Auto Insurance Quotes
Car insurance can be inexpensive, or very expensive, complex, or not at all complex. With the increased use of the internet, and an explosion of 1-800 and television marketed insurance companies, consumers have more choice for car insurance than they ever had, and as a result car insurance quotes have become more competitive and less expensive.
Getting an Auto Insurance Quote
Most major insurers now offer the ability to grab an auto insurance quote instantly over the phone or by entering your information online. Before you go to get a quote, make sure you have all the required information including: your personal information, a social security number, driving history, identification or drivers license number, and the make or model of your car. You’ll also likely need the vehicle’s VIN, which can be found stamped on the dashboard or printed on the windshield directly above the steering wheel.
The insurance company, after reviewing your information, will offer you a price for insurance, known as an auto insurance quote. This quote may be priced in a number of different ways. Many insurance companies now offer a monthly rate, a quarterly rate, semiannual rates, or an annual pay rate. When you pay for more time in advance, the cost per month drops considerably, and many times the difference between an annual plan and a monthly plan may be as much as 10% savings!
As more and more families now own two or more cars, the number of insurance companies has risen dramatically. There are now thousands of car insurers competing for your business, and some time investment will really help in getting the lowest car insurance quote.
After receiving a quote from one insurance company, show it to another. Car insurance companies know that the industry is highly competitive and will do absolutely anything to bring on a new customer. Don’t back down, either. Consider the amount of time you plan to continue driving (likely the rest of your life) and how many thousands of dollars you’ll pay to maintain your car insurance. With that in mind, it should be clear why they want you as a customer, even if they have to discount their insurance.
There are a few ways to reduce your monthly costs beyond simple negotiation and reducing your coverage.
The first thing you should always do is see if you can erase points off your license before looking for a car insurance quote. Points are assigned by your state to your license for various driving infractions including speeding, running a red light, an accident, etc. These often come along with a penalty, or ticket, and few ever see how they may be able to get their points reduced or removed. Remember, each driving infraction on your record will result in significantly higher monthly payments, especially for younger drivers.
Almost all states and localities offer driver training programs that allow for credits against points incurred. One popular option is known as “defensive driving class” where drivers pay a small fee to attend, and after attending they have as many as 3 points removed from their license. A reduction of three points can very easily reduce your out of pocket expenses by 20-30%.
Student and Veteran Discounts
Other discounts exist for a number of special interests, with the most common being military veterans discounts. When negotiating your insurance, be sure to ask about these programs. Discount programs for students are nearly industry standard, and offer students with a 3.2 grade point average a discount of anywhere from 5-20% on their car insurance premiums. Since rates are already higher for younger and inexperienced drivers, the student discounts certainly come in handy.