Car Insurance

You can pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for the same car insurance policy, so it pays to shop around, and do your homework. However, cost savings shouldn’t be your only concern. When you buy insurance, you’re actually buying protection; and pinching a penny can come back to bite you, if you’re not careful. Here are some tips to help you make good decisions when purchasing car insurance.

In some states, like Texas, 30% of drivers don’t have insurance, or adequate insurance, so it’s critical to get uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to cover your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering in the event that an uninsured motorist injures you.

Think beyond your car. The more assets, and income you have, the more insurance you need. A personal liability umbrella policy, in conjunction with homeowner’s coverage is not very expensive, yet can provide critical protection of your wealth. If you already have good family health insurance, you might be able to avoid paying more for personal injury protection or medical payment insurance related to your car coverage.

Your neighborhood counts. Crime rates are a factor. Consider the types of cars those around you drive. If you live in a nice area, full of high-end cars, you may want to increase your property damage coverage. If you live in a rural area, you’ll probably enjoy lower rates than those living in high-traffic urban areas. Living in downtown Dallas, Texas, is likely to cost you more than living in a quiet suburb on the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri.

Where you park your car might impact your insurance premium. If you park inside a garage, it’s less vulnerable to theft and weather damage than parking it in a driveway or street, and it may entitle you to a discounted rate. If you work at home, have a short daily commute, or use public transportation, you might also be able to save some money on your car insurance policy with a low mileage discount.

Depending on what you do for a living, you might be able to save on your car insurance premium. Some professions are deemed lower risk. Teachers, scientists, police officers and firefighters often get discounts on their insurance premiums.

College students that go to school more than 100 miles away from home may qualify for a discount, based off the assumption they’re seldom behind the wheel of the family car. Getting good grades pays, in more ways than one. Ask about good student discounts.

It pays to get married. Married men statistically have fewer accidents than single men, so if you are looking for a little extra incentive to take the plunge, consider the savings on your car insurance premium – just don’t make it part of your proposal. If you have more than one car in your home, ask about a multi-car discount.

Drive safe. A speeding ticket can cost you more than just the fine. A bad driving record can also jack up your premium costs. Next time you’re in a hurry, slow down, and protect yourself and your wallet.

Buying the right kind of car can save on auto insurance. Cars with built in safety features like anti-lock brakes, side air bags and automatic safety belts cost less to insure. Cars that are frequently stolen generally have higher insurance premiums. You can check with the Highway Loss Data Institute for theft reports on the make of car you are considering buying.

If you have your heart set on a sporty vehicle, make sure your wallet is prepared to handle the higher insurance premium. Rates can be significantly higher for high-performance vehicles. If you have a loan on your car, the lender has a say in what type of coverage you have on your vehicle to protect their investment. Be wise and ask your insurance agent how much it would cost to insure the car you are considering buying, before you sign on the bottom line.