What’s the cheapest car insurance you can afford? You should be able to afford at least the minimum required insurance in most states, which is liability coverage. Rates for liability coverage vary from state to state, but it is still cheaper than if you purchased full coverage, which consists of liability combined with comprehensive and collision.
Liability coverage covers bodily injury to other parties resulting from an accident you caused, and it covers you if your vehicle damages someone’s property. Purchasing comprehensive/collision coverage can double your premiums. Comprehensive coverage cover damage to your car that is caused by fire, theft, flood or animals. Collision coverage covers damage to your car when it hits or is hit by another car or object.
Now that you know what type of coverage you must have, you should also have an idea of how insurance underwriters determine what to charge you for insurance. They look at your age, gender, driving record, credit history, how long you’ve been driving, the kind of vehicle you drive, the purpose of your vehicle, how often you drive it, where you live, where you work and even where you regularly park your vehicle.
The older you are and the longer you have been driving, the better your chances of getting the cheapest car insurance rates available. If you’re under 25 and have been driving less than three years, finding cheap car insurance is going to be an uphill battle. Drivers under 25 are considered high risk and more prone to accidents, thus premiums are much higher. While cheap insurance rates may not be an option, you may qualify for premium discounts that could help reduce your premium.
If you have a few dents in your driving record, it won’t matter what the cheapest car insurance rates are because your chances of getting them are slim to none. This is especially so if you have a DUI. Parking tickets won’t have an effect, but any traffic violations you get will come back to bite you when you apply for insurance or are up for renewal. Keeping your driving record clean will increase your chances of getting lower premiums and getting a policy, period. Some insurance companies won’t even take you if you have too many DUIs or convictions on your driving record. Many drivers in this situation have a difficult time finding insurance, and when they do they pay significantly more for it.
It may seem that your credit score shouldn’t have any bearing on whether you get an insurance policy, but it does. To insurance underwriters, a person with good credit is someone they can count on for timely payments and is less likely to have their policies canceled or not renewed. It also indicates that the person exercises good money management and can afford to pay for car insurance. On the flip side, someone with poor credit sends the opposite message. If an insurer does take on an applicant with poor credit, the person pays a higher premium.
Forget about the sports car if you want the cheapest car insurance rates. Sports and luxury cars cost more to insure. Driving a SUV or 4-door sedan instead is a cheaper option, because they are considered safer to drive and cost less to insure. If you have multiple vehicles, consider buying one policy to cover all of them. Be sure to ask about multiple-vehicle discounts.
The accident rates vary from state to state, and your premium will reflect this. Drivers who live in the city pay more for insurance than drivers living in the rural areas, because city traffic is heavier and the chances of accidents are higher. Living and/or regularly parking your car in a high-crime area will also cost you in terms of premiums. A driver who doesn’t drive much will pay less for insurance than a driver who is constantly on the road. Determining what is the cheapest car insurance rates involve more than doing an Internet search and picking the lowest quote you get. You need to assess what you’re working with in regards to your current car insurance portfolio and driving status.
Unless you collect antique or classic cars, you don’t need to added expense of comprehensive/collision coverage on older vehicles. The chances are very slim that you will recoup what you paid for the car if it is totaled in an accident. Most insurance companies will only pay the Blue book value of a car, which is typically much less than the purchase price. Dropping comprehensive/collision coverage is not an option for new or leased vehicles. This coverage is usually required by the lien holders as a condition of the lease or loan.
Don’t settle with any company until you speak to an agent from each of the companies on your list. You may not be up for the inevitable sales pitch, but it’s a small price to pay compared to what you might end up paying for insurance if you don’t talk to an agent. An agent can explain the different types of coverage and help you choose the right coverage for you. He can tell you about any discounts you may qualify for and can answer any questions you have. A good agent will tell you how you can save money on insurance. You can also ask how claims are handled so you know what to expect should you ever need to file one.
Figuring out what is the cheapest car insurance requires doing the research and becoming an informed consumer. Knowledge is power, and when it comes to car insurance, it is also the difference between getting a good deal on a good policy or paying more for car insurance than you should because you failed to exercise proper due diligence or didn’t ask the right questions–or didn’t ask any questions at all. Even if you can’t get the cheapest car insurance rates, you can at least learn how to lower your insurance costs in the future.