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How to Drive Down Car Insurance Costs

Shopping for car insurance is probably low on your list of to do's. But even if it's not up for renewal, give your policy a second look – a few changes in your 'life, like those below, could mean you're due for a big break!

Did you have a credit score change? Whether it's gone up or down, you'll want to check with your auto insurer: Many use it to rate you – and adjust your premium accordingly. Your insurer not one of them? If your score has gone up, find an insurer that gives breaks to people with good ratings. On the other hand, if your company does factor in credit scores and yours has gone down, consider a company that ignores the scores.

Did you switch jobs? If you've been laid off or started working from home, ask about low-mileage discounts. Many insurers will take off a percentage if your commute disappears. Note: If you find a job ridiculously close to home, notify your insurer – a super-short drive is often considered the same as no drive at all, which may also qualify you for the rate reduction.

Are your kids getting older? If your child is about to reach driving age, do some comparison-shopping before adding her to your auto insurance. Surprisingly, the company you've been with for years may not give you the best rate! Insurers use different methods for calculating the risk-and cost-of a new driver. In some cases, that loyalty discount may not offset the additional cost. What if you have a young driver who's soon be off to college? Ask about a discount; you could score extra savings.

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