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Auto Insurance

10 Ways to Lower Your Auto Premium

If you're anything like the millions of others who shop for car insurance online, you're probably most concerned with finding an affordable policy with just the right amount of coverage.

At The Windward Insurance Agency, we've been helping Florida residents and their families for more than a decade find the most affordable and comprehensive coverage options imaginable. We're here to offer you choices – and the information you need to choose the best policy for you and your loved ones.

Here are 10 ways you can lower the cost of your auto insurance premium:

1. Ask Your Insurance Agent!

Not all insurance agencies or providers advertise their discounts or automatically apply them to your policy. So, it's important to ask a trusted insurance agent about what discounts or promotions you might qualify for. This can help ensure you are getting the best possible rate on your car insurance policy.

Many insurance providers offer discounts for a wide variety of reasons, such as being a safe driver, homeowner, full-time student with good grades, or a member of certain organizations. Don't hesitate to ask about any discounts you may be eligible for.

2. Drive Safely

Driving safely is one of the best ways to get a good deal on car insurance because your driving record has a significant impact on your insurance premium. Your age, gender, location, marital status, credit history, and type of vehicle also contribute to how much your car insurance will cost.

3. Take a Defensive Driving Course

Completing a defensive driving course may qualify you for a discount on your insurance premium. These discounts tend to save you between 5% - 10%, depending on the carrier and the policy. In Florida, for example, "mature drivers" age 55 and older can complete a course approved by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Even so, it's important to remember: each insurance carrier has the discretion to decide whether to offer discounts for taking defensive driving courses – and how much of a discount to give.

4. Anti-Theft & Safety Devices

Anti-theft devices can reduce the risk of your car being stolen and can make it easier to locate if stolen. Because of this, you may qualify for a discount on your car insurance premium when your vehicle is equipped with certain types of anti-theft devices, such as a car alarm, GPS tracking system, or remote engine shut-off.

You may also qualify for lower insurance rates if your car is equipped with other types of safety features, such as anti-lock brakes (ABS), airbags, daytime running lights, adaptive headlights, lane departure warning systems, and more.

Whether car insurance discounts are offered for cars with these devices and how much of a discount you're entitled to is at the insurance carrier's discretion.

5. Maintain a Good Credit Score

Your credit score can affect your insurance premium, so maintaining a good credit score can help you qualify for lower rates. Your credit score is one factor among many considered when you apply for car insurance. Other factors include your driving record, age, gender, location, and type of vehicle being insured.

6. Bundle Your Policies

Many insurance companies offer discounts if you carry multiple insurance policies with them, such as having car insurance and home insurance with the same carrier.

7. Pay Annually

Many car insurance carriers offer discounts if you pay your premium in full, upfront, instead of opting for monthly or semi-annual payment. These lump-sum-payment discounts not only help reduce the cost of your total premium (which can represent a real savings!) but may also lock in your rate for the longest possible time.

8. Increase Your Deductible

The deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. By increasing your deductible, you can lower your car insurance premium because it means you are now assuming more of the risk in case of an accident. The key here is to make sure you can afford to pay the deductible in the event you need to make a claim.

9. Lower Your Coverage Limits

This can be tricky. While it's true you can save money by lowering your coverage limits – how much the insurance company will pay in the event of an accident or other covered event – you should still retain enough coverage so a single fender-bender or other roadway incident doesn't break your bank.

This is where finding a reputable insurance agent and provider comes in. They can help you understand the terms and conditions of your policy, as well as offer advice about where you could safely cut corners. For example, if you have a paid-off older car, you may want to consider dropping some of its coverage to reduce your premium.

Your insurance agent can also explain which coverage types are required in the state and any minimum amounts required for each. For example, in Florida, you'll need at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability protection (PDL). And, while bodily injury insurance (BIL) is optional, it is strongly recommended for all drivers in the state in case you are sued by someone seriously injured in a car accident due to your negligence. Your BIL coverage kicks in after your PIP benefits are exhausted.  

In addition to PIP, PDL, and BIL, the additional types of auto coverage you'll want to discuss with your insurance agent include:

• Collision

• Comprehensive

• Loss of use (car rental reimbursement, other travel accommodations)

• Uninsured/underinsured motorist

• Towing

10. Comparison Shop

To get the best coverage at the most affordable price, it's important to shop around. Different car insurance providers offer different types of coverage, limits, deductibles, discounts, and exclusions – which can make them difficult to compare.

However, when you work with agents from a reputable insurance agency who allow you to choose from among the best carriers in the nation, they can help you compare apples to apples – and put each option into clearer perspective for you. They can also help you develop a better understanding of what each policy will and will not cover and ensure you are not missing any essential coverage, possibly leaving you vulnerable in case of an accident.

Get the Best Value on Car Insurance in Florida

To find out more about how to get the best deal on insurance for cars, motorcycles, ATVs, motor homes, and much more, contact us at The Windward Insurance Agency in Boca Raton, Florida, by calling (866) 231-2433 or get a quote online now.