Tip #13 – How to negotiate your car insurance

Most of us pick a rate once, then never go back again. But if you do, you can save hundreds of dollars each year. First, check to see if you have the right amount of coverage. Nobody teaches us about this stuff, so when you bought car insurance, you may not have known which coverage options to choose.

Second, figure out what kind of coverage you currently have and how much you’re paying
. Don’t be lazy — do this. If you don’t have your current info in front of you, how can you hope to save? Either call your car insurance company or use their website.

Third, it’s time to start shopping around. Call competitor companies and ask some questions:

How much would I save if I insure my car and house with you?

What about renewal discounts? How long have I been a member with you? What can you offer me as a discount for long-term membership?

Can I save money by pre-paying my entire year up front?

Let’s check my car. I know other firms offer discounts for features like anti-lock brakes. What about you?

What kind of low-mileage discounts do you offer?

If I enrolled in a defensive-driving course, what kind of discount would you offer? Oh, really? Which courses qualify?

What about discounts for my employer? (Tell them the specific name of your employer?)

Some insurance companies offer discounts for low-risk occupations (engineers). What kind of competitive rates do you offer?

Am I paying for roadside assistance? What other additional “benefits” am I paying for?

Can you walk me through the deductible changes I could make to save money? (Deductibles are what you pay before your insurance policy kicks in. By requesting higher deductibles, you can lower your costs substantially. Before choosing a higher deductible, be sure you have enough money set aside to pay it if you have a claim.)

Word of caution: don’t always choose the cheapest provider. Research the companies and determine who provides good service for the price. Negotiating is mostly about keeping up with the changing rates and making sure you’re wringing every last benefit from your policy. Review this every year.

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