Guide to getting the best auto insurance rate

Getting the best auto insurance can seem tiring. This becomes even more difficult when you consider that many insurance agents are reluctant to voluntarily disclose information about the discounts and deductibles they have available.

Getting the best car insurance, therefore, means arming yourself with the facts.

1) Compare premiums

The first thing you want to do is compare premiums. The rates in your area may vary from place to place or from agency to agency. Sure, they may not be materially different, but even a percentage point or two can help save quite a bit of money over the longer term.

Visit various insurance company websites and compare the rates offered to you. State insurance offices usually have price guides, but the categories used by the companies you’re considering may not match yours, so use a guide of your own to find the most cost-effective insurance agents in your area.

2) Family

If you have teenagers in your family, anyone under 25 to be exact, handle them with care. Young drivers tend to pay more because they are accident prone. Once they reach 25, this statistically decreases.

That said, if you have kids, encourage them to keep their grades high, at a B average or higher, so they can get discounts on auto insurance. Students can save between 5% and 25%. In addition, they can get a big discount if they take approved driving courses.

Parents of students who spend part of the year at a school that is more than 100 miles from home and who need the family car for this may also receive a contribution towards the costs.

3) Drive carefully

Children are not the only ones who need to be careful on the road. Many insurance companies give a 5% discount to anyone who has a clean record three years in a row and 10% to those who go six years without an accident or violation.

You can even get discounts depending on where you live if you’re a woman and the only driver in the family, a non-smoker, a senior or a member of a specific profession that is statistically less prone to accidents (usually law or medicine).

Other discounts can be obtained by taking defensive driving courses, carpooling or keeping your car low on mileage. If you participate in a data tracking program, where the insurance companies can monitor your driving, you can often get a discount on that too.

These rates all vary based on where you are located and what company you use. In addition, you may not be eligible for a discount one month and you may be eligible the next.

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You need to keep up to date with the insurance company and make sure you get the discounts you deserve because they aren’t the ones telling you the ways you can save. Asking about these programs can only help you save, not hurt you. So call your broker today.