#auto auto insurance
Don’t pay full price for auto insurance
If you haven’t comparison-shopped for auto insurance in several years, you’d probably be surprised to see how many ways insurance companies have come up with to get your business. That means they’re dangling all sorts of discounts that will let you save on premiums.
As data-driven businesses, insurers study scads of data on accidents and claims, and they know the characteristics of policyholders who file fewer claims. This allows them to create new incentives and discounts to help attract safer drivers, while also helping them to encourage existing policyholders to reduce accidents and claims.
You may find it’s quite worth the effort to shop around for auto insurance, especially if you’ve replaced your vehicle with a newer one recently or bought a home. For example, some carriers now offer an auto insurance discount if you own a home. And of course, if you insure both your home and auto with one insurer, it will likely offer an additional multi-policy discount on top of that.
If you’ve recently replaced your car, it can pay to check for safe vehicle discounts, such as for antitheft devices, antilock brakes, daytime running lights and other accident-warning and -avoidance technologies.
Another new discount is for “green vehicles” — hybrids or alternative fuel cars. Among insurers offering a green vehicle discount are Allstate, Farmers and Liberty Mutual.
Not new at all, but always welcome are discounts for good drivers. These are for drivers with a clean record free of moving violations such as speeding, reckless driving and DUI. Also, drivers who avoid at-fault accidents get discounts from almost all insurance carriers. Some also offer “claim-free discounts” to drivers who don’t get in accidents and don’t file claims for extended periods.
A newer category is the “usage-based discount,” often also called the “save-as-you-drive” program. The requirement here is that you agree to have your driving monitored to prove you’re a safe driver. You have to connect a telematics device to your car that records data about your driving and sends it to the insurance company.
The information includes how fast you drive, how quickly you accelerate/decelerate and how many times a day you drive. Drivers with safe behavior, as determined by the gathered information, can get discounts as high as 30 percent.
Finally, here are three discounts that most auto insurance carriers offer and almost anyone can qualify for. Make sure to ask for these:
Defensive driver. Most insurance companies offer a discount of up to 15 percent if you’ve recently completed a defensive-driving course.
Full payment. If you forgo installments and pay your annual premium at once, you could save 5 percent to 10 percent.
Paperless billing and automatic payment. Sign up to have your payment automatically deducted from an account and elect to receive only electronic statements, bills and policy notices. That will typically take an additional 5 percent off.
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