Top 10 tips for finding the right car insurance policy

  1. Maintain good credit. Regularly check your credit score since a low score may impact your premium.
  2. Set the right deductable. A higher deductible reduces your premium, but you have to pay more out of pocket in the event of an accident. If you have a good driving record and haven’t had an accident that was your fault, you may want to gamble and opt for a higher premium. The reward for this risk could be up to a 40 percent savings.
  3. Review your coverage. Check to make sure you have enough liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage. Over time, costs and risk increase, and so should your coverage. Simply put, minimal coverage gives you minimal protection.
  4. Report reduced mileage. If you’ve changed jobs, are now working at home, or have become unemployed, call your insurer. By driving less, you may qualify for a lower premium.
  5. Watch crash repairs. Check to see where your insurer sends you for repairs, as the repair shop may push you to use cheaper replacement parts, rather than original equipment from the manufacturer (OEM parts). Tests have found that some non-OEM parts can fit poorly, are more prone to rust, and don’t necessarily meet federal safety standards.
  6. Choose the right car. Vehicle damage and the cost for repair is a big part of the price of auto insurance. When looking for a new car, compare the data on collision by vehicle model. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has information and losses by vehicle model at www.hldi.org/research/hldi/composite_intro.html. Your car dealer should also have a booklet on relative collision insurance cost produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Also, estimated insurance fees are part of the owner cost information Consumer Reports provides online for all new models.

 

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