People across the nation are getting a shock when they open up their annual auto or home insurance renewal letters – rates are going up. Some are seeing modest increases while others are seeing a significant jump in rates. Premiums are going up even if you haven’t had an accident, moving violation or claim.
So, what’s up (besides rates)?
New technology has also escalated the cost of repairs, even in minor auto accidents. It used to take a few hundred dollars to fix a bumper or a back hatch after a rear-end collision. But now, thanks to cameras and driving sensors, the same repair can cost thousands of dollars. Add to that the lack of availability and increase cost of materials, along with the rise in legal, labor, and medical costs, and many insurers have been forced to raise their rates to make up for the losses.
Here are seven things you can do that may lower your auto insurance premiums:
- Keep a clean driving record. Insurance companies look at your driving experience and how well you drive. The fewer tickets and accidents that you have, the better rate you are likely to receive.
- Increase your deductibles. Sure, the amount you will pay will be a little more if something happens to your vehicle, but the amount you’ll save each month could be substantial, especially if you are incident-free for a number of years. Just make sure you have an emergency fund to cover that higher deductible.
- Check for good driver/good student discounts. If you’ve been accident free, most insurance companies will give you a good driver discount, but make sure you tell them. The same goes for students with good grades.
- Check insurance costs when buying a new vehicle. If you are planning on purchasing a new car or truck, research what it could do to your insurance. Depending on numerous criteria, including the power of the engine, the model’s safety rating and the loss history of that particular vehicle, your rates could change. A good place to check is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – Highway Loss Data Institute’s vehicle safety ratings. It’s also a good idea to contact your insurance company and ask them what buying that dream car, SUV, or truck will cost you in future insurance premiums.
- Cut your driving. Ride a bike, take mass transit or move closer to where you work. How many miles you drive each year can affect your auto insurance rates; the less you drive, the greater the possible discount.
- Get a policy review. Has your commute changed? Did you install a security device? Did you get married? Did a traffic ticket come off your record? All of these can lower the rate you pay for insurance. Talking with your insurance advisor at least once a year is the best way to make sure you get the discounts you’re entitled to.
- Compare your current insurance to California Casualty. They are a 108-year-old policyholder-owned company. California Casualty offers auto and homeowner/renters insurance with competitive rates, award winning service, and policies that reflect your professional lifestyle with benefits through your PORAC membership not available to the general public:
- Reduced deductibles for vandalism or accidents that occur when your vehicle is parked at work
- Personal property damaged or lost in a collision, fire or taken from your car is covered up to $500
- Rates guaranteed for a full year (not six months)
- Free identity theft protection with each policy
- Multiple payment options including EZ Pay and holiday or summer skips
- Superior customer service –with high satisfaction ratings, seen here.
You might be surprised at the savings and all the benefits that you qualify for. Contact a California Casualty advisor today by calling toll-free at (833) 989-0551 or vising California Casualty.
Information for this article was sourced from the Insurance Information Institute, seen here.