Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

Full Bio →

Written by

Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Aug 11, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right car insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our car insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different car insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Key takeaways...

  • C
  • Carrying insurance for your car is a smart thing to do financially, and it is also required by most of the states
  • Shopping around for other car insurance companies can be a good strategy when you want to lower your rates
  • Research any discounts that you may be eligible for
  • Make sure you are only paying for coverage you need

When you are trying to negotiate lower car insurance rates, there are things that you should do and things that you shouldn’t do.

Carrying insurance for your car is a smart thing to do financially, and it is also required by most of the states. This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to pay top dollar for your auto insurance policy.

Find cheap auto insurance quotes now by entering your local ZIP code into the FREE quote tool above!

There are quite a lot of providers of car insurance located throughout the country, and many of them will compete for your business by offering lower rates.

Some auto insurers will offer discounts to reward those drivers who are doing what they can to keep claim rates low. There are also decisions that you can make that will result in a decrease in your premiums.

Should you shop around?

Absolutely. Shopping around for other car insurance companies can be a good strategy when you want to lower your rates. If your current company isn’t meeting your needs, either financially or in other ways, then you should find one that will. Many auto insurance companies offer competitive a monthly payment, but some of them also offer longtime customer discounts or full-time student discounts. If you’ve been with your current company for a while, it wouldn’t hurt to call customer service and see what they offer. You might save some money!

Some auto insurance companies will also offer you a discount for switching from a different company. Others just offer better rates for their policies. You will often be charged an extra fee for the application and/or for administrative charges.

Compare what you will save with this extra charge and decide whether a switch is worth it.

If you find a new company to insure your vehicle, make sure that you don’t cancel your old policy until you have new auto insurance coverage in place. If you do, you will have a gap in your insurance and this is bad in a couple of ways.

First of all, if something were to happen to your vehicle during the coverage gap, you would not be covered for any of the damage and you would be required to pay for everything on your own. That would include not only property damage but also any medical bills incurred while you don’t have insurance.

Secondly, insurance companies see a gap as being a negative thing, even if it was only a day or two in duration. This will probably cause your premium to increase, not only now but also in the future.

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How can you get auto insurance discounts?

One easy way to lower your auto insurance rates is to take advantage of any of the many discounts that most major insurers offer.

These discounts are meant to help those who are considered to be a low risk to the insurance company. There are discounts for a variety of things, depending on each insurance provider.

One of the most prevalent and easiest discounts to use is the multi-policy discount, which can save you up to 20 percent depending on the company.

If you rent an apartment or if you own a house, you can combine your homeowner’s/renter’s policy with your auto policy to save on your overall insurance costs. If you have multiple cars in your household, you may be entitled to a multi-car discount.

If you need insurance for any other vehicles, including recreational vehicles, or even insurance for snowmobiles, if you put all of your policies with the same company, your rates will be lowered.
Long-time customers may be entitled to a loyalty discount.

If you have a teenage driver, you are probably especially interested in finding out ways to lower your insurance bill. Teen drivers pay the most for car insurance because of their high risk on the road, as explained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

One way to save money on them is to encourage them to do well in school. Many insurance companies will offer discounts to students who get an average of B or better.

Other discounts that may be available are for having safety features and anti-theft devices in your vehicle, and for having no accidents (often called safe driver discounts). Some insurance companies offer discounts for taking defensive driving courses as well. This way, you can improve your driving skills while saving money.

You should also ask your insurer if they have an accident forgiveness program, as this can save you money down the line.

What coverage should you keep and what should you drop?

Although dropping some types of coverage may be a good way to lower your insurance bill, there are times when it is not smart.

Even though paying for just basic liability coverage will get you a cheaper rate, you will end up paying a lot more in the event you are in an accident.

If you are driving a car that is more expensive to repair or replace, removing coverage that helps pay for damage to your own vehicle, such as comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, is not a very good idea. Liability insurance will help keep your out of pocket costs low.

Also, if you are leasing your vehicle or if you are financing a new purchase, you are probably required to carry full coverage until the financial obligation has been met.

Should you evaluate your car insurance needs?

