Good coverage speaks to the specific circumstances of your life - your age, the type of car you drive, where you live, and so on.
But your life changes. And changes in circumstances ought to be reflected in your car insurance.
Here are some of the main elements likely to raise or lower your car insurance premium. Just make sure they all apply to you.
Dont jettison coverage you really need, but it pays to give your policy a seasonal pruning.
- The company you choose. For reasons that sometimes seem mighty mysterious, one company may offer virtually the same coverage for half a competitors price - another good reason to survey different deals in the OnMoney.com Auto Insurance Center.
- The size of your deductible. The deductible is what you pay. After that, your insurer pays. The more youre willing to pay as a deductible, the lower your annual premium.
- Your driving record. No accident or traffic tickets for three years should merit a discount. Of course, several accidents and tickets will almost certainly up your premium.
- The scope of your coverage. Most people with a family to support, or even just a tidy pile of assets, probably need more than minimum coverage. Generally, the more coverage you buy, the higher your annual premium.
- Special services. Coverage to pay for a tow truck or a rented car while yours is in the repair shop can be costly. If your car is in top shape, or you wouldnt need to rent a replacement, give this coverage a pass.
- Excess coverage: Its probably wise to keep up your liability coverage, but you need less collision and comprehensive coverage as your car ages. After three years or so, your car is worth far less. Adjust your coverage appropriately. If your car loan is not paid off by this time, the lender will likely discourage you from reducing coverage, however.
- Miles driven. Instead of driving, take a vacation by air or train, or even canoe. The point is: Reduce the miles you drive so you can qualify for an insurance discount.
- Why youre driving. Many insurers charge more if you drive your car for business. If you drive for pleasure only, your premium ought to be lower.
- The cost of your car: The higher the sticker price, the more it costs to repair or replace, so you pay more for insurance. Its your call.
- Where you live. Many insurers charge more if you garage your car in a city. Car theft tends to occur more often in urban areas, and parking lot attendants may not focus as intently as you do on avoiding concrete pillars.
- Anti-theft defenses. The more difficult it is to steal your car, the less likely a thief is to take it. Car alarms, hidden tracking devices and other anti-theft devices should reduce your insurance premium somewhat.
- Safety options. Air bags, seat belts and anti-lock braking systems are known to reduce injuries from car accidents. If your car has these, you should pay a bit less for insurance.
- Insurance company loyalty. Many insurers give you a break on auto insurance if you also buy homeowners, or some other type of insurance from the same firm