I recently reviewed my car insurance policy with my local agent to see if we could get lower rates. It's something I like to do at least once a year and would highly recommend doing it yourself. We were able to lower our car insurance rates by about
$200 $400/year. Not bad!
Most good insurance agents will be asking you the right questions to get you the best rate. However, they can't possibly know every one's situation, so it helps to be a bit proactive. Make sure you bring up some of the following items when you are checking your rates or when your annual policy comes due. Do let me know if I have overlooked any that you have benefited from.
- Single / married (sometimes insurers think you're more cautious if you're hitched)
- Car stored in the garage
- 55 or older (if so – you can take a defensive driving class and have your rates lowered even more)
- Do you drive the car mostly for pleasure or work
- Anti-theft device on the car (they'll want to know if it is always on or you have to manually turn it on)
- Liability or full-coverage (if you've paid off your vehicle and it's kind of a clunker, I might go with liability coverage)
- Have you participated in a safe driving course
- Your profession (for example, if you're in the military – you may be eligible for certain breaks)
- Good driving record (they typically go back 3-5 years)
- Non-drinker (you can throw this out there – but many insurance providers can't actually verify this info)
- Multi-policy discount (insurers will give you a break if you have other policies with them as well)
I always try and deal with a local agent too. They're likely to be more interested in you and can also compare rates, while giving you pros and cons with each insurer. Of course you can shop for rates online – but again – I think having the human element involved is almost a necessity.
Any other ways you go about getting the best possible rates?