Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for 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 7, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • If you use just a few tricks and tips to lower your coverage costs, then your monthly car insurance payment will seem more like a great deal than a burden
  • Don’t lie on your insurance application. It is considered insurance fraud
  • The first step that you need to take to lower your car insurance cost is to lower your risk in the judgment of car insurance underwriters
  • Once you get you quotes back, review information about your contenders, such as customer service reviews and financial ratings, to find the best company with a great price

Car insurance is one of those dreaded costs that most people pay every month, but it doesn’t have to be that bad.

If you use just a few tricks and tips to lower your coverage costs, then your monthly car insurance payment will seem more like a great deal than a burden.

Find the best deals on car insurance coverage when you use the FREE quote tool above!

Make sure that you avoid less-recommended methods to lower your car insurance costs, as they are not worth it in the long run. There are enough positive ways to lower your car insurance costs without resorting to less favorable ways.

Avoid These Ways to Lower Costs

Not all car insurance advice is sound, so you need to make sure you only use appropriate ways to lower your car insurance premiums.

First, don’t listen to any advice about lowering your liability limits to your state’s minimums or dropping collision or comprehensive coverage, as both can cause huge bills for you in the future!

Low liability limits might not be enough coverage if you cause a serious accident. You will be footing the bill for any damages or injuries to others that your insurance doesn’t cover.

Most people don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to pay for someone else’s doctor’s bills or car repairs. Additionally, if your vehicle is worth more than $1,000, then collision and comprehensive are coverage options that you need in order to protect the value of your vehicle.

Secondly, don’t lie on your car insurance application. Many lie about how many miles they drive, where they park their vehicles, and even where they live!

Though many people do it, it is considered car insurance fraud to lie on your car insurance application.

Fraud is against the law. At best, soft fraud such as lying on your car insurance application will get your application denied; at worst, it can be grounds to dismiss your claim or even get you fined or jail time.

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Offset Your Past Driving

The first step that you need to take to lower your car insurance cost is to lower your risk in the judgment of car insurance underwriters. Your risk is how likely you are to file a claim in the future.

Car insurance companies try to lower their payouts by offering the best rates to drivers with low risk. If you are determined to be in a low-risk category, then your car insurance costs will be lower right off the bat.

Insurers look at your past behaviors and other markers to determine your risk. Some of these aspects you can control, and others you cannot.

The biggest factor is your past driving record. Accidents and tickets within the last three years tell insurance underwriters that you are a much higher risk for possibly filing a claim for an accident in the future. Obviously, the more serious the driving violation, the higher it will cause your rates to rise.

If your driving history is dotted with accidents, speeding tickets, and other violations, then you are going to have to change your driving behaviors if you ever want a low cost for car insurance.

Reckless driving, speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence all spell high claims to car insurers, and they will all result in higher insurance costs for you.

If you had a ticket or accident today, it will not be off of your driving record for three years. DUIs and other serious violations usually affect your record for at least ten years.

If you started driving safely and carefully tomorrow, then that would be one positive driving day on your record. A week, a month, a year of good driving; they will all positively affect your car insurance costs.

Get one ticket or accident, and the three-year countdown starts all over again. Yet, driving safely doesn’t just affect your car insurance rates; it can possibly save you from great injury or even death.

While you are focusing on driving safely, you can also take a driving safety course to give you some pointers and reduce your insurance costs in the meantime.

Every state has its own rules and regulations, so check your state’s department of insurance website.

Improve Your Credit

Car insurance companies don’t only look at the past to determine your driving risk; they also utilize actuary information or statistics-based information.

For instance, statistics show that young, inexperienced drivers have more accidents, so this raises the risk of all young, inexperienced drivers. All drivers new to driving will have higher car insurance rates as a result.

One piece of actuary information that you can control is your credit history. Though not all states allow it by law, many car insurance providers use your credit score to evaluate your risk.

Car insurance underwriters maintain that statistics show that bad drivers are also likely to have poor money-management skills. Thus, drivers with bad credit are assessed higher car insurance costs.

If your credit is poor, then you can likely improve it to get better car insurance rates.

The website myFICO offers tips on raising your credit score over the long-term, such as maintaining low balances on your credit cards and setting up payment reminders so you are never late with a payment.

Improving your credit will lower your car insurance payments over time. You will also get to enjoy better interest rates and qualify for loans much easier. Financial responsibility is not always an easy road, but it has great rewards.

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Drive a Safe Car

Once you have your credit score to a respectable level, you will be able to qualify for lower interest loans, and it might be time to think about a new car. The kind of car you drive has an important impact on your car insurance rates. Obviously, safer vehicles will enjoy the lowest rates.

First, vehicles such as sports cars and trucks generally have higher insurance costs because they statistically get into more serious accidents than other vehicles.

However, if you have your heart set on a speedy coupe or a jacked-up pickup truck, then you can use safety ratings to find out which will have the lowest insurance costs in the group.

For instance, you can use the 2012 Top Safety Picks released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that shows that best choice in any category.

As an example, pickups such as the Ford F-150 with a crew cab, the Honda Ridgeline, and the Toyota Tundra with a crew cab have higher safety ratings and are likely cheaper to insure, than other large pickup models.

Similarly, such ratings might help you to decide between a Dodge Charger or a Ford Mustang, as the Charger earned a Top Safety Pick Award for 2012.

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Get Discounts

After you have adjusted your driving profile and your vehicle to align with what insurers are looking for as much as possible, there are still ways for you to lower your car insurance costs.

The next way to lower your premiums is through discounts. Generally, car insurance companies use discounts to attract and reward good drivers.

There are many different discounts, and not all insurance providers will offer the same discounts. Common discounts include safe driver discounts, airbag discounts, and multiple vehicle discounts.

Look for as many discounts for which you qualify as possible, and plan to qualify for as many as you can manage.

For instance, you might have a teen who is about to drive, which generally raises insurance costs for everyone who lives in the same home.

You can plan for your young driver to get the good student discount, explaining to your child that their driving privileges and license are all tied to earning good grades.

Another example would be planning to get a discount for anti-theft devices by installing a car alarm or a GPS tracking device.

Compare Prices

The best way to improve your car insurance rates, hands down, is to compare prices. All insurance experts recommend shopping around by getting multiple quotes to find the best rates.

These are not searches to find which company will provide the least amount of coverage or the most outrageously low prices, but an effort to find adequate coverage at a great price.

Multiple studies have been conducted that show rate differences of hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the exact same coverage for the exact same driver.

The only way you will know the range of prices available to you is to get quotes for coverage. The more quotes you get, the wider a range of prices you will find.

It doesn’t matter what method you use to get quotes. You can get quotes from representatives and agents in person, over the phone, or on a website. You can even use quote comparison websites to get multiple quotes with little effort.

Once you get you quotes back, you can review information about your contenders, such as customer service reviews and financial ratings, to find the best company with a great price!

Start using this quote comparison website to get multiple car insurance quotes to compare as soon as you put your ZIP code into the FREE quote tool below!