or insurance company representative will have the latest information about discount programs and can review a driver's record to find available programs. Some of the most common discount programs will reduce rates for homeowners, married couples, teen drivers with high GPAs, and even for drivers who use specific payment methods. Often, drivers simply need to call their insurance agents and ask for a discount.

Some drivers don't qualify for any available insurance discounts automatically and must take additional actions to lock in lower rates. In many states, drivers can also get less expensive policies by taking driving courses. Driving courses are typically quick and inexpensive, and they can effectively stop small traffic tickets and insurance claims from affecting a driver's premiums. Drivers with clean records can also benefit from driving courses, but it is important to check with an insurer before signing up for any classes, as some providers don't offer this special type of discount. A final option for reducing car insurance rates is to reduce coverage. Higher deductibles and lower coverage limits will certainly yield a less expensive policy, but drivers should think carefully before making any policy changes. Less coverage means larger bills after a major insurance claim, so ideally, drivers should only eliminate unnecessary or extraneous coverage such as excessive comprehensive coverage on an inexpensive vehicle. Drivers who make smart changes to their policies can get great rates along with the best possible value for their monthly premiums.