If you own a car, auto insurance is a necessary cost. Whether or not it’s legally required in your state, forgoing insurance is a big financial risk. According to the National Safety Council, there are up to ten million car accidents every year, so no matter how skilled or careful a driver you may be, the odds are high that you will have an accident sooner or later. Without insurance, you may not be able to afford to repair your car. Fortunately there are strategies to keep your premiums from breaking the bank.
Since insurance is a necessity, you should be thinking of it as part of your purchase. When you buy your car, confirm you have the finances to afford the premiums as well as your car payments. Also consider insurance when choosing your vehicle, as the type of car you own drastically affects coverage costs. In general, cheaper cars, cars with better safety and repair records, and cars that aren’t as commonly targeted by thieves have lower premiums.
Many insurance companies advertise competitive rates, but the only way to be sure you’re getting the best deal is to compare and contrast. With the internet, it’s easy to get quotes from multiple companies to find the best rate. Insurers calculate their premiums based on a number of individual factors; anything from your age and gender to your job can affect your rate, so be sure to file a complete application to get an accurate estimate.
Calculate Your Deductible
Your deductible is how much you have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance covers you. A higher deductible means it will cost you more if you get in an accident, but you’ll pay lower premiums. Setting your deductible too high is risky gambling, but if you have enough savings to cover the difference, it’s worth raising it moderately.
Evaluate Personal Injury Protection
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers the car’s drivers and passengers for medical injuries incurred in a car accident. If you and your family have health insurance that would cover these expenses already, then you can opt out of this protection. Be aware that some states mandate PIP, so check with your insurer before dropping it.
Safe Driving Discounts
Careful, safe driving deceases your chance of having an accident, which doesn’t only save you on your deductible expenses. Insurers will lower premiums for drivers with proven safety records, who haven’t had any accidents or moving violations within a certain number of years. Taking a certified defensive driving course can also approve you for a price cut, and check with your Charleston car insurance provider to find if there are any other discounts which may apply.
Keep Up Your Credit
Insurers consider the driver’s credit score to calculate rates, so having good credit will get you better premiums. Check your credit report online to make sure it accurately reflects your history, and look for tips for improving a lower score.
Insurance is a requisite for any responsible automobile owner, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re careful choosing your insurance plan and take advantage of available discounts, you can afford to have your car and insure it, too.