Car insurance, or any type of auto insurance for that matter, is something we simply cannot avoid. In most developed countries, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle on public roads without appropriate cover, so we really have no choice but to bite the bullet and cough up.
With that said, the average person continues to pay more than they need to, simply because they make the same mistakes over and over again. Here are 10 mistakes to avoid when it comes to car insurance:
1. Failure to Shop Around
Many people take out insurance with a particular company simply because the company was recommended to them by friends or family. This can prove to be a very costly mistake because there are so many variables involved, and besides, just because that may have had the best rates last year, doesn’t mean they’re still offering the best rates this year. You need to get quotes from at least six or seven providers before you make a decision.
2. Choosing the Minimum Deductable
The deductable is what you pay out of your own pocket should you submit a claim. The lower the deductable, the less you pay in the event of a claim, but the higher your premiums will be. Increasing the deductable amount, within reason of course, can lower the cost of auto insurance considerably.
3. Keeping the Same Level of Cover
Sure, if you buy a new car, or even a relatively new one, you’ll want maximum cover, so you buy fully comprehensive cover. This type of cover will cover you completely, no matter what, but it costs. But, once your car has aged a bit, and decreased in value, do you really need maximum coverage? After all, you could end up paying more for insurance over a two year period than what your car is worth.
4. Failure to Inquire About Discounts
Don’t assume your insurance provider is going to keep you updated regarding new discounts or special rates. Why would they want to voluntarily lose money?
5. Including Unnecessary Drivers
If you have more than one driver in your home, only include those who use your car regularly on your car insurance policy. This is particularly true in the case of teens. If your teenager only uses the car once or twice each year, rather opt for temporary cover when it’s needed.
6. Including All Drivers as Fulltime Drivers
If your partner or child only uses your car occasionally, ask your insurance provider if they offer discount rates for occasional drivers or limited mileage.
7. Failure to Check Driving Record
While it may not be a common occurrence, many people end up paying more for insurance because their driving record shows a history of traffic violations and/or accidents, when in fact they have never had any such violations or accidents.
8. Poor Credit History
Contrary to what many people believe, many insurance companies, but not all, will run a credit check, and if you have a poor credit history, it can push up the costs of auto insurance dramatically. If your credit score is less than perfect, choose a provider that doesn’t factor in a person’s credit score.
9. Claiming for Minor Incidences
Don’t submit a claim for minor things. If you can pay for minor repairs out of your own pocket, you’ll stand to benefit more in the long run. The more you claim, the higher your premiums are going to be.
10. Not Researching Before Buying a Car
Certain makes and models cost more to insure simply because statistics show they are more likely to get stolen. Check with insurance providers to find out what cars are best avoided before you actually buy a car.
Car insurance is here to stay, but if you avoid these common mistakes, you may just be pleasantly surprised at how affordable cover can be.