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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Most states require all licensed drivers to carry some level of auto insurance, and to be caught driving without insurance is against the law. But sometimes the premiums on a car insurance policy can put a considerable strain on the family budget. Still, there's no way around it. If you want to drive your car, you have to be properly insured. While you have little or no choice in whether or not to carry auto insurance, you do have a choice in how much you pay. The savvy driver knows that there are discounts to be had on car insurance policies. It's just a matter of knowing where to look, and who to ask. Let's look at a few common discounts that can help you lower the cost of your auto insurance.

Auto Clubs

Membership has its privileges, and belonging to an auto club can often reduce your car insurance premium by as much as 15%. Members of AAA, for example, routinely enjoy discounts on the cost of their auto insurance, as well as on hotel rooms, air fare, and road side service. If you're a member of an auto club, check with your insurance representative to see if you qualify for any discounts that you may not have known about.

Combined Policies

Many insurance companies offer discounts to clients who keep all of their insurance needs under one roof. For example, if you insure your home with the same company that provides your auto insurance you may be eligible for discounts on all of your policies. Similarly, if you are a multi-car family, insuring every car and every driver in the household can lead to significant savings. These discounts are not always advertised, so be sure to ask your insurance agent if you and your family are eligible.

Discounts for Safety Features

Certain auto safety features can lead to discounts on your auto insurance. Some states even require that insurance companies offer these discounts as a way to encourage drivers to buy cars with these safety features. If your car is outfitted with anti-lock brakes and air bags, you may be eligible for a discount on your insurance premium. Even something as simple as automatic seat belts may affect the cost of your auto insurance policy.

Renewal Discounts

Insurance companies like to maintain a base of long term, low risk, clients. This is how they make their money, and can afford to pay out when one of their insured drivers does have an accident. If you have carried insurance with a company for a few years, have had no claims, and have maintained a clean driving record, you may be eligible for a renewal discount. You're the type of customer the insurance company wants to retain, and they will often offer a discount to keep your business.

Monthly vs Annual Payments

Many people on a budget, particularly young drivers, choose a monthly payment plan for their auto insurance. At first glance, this appears to make their auto insurance premiums more manageable. However, insurance companies typically offer discounts to customers that pay their premiums annually, Choosing a monthly payment schedule will result in administrative fees, and an overall higher premium. In the long run, paying for a full year of coverage up front can be cheaper than eking it out in installments.

Automatically insurance is a requirement in most states, but that doesn't mean that drivers have to break the bank when it comes to their insurance policies. There are plenty of discounts available for the savvy, and safe, driver. Speak with your insurance agent to see if you qualify for any of the discounts discussed here.

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