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Ways to Save on Car Insurance

by Kevin McKinley - March 8th, 2015

Posted Under: cars

According to the website CarInsurance.com, the average annual cost to insure a vehicle in the Chippewa Valley is around $830, or about 70 bucks per month.

Of course, what you pay may be much more or less than that amount. Here are seven ways you can spend as little as possible, and still get the coverage you need.

1. Shop around

Several insurers set rates based in part on how likely the policyholder is to compare the cost with other providers.

Contact other providers to find out what they would charge you for coverage similar to your current policy, and then bring those quotes back to your current agent or company to see if you can get a reduction. If not, it may be time to move your business.

You can also compare online using a tool offered by the website NerdWallet. Go to tinyurl.com/shopautoins.

2. Combine your coverage

Another way to save is to have all of your vehicles insured by the same company, and perhaps move your homeowners and other insurance policies to same provider as well.

But first review the new policy to make sure that you’re not jeopardizing the level of coverage or customer service you need just to save a few bucks.

3. Raise your deductible

Consumer Reports found that you can cut your premiums by 15% to 30% by raising a $250 deductible to $500. Boosting the deductible to $1,000 could drop your premium cost by 40% or more.

Just make sure you have the money set aside to pay the deductible if and when you need to make a claim.

4. Don’t make a small claim

One more reason to raise your deductible is that it makes it unlikely and unnecessary to file a smaller claim on your policy.

Depending on your vehicle, driving history, and circumstances, making a claim that could reimburse you a few hundred dollars could cost you more than that in increased future premiums over the subsequent years.

And too many claims in a narrow time frame could cause your insurer to cancel your coverage.

5. Boost your credit score

For better or worse, your credit score is another factor that can affect the cost of your auto insurance. First go to annualcreditreport.com to get one free version of your raw credit data per year, and make sure that there are no errors that are negatively affecting your score.

Then visit MyFico.com to find out your score at each of the three major bureaus. The cost is about $20 per bureau, but there are also several tools at the site you can use to find out how to boost your score.

6. Get your discounts

Depending on where you live and the insurer in question, there are several ways that your situation or actions can cut your premium costs.

For instance, you may have a student of driving age with good grades. Or the student might have moved out of the house, unbeknownst to your insurer.

You also may qualify for a discount if you take a safe driving course. You could save more money by paying your premium up front instead of by installment.

If you’re paying by installment, an automatic payment from your checking account could save you some money, and prevent you from losing coverage if you forget to pay the premium. Last but not least, you might get a premium reduction if your vehicle has passive restraints, anti-theft devices, and daytime running lights.

7. Drive safely

Of course, the best way to avoid higher auto insurance premiums (and worse outcomes) is to drive as carefully as possible, adhering to the laws at all times.

The aforementioned InsuranceQuotes website found that a reckless driving citation could boost a Wisconsin driver’s premiums by 61%, and a DUI would cause them to jump by 51%.

You can compare the potential cost of carelessness and crashes by going to insurancequotes.com/calculators/ (spoiler alert: none of the bad events and behavior are worth the price).