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.

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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.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Oct 8, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Drivers are rated based on their years of driving experience, their gender, and also their driving record
  • When you commute to work, you pay higher rates than those who work from home, carpool or take public transportation
  • You may qualify for mileage-based discounts, but be sure that you are honest with the insurance company

Most drivers want cheaper car insurance but are not sure how to go about lowering their rates.

If you are tired of opening up your renewal invoices just to find that your rates have increased, now is the time to learn how you can save money.

Read this step-by-step guide to finding cheaper car insurance, and you can determine if you are getting the best rates from your insurer or if it is time to make the switch.

Find the right policy for you and your family. Use our FREE comparison tool above by entering your zip code now!

Table of Contents

Step One: Review Your Current Auto Insurance Policy for Errors

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Have you taken the time to review your auto insurance since you purchased it?

You should set aside a few minutes out of your day each time your policy renews just to be sure that your information is up-to-date.

Errors can cost a significant amount of money and lead to overpaying.

Here are some things to look for on your declarations page so that you can spot the errors or out-of-date that is leading to higher rates:

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Listed Drivers on the Policy

Drivers are rated based on their years of driving experience, their gender, and also their driving record.

If the driver has very little experience, moving violations or a history of getting into at-fault accidents, your rates could skyrocket.

Be sure to review the listed drivers section of the policy to look for drivers who no longer have access to your car.

If a risky driver has their own insurance or they have moved out, you need to remove them or sign an exclusion form so they do not cost you.

Change of Occupation

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When you commute to work, you pay higher rates than those who work from home, carpool or take public transportation.

These classes include pleasure usage, commuting, and business usage.

Commuting and driving for business cost the most because you drive in the most stressful conditions. Some companies also charge you based on the miles of your commute.

If you recently retired, moved offices, or changed careers, be sure you are being rated properly.

Annual Mileage

If you added another car, it can also be helpful to check your annual mileage classifications.

The higher your mileage, the more expensive your rating bracket.

Check to see how many miles you estimated that you would drive and correct this if it is too high.

You may qualify for mileage-based discounts, but be sure that you are honest because some companies verify this information by asking for an odometer reading.

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Step Two: Start Comparison Shopping

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If you ask any auto insurance expert how you can save money off of your premiums, the expert is going to tell you that you need to shop around.

In fact, no mission to find cheap insurance is complete without getting multiple quotes from different companies.

Shopping around is so important because no two companies have the same rates.

Each company sets their own unique rating system that will be beneficial to a specific rating class.

It is also extremely important to request quotes with the same coverages that you currently hold so that you can do a true rate comparison.

Compare Car Insurance Companies

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Check Financial Strength Ratings

Offering cheap insurance is only a positive thing if the company that offers that cheap coverage is financially stable.

Financial stability means that the insurer will be able to cover claims without going bankrupt. It also means that the company collects enough premiums to cover projected losses and can still take home a profit.

Check the grades through sites like AM Best, Standard & Poors or Moody’s, and you can find out how your current insurer measures up against the rest.

Licensing and Complaint Records

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You should never buy auto insurance from a company that is not licensed to do business in your state. If the company does not have a membership with the Department of Insurance, you have no line of protection.

The department will investigate complaints and hold insurers to a high standard.

This is why you always need to check a company’s licensing status and then check their complaint records.

Complaints are public record and could be an indicator that insurers delay claims, offer low payments or misrepresent their products.

Complaint records can be accessed through the state department of insurance site or through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners source.

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Product and Coverage Offerings

Everyone wants to receive good service, but you also want to be able the products and the coverage options that you need through your insurer.

Check to see what type of supplemental coverage you can add to your plan.

You should also see if the insurer offers other lines of insurance like:

  • Property coverage
  • Life
  • Disability

This will make buying coverage much easier in the future and may qualify you for some added discounts.

Step 3: Look For Ways to Save Off of Your Premiums

If there is more than one car in your household or you carry your property insurance with another carrier, you should combine your policies and reap the rewards.

Having all of your insurance in one place pays off in the long haul.

You will get multi-car discounts on each car and you will get a total policy discount as high as 30 percent if you have property insurance.

Raise Deductibles and Remove Duplicate Cover

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You may not need every coverage that you are offered. If you have medical insurance with low deductibles or a roadside assistance plan, you do not need medical payments or towing coverage.

You should always consider the cost first.

It can also help you to raise deductibles if you can afford to do so.

You will pay more out-of-pocket if you have a loss but can save if you never have to file a claim.

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Good Student and Driver Safety Discounts

If you have a young driver on your policy, they will be considered a high-risk drive for at least 3 to 9 years. This is why policies go up so high when teens are added.

You can lower the high-risk surcharges by receiving Good Student or Driver Safety Education discounts. Use this as an incentive for your child to be licensed.

The more that you can cut away at your premiums, the more money you keep in your bank account.

To find the best rates, comparison shop through our FREE online rate comparison tool below! Enter your zip code to get started now!