Tips on lowering premiums
- Drive safely: Nothing affects your auto insurance rates more than your driving record. Every time you are responsible for an accident or receive a moving traffic violation you risk having your premium raised or your policy cancelled.
- Shop around: Consumers can increase their odds of getting the best insurance "deal" by getting information about rates, coverage and service from a number of companies and agents. A few phone calls may save you $50 to $100. There are several websites that can provide instant quotes for auto insurance from several companies along with providing contact numbers for local agents. Be wary, however, of buying auto insurance directly over the Internet without a local agent.
- Increase deductibles: Your auto insurance rates will decrease as you raise the deductible amounts on your policy. A deductible is the amount of any loss you must pay before the insurance company will cover damages. For example, if you have a deductible of $100 on your auto policy and have $1,000 worth of damage, you pay the first $100 and the insurance company pays $900. Deductibles are not available on liability coverage.
- Credit Scores: Most insurance companies use your credit history along with accidents, violations, age and location to determine your premiums. Obtain a copy of your credit report and verify that the information is accurate. Bankruptcies, judgments, liens, late pays and credit inquiries will cause your "credit score" to decrease and your premiums to increase. See how large insurers use credit scores on auto policies in Missouri.
- Take advantage of special discounts: Some companies offer "good student" discounts to young drivers with good academic records. Others offer discounts for insuring two or more cars, buying both auto and homeowners coverage or special features that lower accident risk. Don't wait for your agent to offer a discount, ask for them. However, don't automatically assume that just because you get a discount the rate is a good one. In some cases, a company's rates without a discount can be lower than those of other companies that offer discounts. Shop around and compare rates.
- Financing your insurance premium: Try to pay for your automobile insurance for the full policy period. Some companies have a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual installment payment plans at an extra cost. However, automobile insurance costs are sometimes financed by outside sources; charges can sometimes be very expensive. Check closely into the added cost of any premium financing plan.
- Consider insurance costs when you buy a car: Insurance costs go up if you buy a high-performance or more expensive automobile. Talk to your agent about the cost of insurance before you buy.
- Reduce or eliminate collision and/or comprehensive coverage on an old car: The amount you may pay in premiums may equal the cash value of your automobile.
- Insure all your cars with the same company.
- Notify your agent if you:
- Substantially cut down on your annual mileage.
- Move to a different neighborhood, town or state.
- Sell a car.
- Cut down on the number of drivers in the household.
- Turn 21, 25 or 29.
- These changes in circumstances may lower your premium.
- Don’t duplicate coverage: Try not to buy automobile insurance and health/accident insurance that pay for the same things. Compare your policies and consult with your agent or broker before purchasing additional coverage.
Group insurance: Some associations, organizations, or employee groups have insurance plans available to members to purchase automobile (or other) insurance through special arrangements with insurance companies.
In some cases, the insurance company may automatically accept all group members for insurance or only those members meeting their requirements. Group arrangements for insurance may save you money, however, they may not always do so. Look into the cost of purchasing insurance coverage individually.