With car insurance, you don't have to wait for the new year to begin saving.
In today's economy, trimming your household budget might be one of your New Year's resolutions.
And you wouldn't be alone: According to a recent survey, 65 percent of people say they resolve to save money in 2009. Why? Not surprisingly, the majority (67 percent) say it's due to the unstable economy.
Luckily, shopping around for car insurance is one way you can save big bucks. With this in mind, follow these six tips to help you manage your car insurance costs in the new year:
- Shop around. Rates can vary greatly from company to company, so shop around to find the best deal. Independent insurance agents represent more than one insurance company, so they can compare multiple policies and rates to find the one that's right for you. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, Web sites like Progressive.com will help you compare its rates with those from other companies. And switching can pay off. For instance, people who switched to Progressive last year saved more than $350 on their annual premium.
- Check to make sure your policy is up to date. If you've moved, gotten married or if it has been at least three years since your last driving violation, check with your insurance company. You may be eligible for lower rates.
- Know before you buy. Before you buy a new car, research what it will cost to insure. Generally, smaller cars with lower horsepower are less expensive to insure.
- Check coverages. Owners of older or inexpensive cars should consider dropping Comprehensive and Collision coverages. Doing that can save hundreds of dollars each year. Also, many auto insurers give you the option to add rental coverage to your policy, which pays for a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired following an accident. While conditions and costs vary from company to company, it may be unnecessary if you can find other transportation. The same goes for options like Roadside Assistance coverage; if you have AAA or a lease agreement, you likely don't need it on your auto policy.
- Raise your deductible. According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductible to $500 could reduce your Collision and Comprehensive costs by 15 to 30 percent.
- Check for available discounts. Ask your carrier if it offers reduced premiums for certain car features like anti-lock brakes. You might also be eligible for discounts if you pay in full, are a loyal customer, sign up for paperless billing, list another car on your policy and more.
The information in this blog may vary based on your particular state or situation. Always refer to your insurance policy for your specific coverages.