For many people, the start of a New Year brings resolutions, including how to save more money in the year ahead. One smart resolution is a review of your car insurance policy. New discounts, options for smart driving practices and an accurate reflection of your car’s value can save you hundreds annually.
CARSTAR North America offers a few tips to help ensure your auto insurance premium dollars are spent in the most effective manner possible, and recommends checking with your insurance agent or carrier to better understand your options.
• Clean Driving Record: If you have a clean driving record with no accidents and no violations in the last three years, you should qualify for a significant “safe driver” discount. If you don’t see a discount of this type on your declarations page that comes with your renewal, check with your agent or insurance provider.
• In-Car Technology: Good driving habits can also turn into money savings with user-based insurance. Many carriers offer technology tools that customers hook into the diagnostic port in their car or information gathered from systems like OnStar. The tool pulls data from the car’s computer system and sends it to the company via a cellular network. The tool tracks the time of day the car is driven, the miles, the acceleration and braking. Average discounts can range between 10-15%.
• Military: Many insurance carriers offer discounts for members of the armed forces.
• Bundling: If your auto and homeowner policies are with the same insurance company you probably qualify for another type of discount.
• Good Student: If you have young drivers on your policy who are good students, usually a B average or higher, you may qualify for additional discounts. There are also discounts available for participating in safe driving programs.
• Safety Equipment: If your current vehicles have special accident avoidance systems like rear-view cameras, airbags, collision-warning systems, anti-locking brakes and an anti-theft protection device, you may qualify for additional discounts.
• Green Vehicles: If you own a car that is a hybrid or takes alternative fuel, it may garner additional savings with your insurance provider.
• High Deductible: Changing the amount of your collision and/or comprehensive deductibles can also be an option to control your premium costs. Selecting a higher deductible for either coverage will lower your premium. But it’s important to understand this move will increase your financial exposure should an accident occur.
• Billing: Many companies offer discounts on items like paperless billing, paying your entire premium in one payment and customer loyalty.
“Making your car insurance resolutions at the beginning of the year can deliver savings all year long,” said Arlo Johnson, Vice President of Insurance Relations for CARSTAR. “And, you can rest assured that you have the best coverage for your vehicle and family.”