If your car insurance premiums keep climbing, even if you haven't had an accident, it may be time to re-evaluate your policy.
If you own a car, insurance isn't optional – and it's the kind of recurring expense that can creep up over time if you aren't paying attention.
One of the ways you can reduce the pain of your monthly bills is by taking some time to see what can be done to lower your car insurance payments.
To help, we've put together a short guide to the 5 things worth trying for anyone frustrated with their monthly car insurance premium.
1. Are You Over Insured?
It's common for car owners to be over-insured, and the number one reason for it is confusion.
There's a lot to think about when you're shopping for insurance, collision and comprehensive insurance plans plus bundles and deductible rates can be overwhelming – and no one likes to read the fine print.
Take an hour or two to go over your plan and understand what your policy includes, and make a list of the things you don't feel you need.
For instance, if you're driving an old clunker and you have enough money in your emergency fund to cover the cost of a new car, you probably don't need collision insurance. Without collision insurance, you'll have to pay out of pocket in the event you have damage from a collision, but you'll also be able to put the monthly savings towards building your emergency fund.
Once you've got your list of ways to save, call up your insurance agent or auto insurance company and see how much you can save by trimming the fat.
2. All Roads Lead Back to Credit
Your credit score will affect almost every part of your financial life, from renting an apartment to driving your car.
A lot of factors contribute to your premium, including your driving history, miles driven per year, and of course, your credit history. If you're on shaky ground credit-wise you'll definitely feel it when you're paying your premiums.
You can easily save on car insurance if you take some time to improve your credit score. You'll likely be eligible for lower car insurance rates. It's possible your insurance originally raised your deductible because of your credit history, so if your credit has improved, let them know.
A better credit score can have a positive impact on other financial products too, including personal loans, and life insurance.
3. Shared Plans to Lower Your Car Insurance
If you're a multidriver household, you should be able to find insurance plans that can save you significant cash. A lot of insurance companies offer discounts to customers who are applying for multiple people or cars.
Keep in mind that shared plan requirements vary widely, but most insurance companies require you to be related, either by blood or marriage and live with the other drivers on your plan.
4. Defensive Driving Classes
It's no secret that good drivers are less costly to insure – but even if you have an excellent driving record, many car insurance companies will offer lower insurance rates if you take a defensive driving course. Online services like iDriveSafely, SafeMotorist and Improv make it easy to get credit without leaving home. Once you've completed the safe driver course, you can expect a discount of up to 10% off your monthly insurance premium.
Safe driving classes can cost anywhere from $40 to $100, but if you add up the savings you'll be eligible for, you'll often still come out ahead.
5. Drive Less, Save More
One of the key factors in terms of determining your car insurance premiums is the amount of driving you do on a regular basis.
If you're someone who drives three hours to work every day, you'll probably pay a higher premium than someone who only takes the car out for groceries once a week.
If you can cut down on your driving, you should be able to cut down on your premiums as well. Let your insurance carrier know if you'll be driving less, and they may be able to reduce your premium.