To improve your credit score, pay bills on time, use your credit cards, and limit the number of credit lines you open during a brief period of time.
Bundle Multiple Policies
If you want multiple types of insurance policies, like a home and auto insurance bundle, use the same provider to unlock discounts.
Unless it falls under an accident forgiveness policy, getting into an accident will raise your car insurance rates, even if the crash wasn’t your fault. Your best bet to keep rates low is driving safely, which includes the following measures:
- Avoid driving distractions, like talking on the phone, texting, or browsing social media.
- Get enough sleep and avoid drowsy driving.
- Adhere to speed limits.
- Leave space between you and the car in front of you.
- Stay level-headed and avoid road rage.
- Scan your surroundings constantly.
Although you can’t control other drivers’ actions, controlling your own greatly reduces your risk of collisions.
Increase Your Deductible
One surefire way to lower your premiums is to increase the size of your deductible — in other words, the amount you owe on collision and comprehensive claims before your insurance company will contribute. However, make sure you can actually afford to pay a higher deductible if your car sustains physical damage, whether from a collision, inclement weather, auto theft, or vandalism. If you can’t pay your deductible, your coverage won’t matter, and you’ll be forced to repair or, worse, replace your car out of pocket.
Install Safety Equipment
Vehicle safety equipment like airbags, anti-theft devices, and passive restraints could land you a discount, depending on your provider. Your car may already have equipment built in that can save you money.
Remove Coverages You Don’t Need
Minimum coverage is the cheapest form of car insurance, but we don’t recommend it. If you don’t have collision or comprehensive coverage and you suffer property damage that wasn’t another party’s fault, you’ll be financially responsible for repairs out of pocket. Instead, drop supplemental coverages you likely don’t need, like roadside assistance. That said, you could drop collision/comprehensive coverage if you have an older car with a low ACV, but keep in mind all future costs you might incur if you do.
Ask for Discounts
Insurance companies offer a wide variety of discounts, so ask your insurance agent directly for ways you can save. Something as simple as enrolling in automatic billing or paying your policy in full could cut costs.
Consider Usage-Based Insurance
If you’re a good driver or have low mileage, consider telematics or usage-based insurance (UBI). How does it work? Consider, for example, Allstate Drivewise, available in all states except New York. The Drivewise app monitors your driving over a 50-day period and uses that data to determine your insurance rate. It measures the following behaviors:
- Sudden stops
- Phone use while driving (except in Michigan)
- Speed and acceleration
- Time of day
Based on the results, the best drivers can save up to 40 percent or more, depending on their state. Even if your driving is subpar, Drivewise can only decrease premiums, not increase them.
For low-mileage drivers, consider pay-per-mile insurance like Metromile or Root. Customers save an average of 47 percent with Metromile compared to their previous insurers, making it a great option for seniors, people who work from home, or individuals who use public transportation often.
Get Good Grades
The best auto insurance for students allows them to cash in on their good grades in the form of car insurance savings. Companies like Allstate, State Farm, and Direct Auto give lower rates to drivers with high GPAs, class rankings, and so on.
Take a Driving Class
Some insurance companies offer discounts if you take a defensive driving course. These courses make you a better driver, decreasing the likelihood of accidents and claims. That means you’ll be cheaper to insure, resulting in lower premiums.
Check Third-Party Ratings
Don’t just depend on an insurance company’s website or the words of an insurance broker. There are third parties that rate insurance companies on customer satisfaction (like J.D. Power, the NAIC’s Complaint Index Score, and the Better Business Bureau), as well as on financial strength, or a company’s ability to pay claims (AM Best, Moody’s, and Standard and Poors).
Choose a Safe Car
Cars with high safety ratings get lower car insurance rates, as they perform well in accidents in terms of protecting their passengers. Check safety ratings with the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety2 and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)3 when shopping for a car.
Get Rideshare Insurance
If you’re a rideshare driver, your personal car insurance won’t cover you while you’re working, and Uber and Lyft’s insurances don’t apply when you’re waiting to be matched with a rider or driving to pick them up. To fill in the gaps, get rideshare insurance. You may be able to obtain it from your existing company if your provider is State Farm, Esurance, or Progressive, among others.
File Claims Online
Most companies let you file claims online or even through their mobile app. Often, you can take pictures of your damages directly through the app, making the claims submission process seamless.
Use the Mobile App
Auto insurance apps let you submit claims, add coverages, and read FAQs all from the palm of your hand. Download your provider’s app to take advantage of convenient features.
Even if you don’t have pay-per-mile insurance, driving less than your estimated annual average mileage could get you a discount.