How to Save on Auto Insurance

Car insurance policies can be confusing. By looking at what coverage you need, you'll be able to save money in the long run.
By Zach Bowman, DriverSide Contributor
The best way to save on your automotive policy is to be a careful driver. That means obeying traffic laws and keeping an eye out for the guy who's emailing a client, talking to his wife and not looking at the road all at the same time. The longer you drive without having a claim, the lower your car insurance premium will be.

Not everyone is a saint behind the wheel, however. If your record is less than rosy, don't fret too much. Most states and insurance companies allow you to complete a driver education course to lower either the number of points on your driving record or the amount you pay for insurance. Expect to spend anywhere from four to eight hours suffering high school flashbacks as you watch videos and brush up on local laws. Most state department of motor vehicle web sites usually list certified courses and their phone numbers, and some even allow you to take the exam online.

Aside from your driving record, the type of vehicle you drive will have the largest impact on the potency of your premiums. Before signing the title, take a good look at what kind of difference, if any, your new ride will make on your bill. Insurance companies tend to favor safe vehicles that don't get stolen. It might be a good idea to pick up something with a few more air bags and a few less ponies to cut down on your insurance price tag too.

If you're not into changing your driving style, and don't want to trade in your Corvette for a Corolla, that's ok. There are other ways to put your pennies elsewhere. You can try adjusting your deductible. If you opted for a low deductible in the event of an accident when you bought your policy, and think you can keep yourself from swapping paint with another driver, upping the amount you agree to pay can bring your monthly bill down to a bearable size.

Knowing exactly what kind of policy each of your vehicles needs is a good way to pinch some pennies. While your straight from the showroom ride may need all the coverage it can get, you can probably lower the amount of coverage on your daily beater. If you're paying more in insurance each year than what the car is worth, it might be a good idea to take the policy down a notch or two.

If that doesn't work, trying to buy multiple policies from one company, asking about other discounts and doing some shopping between companies can never hurt. Keep in mind that some insurers provide discounts for long-term customers, so shopping around for the best deal could hurt you in the long run.

Ten Ways To Save On Auto Insurance
Obey the law
Avoid accidents
Drive a safe, less powerful vehicle
Take a driver course
Ask your agent or company what discounts are available
Ask for a higher deductible
Do some comparison-shopping
Lower coverage on less valuable vehicles
Get all of your insurance policies from one company
Be diligent of premium payments

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