If you feel like your car insurance rates have been trending upward, you’re right, and you’re not alone. In general, car insurance rates are rising all across the country for a variety of reasons. While it may seem like controlling your auto insurance premium is out of your hands, there are several ways you can keep it affordable without cutting coverage.
Our guest blogger and AVP of Personal Lines Sales at Eastern Insurance, Kelly Havey, shares some of the ways you can save money on your auto insurance policy.
Do Your Research Before Buying a New Car
While shopping around for a new car, consider how the size, model, age, and performance of the vehicles you’re considering will affect your auto insurance premium. For example, a brand-new sports car will generally cost significantly more to insure than a lightly-used SUV, so it’s important to consider these factors before making your purchase. When you narrow down your selection, feel free to talk to your insurance agent to ask about the insurance costs for each vehicle before you make your final decision.
A Winning Combination
- Bundle Your Auto Insurance with Home or Renters Insurance
One of the most common ways to save on insurance is by placing your home or renters insurance policy and your auto insurance policy with the same company or same insurance agency. This is commonly referred to as “Bundling” or “Bundle and Save.” Bundling discounts can range from 5% to 25% and can make it easier to manage your policies.
Keep It Local
- The Low-Mileage Discount
You may want to look into a low-mileage discount for your car insurance premium if you work from home, use your car primarily for running errands around town, are retired, or live in a city where it’s easier to use ride sharing or public transportation than to drive yourself. Companies have different definitions of low-mileage, but discounts are generally granted to drivers who drive between 7,500-15,000 miles annually.
- The Use-Based Discount
Most people know that having fewer car accidents, speeding tickets, or other violations on your driving record can help you get lower insurance premiums, but now some carriers are offering a discount for good drivers who avoid speeding, hard braking, and other dangerous behaviors on the road. To analyze safe driving behavior, insurance companies are now providing devices that are placed in a car to perform monitoring. Your driving is monitored for a set amount of time prior to a discount being applied. Don’t worry, you won’t be penalized for your habits if you don’t meet the criteria for a discount!
Join the Club
- Membership Discount
Many local and national organizations, such as those that offer travel and roadside assistance, or national seniors groups, can get you a discount on your auto policy. While you’re shopping around, be sure to ask your organizational agent or insurance agent for more details on these types of savings.
Good Prices for Good Grades
- The Good Student Discount
New drivers are often the most expensive to insure, but if they have good grades in school, they may be eligible for a discount on their auto policies. While requirements will vary, usually a good student is defined as being enrolled full-time in a high school or university, and maintaining a 3.0 GPA, or being named to the Dean’s List or Honor Roll. So, if your child is a rockstar student, give your insurance company or agent a call with his or her report card in hand to see how you can save on your premium.
Know What You Can Handle
- Changing Your Deductible
Adjusting your deductible (the amount you are financially responsible for in the event of an insurance claim) is one of the fastest and easiest ways to lower your insurance costs, but make sure you really consider the potential financial impacts. A good rule of thumb is to never make your deductible more than what you could comfortably lose in an accident. As your personal financial situation changes, that amount may change as well.
Bills, Bills, Bills
- Paying Your Premium
Talk to your agent about the ways to pay your bill that could help you save money. Some insurance companies offer a discount by signing up for Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) or paying in full on an annual basis. No matter what option you choose, make sure you pay on time. Having a clean bill pay history could help you get lower insurance premiums in the future.
Eastern Bank* Customers
Some clients of Eastern Bank may qualify for a discount on their auto insurance policy with Eastern Insurance. If you are a client, talk to your Customer Service Representative about qualifying for this discount.
Use an Agent to Shop Around
There are a lot of companies out there and it can be difficult to decipher which one will give you the best deal and coverage. At Eastern Insurance, we represent over 20 insurance companies for personal lines alone, and each company has different discounts and preferred target markets.
By working with Eastern Insurance to shop for an auto policy, a local, experienced member of our team will work to get you the coverage you need at the best price available.
Also, if you have been with an insurance agent for a few years, but now feel that you are paying too much for your policy, make your agent your first call to help you look for something new. The market is constantly changing and something that may have been a great solution when first placing the policy may not be now.
Talk to a member of the customer service team at Eastern Insurance about your insurance options to get the coverage you want, and the coverage you need. You can request a quote online, by phone at 1-800-333-7234 (Option 2), or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*A 5% discount on auto insurance placed with MAPFRE Insurance or Arbella Insurance is available to Eastern Bank Premier Checking Customers. Discount will be removed if Premier account status is not maintained through the covered period. Eastern Insurance Group LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastern Bank. Insurance products are not insured by the FDIC or by any federal or state governmental agency and are not deposits of, or guaranteed by, any bank. Insurance products may be subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal or amounts invested.