Car insurance, especially for people under 25 years old, can seem outrageously expensive at times. One accident or something as simple as a speeding ticket can take your rates through the roof and drain your wallet before you even have time to shop around. The best way to get the lowest rate is to maintain a perfect insurance score along with a flawless driving record. Obviously, this isn't feasible for most of us and we need all the help we can get to save as much money as possible without sacrificing any amount of coverage or raising your deductibles. Here are the tips and tricks we use for all of our customers here at Hadley, Cook, and Quillen.
Use an independent agent.
Independent agents know all the ins and outs of the companies they represent and how to get you the best rate with the right amount of coverage. Their ability to compare several carriers is the biggest advantage a customer can have when it comes to piling up savings.
Don't wait until the last minute to switch.
Every carrier we use for personal auto insurance at HCQ offers an advanced quote discount. What this means is, if you quote your auto insurance anywhere from 8 days or more before the effective date, a discount of 4-8% applies automatically, despite your driving record or any other factors. This is a very easy trick that is normally available only to independent agents and not through carriers directly.
Take advantage of telematics programs, even if you're not the best driver.
Most of our carriers offer a telematics program with savings just for signing up. Telematics monitors your acceleration, braking, and total mileage among a few other factors. Generally, the sign up discount is 5-10%, but the real savings come after the monitoring period (30-90 days). Some carriers can raise the rate if your driving is exceptionally poor during the monitoring period, but the average savings for our programs are 17% and can be as high as 50% off! If you are one of the many people who pay $150+ per month for your car insurance, this is an opportunity for huge savings that carry on for as long as you stay with that particular carrier. The best part is, even if you score poorly, you can always try again.
Ask about a low mileage discount.
Low mileage discounts are really great for young drivers with newer vehicles as they effect comprehensive and collision coverage the most. This discount varies greatly from person to person, but it can be significant in some instances. Most of our carriers use 8000 annual miles as the threshold for the discount and requires verification at each policy renewal.
Mention a college degree if you have one.
Most carriers offer a discount based upon your education level. Higher level degrees will score you bigger savings and some careers including medical professionals, teachers, and first responders often receive discounts made just for them.