It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced driver, a young driver, have a poor driving record, or a perfect driving record, we all want affordable car insurance! To help save some money, you should understand the factors insurance companies use to calculate car insurance premiums and which types of discounts they offer. Use these tips from Direct Auto & Life Insurance to learn about the many ways you could get cheap — or cheaper auto coverage!
To help lower your car insurance costs…
1. Consider the auto coverage you really need.
Almost every state requires that drivers carry a certain amount of car insurance. So, while you’ll need to buy the state minimum (typically, at least liability insurance) to stay legal, you may decide against collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, or other optional coverages — especially if you have an older, less expensive vehicle. However, if you go this route, be prepared to pay costs out of pocket if your vehicle gets into an accident, is vandalized, stolen, destroyed in a natural disaster, or damaged by something else that your policy doesn’t cover.
2. Take care of your driving record.
To help set rates, car insurance companies will look at your motor vehicle report (MVR), or driving history. Therefore, a clean driving record with few or no accidents, moving violations, DUIs, or penalty points, could mean lower car insurance payments. However, if you do have blemishes on your driving record, time is on your side. After three years or more, basic violations can drop off. And if you fall into the high-risk driver category, it could be wiped after ten years. Some states even allow you to take defensive driving courses, or traffic school to help improve your driving record.
3. Consolidate insurance policies.
If your household has multiple vehicles and insurance products, but separate insurance policies and/or companies, then consider simplifying your financial life by bundling them with one insurance company — and even save some money! Insurance companies typically offer discounted pricing when you bundle your policies or insure more than one vehicle with them. For example, Direct Auto & Life Insurance offers a multi-product insurance discount of up to 5% if you purchase an additional qualifying product like term life insurance, and a multi-car discount that could save you up to 25% on your auto insurance.
4. Drive the least expensive vehicle to insure.
Thinking about buying a car? Before you start shopping, estimate which vehicles generally have the lowest insurance rates. Car insurance companies typically consider factors like, how much it would cost to repair or replace the car, the frequency of incidents or claims with the car model, how much damage the vehicle can cause, what safety features are included, and how much horsepower it has. For example, a minivan, family sedan, or small to midsize SUV with a high safety rating, inexpensive parts, and minimal flashy features may be less expensive to insure than a full-size SUV, fast sports car, or another luxury vehicle. Your best bet? Get a car insurance quote or two for the vehicle(s) you’re interested in buying and see which is cheapest.
5. Comparison Shop.
Some insurance companies, like Direct Auto, aim to make monthly car insurance payments more affordable. It could be worth getting a quote and comparing it to your current rate to see how much you could save. And even if you’ve been driving without coverage, you may still be able to protect yourself with an affordable policy. Comparison shop to see if you could get cheap car insurance!
6. Be a good student.
When you’re new to the road, finding affordable car insurance for teens, college students, or other younger drivers can be difficult as you’re building your driving experience. Fortunately, those straight A’s won’t only get you ahead in life, they could also get you a discount on your auto coverage! While this discount isn’t always available in all states, it’s worth looking into to save some money for other things that matter, like books, pizza, and a monthly TV subscription!
7. Adjust how you make payments.
If you can afford it, paying for a six- or twelve- month policy in full instead of making month-to-month payments could save you money. Insurance companies typically charge a monthly installment fee; therefore, paying for the policy up front could help you avoid this additional cost. However, if you’re unable to pay in full, you may be able to lower your monthly installments by setting up an automatic scheduled payment. And with Direct, you can even customize your payments so that however you choose to pay is more convenient for you.
8. Maintain auto coverage.
Did you know a lapse in car insurance, even if only for a short period, can lead to higher premiums? While there are exceptions to this rule, such as if you’re a military employee or maintaining seasonal motorcycle insurance, generally, you’ll pay more once you buy coverage again. Plus, driving uninsured is illegal, and could also be costly if you’re stopped by police or involved in an accident. Instead, save money with continuous coverage, or continuous liability insurance. For example, our prior coverage and “Welcome Back” discount could help you save when you choose Direct. If you’ve been with your current car insurance company for at least six months, simply show your insurer a copy of the declaration page with the policy details (often the first page of your policy) as proof for your discounted rate1.
Whew, that was a lot of ways to save money! Did you know there are even more ways you can save? Click here to learn about all of Direct Auto’s driver discounts and see which ones you may qualify for! Then, call 1-877-DIRECT ( 1-877-463-4732 ), click online, or come into one of 400 stores in your neighborhood to speak with a friendly agent and get a personalized quote. Don’t go without — go with Direct!
 Direct Auto & Life Insurance discounts are subject to terms and conditions and may not be available in all states.