All the time. Not all vehicles need to be fully insured. You may be able to lower your rates by taking off some of the auto coverage that you currently have on your policy. At the very least, you will need to carry coverage for liability and any other state requirement.

If you are unsure as to what coverage is needed in your state, contact your state insurance department. You can find its information online, or with this map.

Once your state requirements are fulfilled, you can start to evaluate what you really need.

If you are driving a vehicle that is up there in age and you are carrying coverage for comprehensive and collision, you may be able to drop both of those. It is unnecessary to carry those coverage types once the value of your car gets close to your deductibles, and you’ll find that your annual rate will decrease if you tailor your coverage to the type of car you have.

Visit Kelley Blue Book to get a general idea of what your vehicle is worth. Compare that with your deductible and decide if you may be able to cancel that extra insurance coverage.

Also look at the medical coverage on your policy. If you are carrying coverage on your vehicle and you have good health insurance, you may be paying for too much. Your insurance cost shouldn’t include anything that you already have covered through your health insurance.

If this is the case, consider removing the medical payment coverage from your auto policy. Consult with your agent before doing so in case there are better reasons to keep both.

If you are currently carrying roadside assistance coverage on your policy, but you have AAA or some other similar coverage, take that coverage off.

There is no need to be covered twice. Also, if you are paying for car rental insurance in the event your car has to be repaired but you have other cars in your household that you could use instead, consider dropping the rental insurance to save some money. That way, your level of coverage can be at a financially comfortable rate for you.

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Don’t Drop Coverage that Is Necessary

Although dropping some types of coverage may be a good way to lower your insurance bill, there are times when it is not smart.

Even though paying for just basic insurance will save you money on your monthly premium, you will end up paying a lot more in the event you are in an accident.

If you are driving a car that is more expensive to repair or replace, removing coverage that helps pay for damage to your own vehicle, such as comprehensive and collision, is not a very good idea.

Also, if you are leasing your vehicle or if you are financing a new purchase, you are probably required to carry full coverage until the financial obligation has been met.

Compare Car Insurance Companies

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How should you choose an auto insurance carrier?

If you are shopping around for rate quotes and you come across one that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Some companies may offer more affordable rates but then don’t follow through when it is important to you.

That is why you should do research on each company you are considering and not just choose one based on its quote.

One thing you should do is get a hold of your state insurance department and inquire about the companies. See if they are able to sell insurance in your state, in regards to licensing and registration. Also ask about any complaints made against them or other negative information.

You can also reference your local Better Business Bureau to inquire about offices in your area. You will be presented with positive information about the company, as well as any complaints and how they were handled.

Also visit a website such as A.M. Best., where you will be able to see how a company stacks up financially. You do not want to choose a company that rates low and doesn’t have enough assets to support current and future claims.

You also don’t want to choose a provider that has a negative outlook and may not be around for a very long time. The general rule of thumb is to choose a car insurance provider that rates with an A- or better and has an outlook that is considered to be stable or positive.

Does car insurance affect your credit?

Yes, so make sure you’re getting a fair deal in order to keep on top of your finances. If you can’t figure out a way to lower your car insurance premium and you are looking to save money in your budget, don’t skimp on paying other bills.

If you don’t pay a bill or you pay it late all the time, whether it is your car insurance bill or another one, it will affect your credit in a negative way.

The majority of auto insurance companies take your credit history into account when determining your premium. Having good credit is one way to lower your rate, so you should do whatever you can to keep your credit in good standing, including paying bills on time.

If you need advice on how to improve a poor credit score go to myFICO. This will help you in many areas of your life.

Along with affecting your credit, the consequence of paying your car insurance bill late includes possibly having your policy canceled.

This is not something that you want to happen. Not only would you have to find a new insurance company, but you would have a gap in your car insurance coverage. And as previously mentioned, having an insurance lapse can lead to a lot of problems.

A gap will negatively affect you for a very long time. Most insurance providers will charge you a higher premium if you happen to have a past coverage gap. You will probably be charged more because you have an insurance cancellation in your history as well.

Don’t waste any more time to look for car insurance rates just fill your ZIP code into the FREE quote tool below!