California says you must carry auto insurance before putting your car on the road. It is a legal requirement of all California drivers. Besides fulfilling the legal requirement to drive, auto insurance policies also protect the car and driver from a variety of threats and risk. Even if it wasn’t required by law, auto insurance is a good idea in California. The hard part is figuring out which policy is right for you and exactly much coverage you need in your particular situation. To make it just a little harder, factor in the ever-rising cost of insurance premiums in the state. It is natural instinct for most people to simply seek out the cheapest policy they can find and legally get away with but that is a recipe for disaster. To get the most out of your policy, since you have to have it anyway, you must search for the policy with the most coverage for the lowest price. Simple as it is, there are a few tried and true auto insurance life hacks that will have your hair whipping in the California breeze with a lot more money in your pocket.
Go Big or Go Home
In the world of auto insurance, it is usually best to opt in for the bigger deductible. The most obvious reason to do this is it lowers your premiums considerably. The down side is you pay more if something does happen to your car. However, having a lower premium equals quite a bit of savings in the long run. It is important to remember to keep enough cash aside to meet the deductible at any moment. You never know when a piano will fall out of a top floor window and smash your car to smithereens.
Make it Mutual
A mutual insurance company will usually be the best choice, but they aren’t always easy to find. These types of insurance companies are owned in their entirety by the policy holders. At the end of the fiscal year, these companies give their profits to the policyholders, of which you are hopefully one, as opposed to some fat cat shareholders. This can come in the form of a refund or discount. If you can find a mutual insurance company, it is the best idea for policyholders.
You Better Shop Around
You can hit two birds with one stone if you do your insurance shopping as you shop for your new car. It is possible to find a great deal on your dream car, but when you factor in insurance costs you find its way above budget. This is probably the biggest annoyance of all. Getting a ton of quotes and dealing with the residual junk mail is the bane of a car shoppers existence for months to come.
Do Some One Stop Shopping
One thing you’ll notice right away is how many other things your auto insurer can insure. Most all companies will also be able to offer you home, life, health, pet, and a plethora of other types of policies. Combining some or all of your other insurance needs can save you money. It is worth the time and effort to get quotes on your other needs just to make sure you aren’t missing out on some deep savings.
Pay it Forward
Unless your just into overpaying the insurance company more than you have to, its best to fork out that heft payment of six months at a time. The amount discounted for doing so saves you quite a bit in the yearly average. It seems like a big chunk, and it is, but you have more money in your pocket each month as a result.
Cut the Waste
How often do you really need towing and/or rental cars? Take a look at some of the odds and ends you’re paying for on your policy and you may find you don’t need them or can get them cheaper elsewhere. If you haven’t needed a tow in 2 years, it’s a safe bet to take those added fees off your policy.
Shave Some Miles
Since car insurance premiums are related to how much you drive, now is a good time to take up bicycling. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, consider taking the bus, carpooling or walking more often. Anyone who drives 5,000 miles per year is significantly less likely to get in an accident than a recurrent road warrior who does 50,000 miles per year. Ask your agent what the brackets are, and decide if you can make a few variations in your life to get into a lower one.
Jump Through Some Hoops
Often, you can find things your insurance company like for you to do or have, and they will lower your premiums. One of the most common you’ll find are driving courses. Ask your agent if taking a driver’s course can do anything for your rate or premiums. It won’t be the Indy 500 course, but it could help you save for a ticket.
You’re are not stuck with your car insurance. There are ways to change it for the better. Starting with a decent credit report will put the right foot forward. The rest is up to you.