As inflation soars, it can be hard to find ways to save money. Along with gas prices hitting record highs in 2022, it’s also estimated that insurance rates have risen 3% to 12% since the end of 2021. Driving is more expensive, but there are still ways to keep more money in your pocket.
How to Mitigate the Rising Cost of Car Insurance
Car accident rates continue to rise, which often leads to a spike in insurance premiums. While driving safely can mitigate your insurance costs, there are faster ways to save more money.
1. Increase Your Deductible to Lower Your Insurance Premiums
When you buy car insurance, you’ll typically gravitate towards a policy with a low deductible. If you get in an accident, you won’t want to pay exorbitantly high fees on an insurance claim. But If you aren’t driving around much, increasing your deductible can save you money in the long run.
Since a high deductible decreases your premiums (or your monthly payments), an infrequent, rural, or safe driver could reduce their monthly costs if they stay insured. However, you will need to save up for vehicle repairs or possible medical bills if you do ever end up in a car accident.
2. Always Compare Quotes from Different Insurance Companies
It’s a good idea to shop online for rates, but comparing quotes from different insurers isn’t always easy. There are thousands of insurance companies in the US alone, so it’s common for car owners to look up and compare two or three policies from popular insurers before deciding.
Websites like Cheap Insurance make comparing car insurance easy, as you don’t need to call companies directly to find the best rates in your city. You may even be able to bundle your policies with another driver in your home or with other insurance options, like renter’s insurance.
3. Improve Your Credit Score (Payment History and Debt Percentage)
Most US states take your credit score into account when calculating your car insurance rates. However, they don’t necessarily use your numbered score (300-850) in this calculation. Instead, they’ll focus on your payment history and debt percentage to determine your risk as a customer.
If you have a low credit score or a limited credit history, start building it by applying for a secured credit card or becoming a signatory on your parent’s credit card (if they have good credit). Do your best to pay off your debt by sticking to a budget or consolidating your high-interest loans.
4. Start Using Alternative Transport or Limit how Many Miles you Drive
Insurers factor in how many miles you drive and how often you use your car when determining your monthly payments. The average American drives 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year, but if you drive less than that, you’ll receive a discount. Simply call your insurer to change your mileage.
If you still need to travel but don’t have to use your car for certain errands, consider cycling, walking, bussing, or carpooling when you can. Not only will these alternative transport methods help the environment, but they’ll also reduce your mileage (and your premiums as a result).
5. Explore Safe Driving Discounts or Purchase a Safer/Smaller Vehicle
If you’re a safe driver with a modest claim history, there are a number of discounts you can take advantage of. For example, State Farm offers accident-free and good driving discounts. You could also pass a defensive driving class if you’re a teen or senior driver to reduce your bill.
However, safe driving discounts aren’t available to everyone. It can take three years to fix a poor driving record, so look into purchasing a cheaper or smaller car instead. For example, a Honda or Kia costs $2,000 less to insure than a luxury vehicle, and they’re easier to maintain.