We like to say that having a car is the same as having a baby: it needs attention, you have to feed them (with gas), it brings you joy and a lot of stress and, just like children, you have to spend money. Like, a lot.
We’ve struggled on paying car expenses and insurance can be a big fat slice of this pie since its rate increases every year due to companies having to cope with losses from ﬂoods, wildﬁres and hurricanes, and also from costs of car accidents since there are more and more drivers in America every year. So we started to get more information, and believe us: we were able to knock oﬀ 40% of what we used to pay before. If you have a car, you know exactly how much it could mean – a lot.
If you too are struggling to pay it every year, don’t worry: these tips will help you lower it down.
CHEAP DOESN’T MEAN GOOD
When you look for insurances you’ll be tempted with low-cost insurances, but let me tell you something: cheap doesn’t always mean good. Sometimes choosing the cheapest insurance of the market can mean some real bad situations such as not paying you the amount you should get from accidents, being “accidentally” overcharged (exactly what happened to us), having all your paperwork lost and so much more.
So, ﬁrst rule when looking for a new insurance should be: yes, a cheap company, but also a reliable one. Even if it doesn’t have the lowest price, it might save you more money than the last one.
DEFINE WHAT COVERAGE YOU NEED
First, you’ll have to get three coverages areas: Bodily injury per person, which is a certain amount that is covered for each person injured in the accident; Bodily injury total, which is the total amount covered for all people injured per accident; Property damage total, which is how much is covered when you get in an accident and you damage the other car – not yours. Every state has their own speciﬁc liability amount needed for the insurance, so you must be awared of what is your state’s.
Besides that, you must decide the coverages you’ll want for your car. Most companies oﬀer 5 options:
MEDICAL COSTS: It means if you get hurt in an accident, the insurance will cover all or part of the costs, depending on how much it is and what kind of this coverage you choose;
PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION: This options covers medical expenses and lost wages you might have to pay because of a collision. Some states might even require this one, so, you know: take a look on your state’s requirements.
COLLISION: If you’re not the best driver around town or just started on this art, you should deﬁnitely get this one. In fact, everyone should get it. It covers collisions with other cars or objects, protecting your car if it’s something with high probabilities of happening.
COMPREHENSIVE: This one cover all the bad possibilities that might happen to your car, lite water, ﬁre damage, vandalism, total destruction and even if gets stolen. Unless you have an old car, this is our go-to, all the way, super necessary insurance.
UNINSURED MOTORISTS: Well, imagine you get in an accident with an uninsured motorist, they’re guilty and you’re also uninsured. Guess what? Most of them will make you pay yourself your medical bills or car repairs, so this option protects you from that. Some states also require this one, but even if yours don’t, you shouldn’t skip this one.
Now that you know what you need to be covered, analyze your contract and understand what you’re having right now. Most of the time people ﬁnd out they’re paying for things they don’t even need and that’s the time to look around. There are some comparer tools online, and you should start getting information and quotations of other companies to make a decision.
You should also see how much you’ll be paying for Premiums, which is the price of your plan, and the payment options; and Deductibles, which is how much you’ll be paying before your insurance pays the rest. Insider’s tip: did you know you can lower your premium cost if you raise your deductible’s? Well, now you do. You’re welcome.
This would be the easiest way of understanding what you have and then applying for something cheaper and better for you and your car. Before migrating to another company, make an oﬀer to your current insurance, asking for changes and trying to lower prices… Sometimes it works greatly, but sometimes changing to a new one is the best option after all.
Do you have more tips that you think we forgot to share? Leave a comment!