Driving a car is expensive. On top of your monthly car payments, you need to deal with insurance, gas, repairs, and plenty of other incidental costs. With so many bills piling up, it's not surprising that many people may be looking for ways to save some cash wherever they can. Insurance policies are highly customizable, so they're a natural target for cutting costs.
However, just because you can cut your coverage doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea. Insurance is all about risk management, and reducing your coverage too far can leave you exposed to unnecessary risk. These dos and don'ts will help you find the safest ways to reduce your monthly insurance costs.
DO: Consider Your Car's Value
Comprehensive and collision policies help you fix your car following an accident, but they can often be costly. When dealing with these two policy issues, it's critical to consider your car's age and overall value. If you're involved in a severe accident, will it be worthwhile to fix your car? Are you spending more on your coverage than the total value of your vehicle?
If you drive an older, low-value car, it can be worthwhile to drop collision/comprehensive coverage or switch to a high deductible. On the other hand, it's usually best to keep these policies for newer vehicles that still have plenty of value left. Lenders also often require full coverage, so don't plan on dropping these policies if you still owe money on your car.
DON'T: Stick to State Minimums
Most states require liability coverage, but the minimums may be too low to offer adequate protection. While liability policies pay other drivers, they also shield you from legal liability. Insufficient coverage can leave you open to lawsuits if you cause an accident that results in expensive property damage or severe injuries.
In general, you want adequate liability coverage to shield your assets, including your car. Liability tends to be relatively low cost, so avoid leaving your assets unprotected.
DO: Pay In Full
Many people don't realize that car insurance policies typically follow six or 12-month terms. Monthly installment plans sometimes include some extra costs, so you end up paying more throughout the year. If you can afford the cost, you can save some money by paying your entire premium for a six or 12-month period all at once.
DO: Shop Around
The best way to save money is often to switch to a provider that can offer you better rates or a higher level of coverage for the same price. Before trying to maximize your savings by increasing deductibles or reducing coverage, get a few quotes from other insurers. You may discover that you can get a similar coverage level while still saving plenty of money.
For more information on automotive insurance, contact an insurance professional in your area.