You are probably trying to save as much money as you can on various utilities, food and everyday goods. But are you overlooking your insurance policies? You can save money on those, too!
Last year, I wrote about how I was able to save about $400/a year when I called to review our car insurance policy. That’s quite a savings! Sometimes insurance companies will give you even greater savings if you bundle all your policies with them (vehicle, home, life, etc).
Some items that you’ll want to bring up with your agent (if you haven’t already) are the following:
- Single/married (some insurers think you’re more cautious if you’re married)
- Car stored in the garage
- 55 or older (if so, you can take a defensive driving class and have your rates lowered even more)
- Anti-theft device on the car (they’ll want to know if it is always on or you have to manually turn it on)
- Liability or full-coverage (if you’ve paid off your vehicle and it’s kind of a clunker, I might go with liability coverage)
- Have you participated in a safe driving course
- Your profession (for example, if you’re in the military – you may be eligible for certain breaks)
- Good driving record (they typically go back 3-5 years)
- Non-drinker (you can throw this out there – but many insurance providers can’t actually verify this info)
- Multi-policy discount (as mentioned before, insurers will give you a break if you have other policies with them as well)
What About Driving Less?
Another important item to bring up is the frequency of your driving. Is it mainly for pleasure or work? How much do you drive it on yearly basis? Where do you do most of your driving?
Personally, I have a long way to travel to work every day and the mileage on my car adds up. So, I typically don’t qualify for a lot of the discounts.
If you are someone who has very little drive-time and lives on the outskirts of the city or in a rural area, you could qualify for some good savings.
I asked my own agent about driving habits, how insurers reward those who drive less and how you can qualify for those discounts.
“Some car insurance companies give you a lower rate for Pleasure Use (which is less than 3 miles one way to work). Typically the next higher rate is commuting less than 10 or 15 miles one way (depending on the company), then the rate is a little higher for any commuting 10-20, over 20 or over 15 (depending on the company). Business Use is the highest premium,” she relayed to me.
My agent also told me that where you live is just as important as driving frequency.
“If you live in the city and use your car for pleasure use, you may still pay a higher premium than if you live in Small Town, USA and drive 15 miles to work one way.”
One last item of information my agent passed along to me was that many insurers are now giving people the option of using a device that plugs into your car to track driving habits.
“The driving habits they are measuring include: how fast you accelerate, how fast you break, how many miles per day do you drive and how often you drive after midnight.”
I found that Progressive offers a program based on these variables, called Snapshot. You are provided with a “plug” that goes near your steering wheel, which you drive with for 30-days. Afterwards, Progressive figures out your savings based on how much you drove.
Whatever your situation may be, now is a great time to call and review your insurance policies with your agent or insurer. I have found that if I can get a real person on the phone, I’m more likely to get better savings.
Have you reviewed your car insurance lately, and were you able to get deeper savings because you were driving less? Leave a comment!