In 2021, car insurance is arguably more important than ever before, especially in North America. There are more and more drivers on the road every year and this unfortunately means that there are more and more unsafe drivers.
It is essential that you make sure you are covered. This is actually quite a bit easier said than done. That’s not to say that it’s hard to find insurance per se, but it’s definitely a bit tricky to make sure that you have the right insurance. As there are all sorts and forms of insurance, from auto liability coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, medical payments coverage and personal injury protection, to the several forms of a car warranty.
Without proper research and consideration, you could end up paying way more than is necessary or quite conversely, getting cheaper insurance but in turn getting a lot less coverage than you were led to believe you were getting.
You do have to make sure that you have insurance before you go out on the road, but you also want to try and minimize your spending. There are smart ways to go about this which will ensure that you have coverage that isn’t extravagantly expensive.
Here’s 7 tips every NA driver should practice to make that happen:
1. Take Advantage of Discounts
There are multiple different kinds of discounts that are available from car insurance and you are probably entitled to at least a couple of them. You could get a multi-car discount if your family gets more than one car covered with the same provider.
There’s multi-policy insurance too, which you can be entitled to if you insure something else with the same provider such as your home, and then there are things like new car discount, good student discount and many more.
Do some research on them to find out which ones you can take advantage of. You might find some providers offer more than others too, so with that in mind:
2. Research Numerous Providers
You have an awful lot of options when it comes to deciding on a provider, but they might not all suit your specific requirements. There are various factors to think about such as what kind of car you have, how many people will be using your car and how often you will actually drive.
Combine those considerations with different metrics determining the quality of the provider. Research things like the J.D Rankings, financial strength ratings and find out what insurer’s body shops recommend.
You should usually be able to find a list of providers on your state’s department of insurance website.
3. Get Extra Qualifications
In addition to your driver’s licence, you could get a few more qualifications to increase your standing as a driver. The more evidence of your competence as a driver, the less they will charge you.
The best thing would be to do a defensive driving course, that’s something that is offered by a lot of different services and it’s also widely recognized by providers. You can look into advanced driving courses, road safety courses, or even get licenced for bigger vehicles.
4. Consider Third-Party Fire & Theft Coverage
There are less benefits to dropping from comprehensive fire and theft coverage to third-party, but the latter is actually all you are required by law to have as a driver. Now, I’m not saying you should just drop comprehensive outright, but it’s definitely something to think about.
You will be somewhat less protected in the case of fire or theft but it will cut down on the cost and you need to decide whether or not that’s worth it. These are less likely eventualities than accidents so you might not feel like this coverage is as important, but if you can afford it you might as well be as protected as possible.
So this will be based on your personal situation too.
5. Practice Safe Driving
This is pretty self-explanatory, but a great way to keep the costs of your insurance down is to actually just be a safe driver and avoid any black marks on your record. Doing a defensive driving course will be helpful in that regard.
As will just a general awareness of what’s going on around you and making sure that you always stay focused when you’re behind the wheel. In addition to cutting down the cost of your insurance, it’s also important to keep yourself safe.
6. Improve Security
Taking some anti-theft measures can definitely make your car look more desirable to a potential provider. With modern technology, there are so many things you can get now which will help in this regard.
GPS trackers, smart locks and keys, steering wheel locks and even investing in a wheel clamp could be a good idea. It will cost quite a bit and you will have to attach it every night, but it’s basically guaranteed to prevent theft.
7. Pay Annually
This might vary from provider to provider, but in general you can expect that paying for a full year’s worth of coverage up front will ultimately cost you less than paying on a month-to-month basis.
I know it will be a big down payment at the time and it will also feel a little strange to be committing to something new for a year when a month is an option, but the reality is that you should have done enough research and know enough about the provider to be sure it’s the right choice.
It’s worth saying that good quality insurance isn’t going to come cheap, but there is no reason for you to break the bank either. As long as you do the right amount of research and take the quality of your own driving seriously, you should be able to secure car insurance that is both affordable and valuable.