Some say that New Englanders are frugal. I say we are smart, especially people in New Hampshire. Why pay more for something unnecessary? This is true with any bill, but especially car insurance as there could be something on (or not on) your policy that is preventing you from getting the best rate possible. We all know that car insurance is not a small bill, and it never goes away, so take a few minutes to review your policy and you could end up saving hundreds of dollars.
Car Insurance Saving Tip #1: Look at your auto policy
This may seem obvious but so many people do not do this. We receive numerous phone calls throughout the year with a client telling us that they have not owned a certain car for months or even years, or that a person moved out long ago. If months or years have gone by, it can be difficult to get the proper credit for removing anything. To avoid paying more than you should, make a habit of looking at your policy every time you receive one. Policies are sent upon every renewal and when any changes are made so you are receiving one at least once a year.
Looking at your policy also applies to looking at what may not be there, meaning a car you own but is not on the policy. It is not uncommon for a client to assume that the dealership called us, when in fact they didn't. Unfortunately if there is a claim with a car you own but not on the policy, there will most likely not be any coverage for it. If you get a new car, you would certainly get a revised policy, so if you don't see it within a couple of weeks, call your insurance agent. Avoiding an un-insured claim is a HUGE way to save money.
Car Insurance Saving Tip #2: Brag about your child's good grades
If your licensed son or daughter maintains a B average or makes honor roll, you could get a credit on your car insurance. This credit can be substantial, especially if your child has his or her own car. All you typically have to do is provide your insurance agent with a copy of your child's latest report card. Please note that the credit typically remains on the policy until the policy expiration date. Once it renews, a new report card is typically required for the file.
Car Insurance Saving Tip #3: Remove all coverage except comprehensive
Comprehensive (aka: other than collision) covers your car for many of the things that can happen to it while in storage (fire, theft, glass breakage). If you have a car that you do not drive in the winter and have in storage, take off the collision and liability coverages as these are the most expensive parts of your car insurance policy. If the car isn't driven during the winter, don't pay for the coverage. Even if you have a loss payee on the car, many of the lien holders understand and will allow this (though it is up to your individual bank.)
There is one negative in this credit though, and that is that you MUST remember to call your insurance agent before you put the vehicle back on the road. This can be tricky if you are the type of person who may forget this detail. Maybe you could tape a big note on the wheel of the car not to drive it until you call your agent.
Car Insurance Saving Tip #4: Get an account credit
Everyone who has a car lives somewhere, so make sure that you have your house and car insurance with the same insurance company. If you don't you are most likely leaving money on the table as you could reduce both your homeowner and car insurance company bills as credits are typically around 10 - 20%. On a $1,000 premium, that is significant savings.
Car Insurance Saving Tip #5: Get a quote
No one can tell you where the rates will be with an insurance company in five years. Perhaps the company you started with 10 years ago had the best price at the time, but what about now? "Back in the day," rates were more predictable, but today computer programs factor rating and it very difficult to estimate anymore. Get the opinion of your insurance agent as to the competitiveness of your company and if they should get you quotes with other carries they represent. Keep in mind that if you are with a captive insurance company (like Allstate or State Farm) or a direct carrier (like Geico or Liberty Mutual) they will not have many options for you. If you go to an independent insurance agency, like HPM Insurance, we represent multiple insurance companies to get you the best product and price.
These are just a few of the more obvious credits that people don't know of when thinking about car insurance. For a more detailed review of your own policy, call your agent. They can go over your policy thoroughly to make sure that you are getting what you are entitled to. You may be surprised with what you save.