Because of the ever rising cost of auto insurance claims in Ohio, auto insurance premiums have went up right along with it. As a result, more people are looking at ways to save money on their auto insurance. As an agent, what I'm discovering is that many people are leaving money on the table and not realizing it. This article is to provide you with 10 keys to save money on your auto insurance policy.
Not all of these 10 keys that will apply to you. And likewise, no one auto insurance company has all 10 of them. But I'm hoping that you will at least get two or three good nuggets here that can be helpful for you. There are of course things you can do in the long run to keep your auto insurance down such as driving carefully, buying a home, etc. But this article is going to focus more on things you can do in the short-term between now and in the next six months.
1. Paying policies in full
Paying your policy premium in full as opposed to paying month-to-month saves you a nice chunk of money. I know sometimes that can be a lot of money to come up with upfront, but if at all possible, it will save you the most regarding payment options. If paying in full is not an option, see the very next key below, which is the next best thing.
2. Automatic bank withdraws
If paying in full is not an option, the next best thing you can do is set up automatic bank withdrawals. Although you won't quite save as much as you would paying in full, you still save a considerable amount versus paying manually every month.
3. Shopping around
Shopping around with other auto insurance companies is most likely biggest money saver of all of the 10 keys mentioned here. It is recommended that you shop around for auto insurance every two years. However, very few people do that. And it just so happens that the people who shop around the least tend to save the most when they finally do shop around. Getting an auto insurance quote with an independent agent will get you multiple quotes with just one quote request. This is the most efficient way to get quotes from multiple companies at once.
4. Paperless Discount
All you need for the paperless discount is a valid email address. Companies vary on whether or not they offer paperless discounts, or how much of a discount they offer if they do. But with some companies this can save you 5 to $10 a month, sometimes more.
5. Prior coverage
The prior coverage discount is also very significant. Although it does take some's time, having six months of continuous prior insurance coverage provides a big discount!
6. Good student discounts
If you have drivers listed on your policy that are in high school or college that gets good grades, be sure to look at the discounts that your auto insurance company might offer. Insurance companies vary greatly in how they apply this discount. But I have seen the discount be quite significant at times. Find out if you qualify for your company good student discount. It usually only requires submitting a report card, transcript, or honor roll certificate.
7. Driver behavior discounts
While driver behavior discounts are somewhat new, they do offer very good opportunities to save money. Many people shy away from these thinking that the rate could go up. But I have found with my customers that this is not true! In many cases this involves plugging a device into your vehicles diagnostic port. But there are other discounts such as installing devices or apps that prevent you from texting or using your cell phone while driving. While this concept is still somewhat new, it can take a good chunk off of your auto insurance premium.
8. Quoting in advance
If you know when your current auto policy expires, getting a quote a week to 10 days ahead and setting the start date as the same day as your old policy expires can sometimes award you in advance quote discount. While this discount isn't as significant as other discounts posted above, it can still save up to 5 to 10% with some companies. Be sure to ask your agent if your company.
9. Knowing exact dates of past accidents, violations and claims
Bottom line, if you can't remember all of your accidents, violations and claims that you've had in the past 3 to 5 years, you're putting yourself at a disadvantage! Knowing exactly what's on your driving record and their corresponding dates is very important for getting an accurate quote. If you're not sure about what is on your driving record, https://services.dps.ohio.gov/BMVOnlineServices/DL/Abstract" target="_blank">you can access a copy online here. The Ohio BMV offers free two year unofficial abstracts for those who know your only violations have been within two years. Or you can get an official three year abstract for $5.
10. Look for discounts unique to your auto insurance company
Companies continue to find creative ways to market to customers. Many new ideas involve discounts. Your company may offer other discounts not mentioned on here. The problem is that many people never bother to ask about them! Don't make this mistake with your company. Always make sure you're taking advantage of everything possible.
Summary: as I said before not all of these keys will apply to you. But I see too many people making this mistake of not at least asking or checking up on available discounts that they may be missing out on. The bottom line is it never hurts to ask!
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Dan Lyles is an Independent Insurance Agent serving Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia..