6 hacks to save money on your car insurance rates

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Written by
Insurance and Finance Writer
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Reviewed by
Farmers CSR for 4 Years
UPDATED: 2022-08-03T06:29:12.915Z
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Car insurance premiums can sometimes feel like a waste. For years you pay money for a product you hope you never need to use. But if you’ve been in an accident, you know first-hand just how important it is to have quality auto insurance coverage.

The trick is to find that quality coverage from a reputable auto insurance company at an affordable price. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to have some of that money you’ve been paying toward your car insurance still sitting in your pocket?

In an effort to help you save money, we’ve compiled a list of six hacks that can help you lower your car insurance rates. Of course, the first step for many is to compare options to find a cheaper rate. You can do this by entering your zip code in our quote calculator. You may be surprised at just how low your annual premium can be. What else can you do to lower your rate for cheap car insurance?

1. Bundle your car insurance with other policies

If you have other insurance policies, such as homeowners insurance or renters insurance, a great way to save is by bundling your policies with the same insurance company. Of course, you need to first make sure your car insurer offers the other policies you need and has a strong reputation for those insurance products. But in the event they check those boxes, bundling your policies together can provide major benefits. Not only will you likely save on your car insurance, you should see lower rates on your other bundled policies as well.

One of the most common combinations is an auto home umbrella policy. Some companies even offer a single policy with coverage in three different areas.

If you're looking for comprehensive coverage in multiple areas, an insurance agent can also help you shop life insurance and other policies.

2. Consider raising your deductibles

According to the experts at Wallethub:

"The average car insurance deductible is $500."

Many insurance companies default to this amount when quoting. It's accessible for many drivers and also keeps auto insurance rates reasonable. It creates a small barrier for drivers who might be otherwise inclined to file small but costly claims.

What if you raise your deductible to $1000 or more? This option comes with a risk, but you’re essentially betting on yourself by selecting a higher deductible. In doing so, you’re assuming more of the risk from the insurance company, and thus are rewarded with a lower premium. Keep in mind though, you’ll be required to pay that deductible before your insurance coverage kicks in if you have a claim.

You should only raise your deductible if you have the budget to handle the more expensive out-of-pocket cost come claim time.

The savings from selecting a higher deductible may not seem like a lot at first, but if you go years claim free, the savings can really add up! This may be an option best suited to the more experienced driver.

3. Pay your car insurance policy in full

This hack falls in a similar category as the increased deductible — if your budget allows, paying your full premium up front can be a great way to save money.

Think about it this way, you’ve got to pay that premium eventually. So why not pay it in full if you have the money set aside? By not paying monthly, you’ll likely earn a discounted rate by avoiding extra administration fees. You also won’t have to worry about forgetting about those monthly payments and the associated fees.

4. Try usage-based car insurance

Drivers allowing their insurance company to monitor their driving habits is becoming increasingly popular. Many of the nation’s largest insurers offer usage-based tracking through apps or devices, which can earn drivers discounts for demonstrating safe driving practices and/or driving fewer miles. One insurer, Metromile, offers pay-per-mile insurance, which can result in significant savings for drivers who don’t log many miles annually. Another insurer, Root Insurance, actually requires its policyholders to complete a 2 to 3 week test drive phase to determine if it’ll insure you.

Keep in mind, these insurance companies charge you based on miles driven. So if you commute long distances to work or go on regular road trips, they don't make sense. You could end up paying more than a traditional car insurance plan.

If you drive less and have a low credit score, a usage-based plan could help you avoid conventional hurdles associated with your credit score in some states.

5. Monitor price changes to your policy

If you’ve been loyal to your insurance company for years, it can be easy to miss how much your rates have changed. Often times, the changes may be subtle from policy to policy, but if your rates have steadily been creeping up, the difference over time may be more than you think. Staying with a company can help you earn discounts, but make sure you’re monitoring how much your rates change at each policy. If you notice it trending in the wrong direction, it may be time to shop around!

6. Shop for better rates

Ultimately, the most savings may come from changing insurers altogether. In Clearsurance-conducted research, we found that surveyed participants who decided to switch car insurers saved an average of $390 on their annual car insurance bill. The trick is putting in the time. In our research, we found that the more quotes consumers received, the more likely they were to find savings — 60 percent of participants who received four or more quotes switched carriers.

However, don’t be fooled by a low price dangled in front of you! Savings can be great, but sacrificing coverage and insurance company quality isn’t worth a few extra dollars in your wallet. When searching for potential new companies, find the best insurers in your state and read reviews on Clearsurance to learn from other policyholders experiences with the company!

Bonus hack: Ditch the car!

We’re joking — well mostly! If you’re looking for the ultimate savings, there’s no better way than to sell your car. We know this isn’t realistic for most people, but if you live in a city with good public transportation, maybe it’s time to consider whether that car payment and insurance bill is worth it. If you can get by with a combination of public transportation, Uber, car sharing, biking and walking, you’ll see more savings than anyone else!

If you're ready to switch auto insurance, put your zip code in our quote calculator. Then answer a few questions, and you can see which policy makes sense for you.

The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.

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