It's bad enough that gas prices seem to be once again on the rise, but auto insurance premiums are going up as well in many states. Take Michigan, for instance, where average annual premiums jumped $443 in 2011 according to an recent Insure.com survey.
Fortunately, there are ways to lower your rates. Here are seven tips to help you get the best car insurance premiums possible.
7 ways to lower your car insurance rates
- Compare auto insurance quotes: Being loyal to one company may help lower your rates over time, but don't count on it. The best way to make sure you have the lowest premiums possible is to regularly see what the competition has to offer. To make the process simple, use websites where you can easily compare car insurance policies and rates from multiple companies.
- Consolidate policies with one company: If your car insurance is with Company X and your homeowners insurance is with Company Y, you probably have less money in your pocket than you could have otherwise. Virtually every company offers a multi-policy discount so don't miss out on it.
- Look for an affiliate discount: Likewise, many companies offer affiliate discounts. They may give you a percentage off your premiums simply because of where you work or where you bank.
- Increase your deductible: One sure-fire way to lower your car insurance rates is to increase your deductible. This is the amount you are willing to pay out-of-pocket before your auto insurance coverage kicks in. However, before doing so, be sure you have access to enough cash to cover the deductible in the event you have an accident.
- Switch to storage insurance in the off-season: If you have a vehicle you use only seasonally, don't make the mistake of paying for full coverage year-round. Storage coverage is exceedingly affordable auto insurance and can be as little as a few dollars a month depending on the type of vehicle.
- Move to a new area: OK, so this one might not be for everyone, but geography can affect your rates. Insurance companies may charge significantly more for those living in densely populated cities and states, and the best car insurance rates may be reserved for those living in rural areas.
- Check your credit report: Finally, it may surprise you to know that in some states insurance companies are allowed to adjust your premiums based upon your credit score. Check your credit report at least once a year to make sure there are no errors that could be pushing your rates up.
While you can't do anything to lower the price at the pump, you can get a better deal on your car insurance rates. Keep these tips in mind as you compare auto insurance quotes.