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You may think that you’re paying the lowest possible premium right now, but the truth is there are several contributing factors that you have more control over than you may realize. As a result, you may be able to make your payments even lower!
Take this quiz to find out how to lower your car insurance rates and save some money…
1. What kind of car do you drive?
a) Sports car
b) High-end luxury vehicle
c) A smaller car with a low safety rating
d) None of the above
2. When did you purchase your car?
a) In the last year
b) More than 3 years ago
c) Purchase? It’s been in the family since we inherited it 10 years ago!
d) A few days ago — the paint’s still wet.
3. When do you pay for your auto insurance?
a) The whole amount upfront
b) It gets deducted automatically each month
d) Whenever the company starts sending nasty letters
4. When you come to a yellow light, you…
a) Speed through it
b) Slow to a stop
c) Keep going through without picking up speed
d) Touch the roof of your car for good luck
5. You use your car to drive to…
a) Places you can’t get to any other way
b) Work every day
c) Another city every weekend
6. How frequently do you drive?
a) Several times a day
b) At least once a day
c) A couple times a week
d) Hardly ever
7. How’s your credit score?
a) Could be worse
b) I’m afraid to check
c) What’s a credit score?
8. How do you protect your car from theft?
a) I have a theft deterrent system installed
b) Roll up the windows
c) Lock the doors
d) Hide the stereo when I park
9. How many policies do you hold with your auto insurance company?
a) Just one
b) Two: Auto and Life
c) Three: Auto, Life, and Home
d) Several different auto policies for multiple family members
10. How long have you had your current auto insurance policy?
a) Ever since I was old enough to drive
b) Not too long — I switch every time I get a new car
c) Several years
d) Long enough to remember my insurance agent’s birthday
Give yourself 1 point for the following answers, and 0 points for any other answers: 1) d 2) b, c 3) a 4) b 5) a 6) c, d 7) d 8) a 9) b, c, d 10) a, c, d
- If you got 10 points or more, that’s great! You’re probably paying the minimum possible.
- If you got anything under 6 points, you can probably make some changes in your lifestyle to reduce your premiums.
Now, let’s explain the rationale behind your score.
Questions 1 and 2: Flashy sports cares and newer models are assessed a higher risk variable by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The higher your car’s risk variable, the higher your premium will be.
Question 3: Paying up front is the best way to save money on the total cost of your premiums, as you can usually score a hefty discount. Even if you switch plans later, your auto insurance company will refund you for unused days.
Question 4: Running yellow lights is a cause of many accidents. If you practice unsafe driving habits, you’re more likely to get into an accident, so be careful to keep your driving record clean if you want lower premiums.
Questions 5 and 6: Some car insurance companies reward you with lower premiums if you drive fewer miles. Taking the bus to work or using your car only for emergencies is a smart way to save. You can also ask your insurance company if they offer a pay-by-the-mile program.
Question 7: Credit history affects your premium amount. Try to avoid any bad credit ratings.
Question 8: If you bought a vehicle with a theft deterrent system, or you have one installed, your car insurance company might give you a discount.
Question 9: Usually, if you use the same company for more than one policy, you can earn a discount.
Question 10: It costs companies far more to get a new customer than it does to retain a loyal customer, so it’s worthwhile for them to reward loyalty. If you stick with the same company instead of shopping around every few months, you’re more likely to negotiate a better deal.
With input from Financial Advisors, (a Tax Accountant and an Investment Manager), I share helpful tips regarding money and finances — including debt relief, insurance, budgeting, and investing for retirement. My goal is to help you save more, spend less, and invest for the future by sharing honest, tried & true budgeting tips and tools. When I'm not saving for the future and helping others save for theirs, you can find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).