The first thing to consider before buying a new or used car is the cost of car insurance. Many people overlook insurance when budgeting for a new vehicle. Insurance rates can vary based on the age of the car, vulnerability to break-ins or safety record. Knowing how to strategically shop for car insurance can guarantee that you won’t have to sacrifice quality for an affordable plan.
If you already have an insurance plan for your home, look into combining policies. For example, homeowners with insurance can bundle their policies to save money. Placing all household cars under the same plan will also help save money. This is when it helps to do research and collect multiple quotes before making a decision.
Speaking of doing homework, there is a plethora of resources available to the public about a company’s financial stability and reviews. Collect rates from at least three different insurance companies and take advantage of asking friends and family for recommendations. It’s important to know about a company’s customer service quality as well, since you will be dealing with them in the event of an accident.
Be aware of the discounts that your insurance company offers. The less you drive, the less likely you are to be in an accident. Because of this, companies will offer discounts for low mileage and carpoolers. You can also receive discounts for being a safe driver or taking defensive driving courses. Different companies offer a variety of discounts that can range from company discounts to discounts for teen drivers who are on the honor roll.
Another way to save is to increase your deductible. If you can budget this effectively, it can save anywhere from 15 to 40 percent in collision cost repair, according to Kelley Blue Book.
You will be more attractive to insurance companies if you have maintained a strong credit score. This indicates that you are less likely to be involved in an accident to agents. Regularly checking your score and improving it will reduce your car insurance payments.
The older your car gets, the less insurance it may need. Check the value of your car regularly to ensure that you are paying the correct amount for repair. If you are purchasing a new car, you can save money by paying for more enhanced safety features that will lower your payments as well.
Remember, when shopping around for car insurance, the lowest price may not be the most effective. Instead of shopping for the cheapest plan, shop for the most valuable.
Stephanie Wilmsmeyer is a State Farm insurance agent in Columbia, Mo, specializing in car insurance. For more info on how Stephanie Wilmsmeyer’s car insurance expertise can help you find the right policy for you, follow her on Google+.