Last time you went looking for a car insurance policy, was it your goal to get the most expensive one you could find? Of course not. We all want to pay as little as necessary in order to get the protection we need. In fact, many of us really love the word “cheap” when it’s applied to car insurance.
The good news is that finding inexpensive auto insurance is possible. You just have to know what makes it cheap, how to make sure it stays cheap, and how to find it. Once you know how the system works, you’ll be able to take control and never pay more than you have to.
What Makes Auto Insurance Cheap
Before you begin shopping, you first need to know what makes auto insurance cheap. Or, more accurately, what criteria an insurance company uses to determine your annual premiums. There are dozens of different factors that go into the equation, but the five most important are:
- Age – Statistics consistently show age has a lot to do with serious road accidents. As it turns out, males between the ages of 18 and 24 make up the largest portion of drivers responsible for serious accidents. When you include minor accidents, the percentage goes even higher. Provided you maintain a clean driving record your entire life, you’ll pay the highest rates (not adjusted for inflation) as a young adult.
- Driving History - Your driving history is critically important to whether not you will be able to get affordable car insurance. A clean record means a cheap price. With every accident or violation you add to your record, your price goes up accordingly.
- Your Car – The age, make, and model of the car you drive also affects your premiums. From a liability standpoint, some vehicles (like large trucks) have the potential to cause more damage than others do. They also cost more to insure it. From a collision/comprehensive standpoint, vehicles that are more expensive to repair or replace also cost more to insure.
- Annual Mileage - It makes sense that the more often you drive the more likely you are to have an accident. That means someone who drives only 12,000 miles a year will usually get a better rate than someone who drives 24,000 miles.
- Geographic Location - Along with the number of miles you drive, your insurance company also considers where you live. If you are in a major metropolitan area where traffic is extremely concentrated, you’ll pay more than someone living in a rural area will. The reason is quite simple: more cars on the road means a greater chance of accidents.
There are some other things your insurance company looks at including your marital status, your credit rating, and your occupation. For each of the criteria, a grade is assigned and plugged into a mathematical formula that determines your rate.
How to Keep Auto Insurance Cheap
If you are already over age 25, have a clean driving record and a good credit history, and your mileage is average, you’re likely to be able to find cheap car insurance fairly easily. But how do you keep it cheap? Try the following:
- avoid accidents and violations at all costs
- maintain a good credit rating
- drive cars that are less costly to repair or replace
- consider accepting higher deductibles
You might also be interested to know that paying your annual or semi-annual premiums with a single payment will reduce your cost. When you pay monthly or quarterly, your insurance company is probably adding a convenience fee and several surcharges to your bill. You do not pay these things if you can cover the entire premium at the start of the policy period.
Where to Find Cheap Car Insurance
Now that you know what makes car insurance cheap and how to keep your prices low as possible, you are left only with the question of where to find it. We are happy to tell you the answer is: right here.
The Internet age has now made it possible to search for the best and most affordable car insurance by using websites like ours. You simply enter your zip code and click the button to get the quote process started. You will then be asked for a little bit of information that will be used to secure multiple quotes from companies offering policies in your area. The entire process takes just a matter of minutes.
There are some other very good benefits associated with searching for car insurance online:
- it’s more efficient than having to spend all day on the telephone
- the online method forces companies to compete for your business
- there’s no need to deal with an insurance agent middleman
- it’s quick, easy, and convenient – you can do it on your schedule
When you get your quotes be sure to compare them side-by-side and line-by-line. Doing so helps you to see exactly what each insurance company is offering you. And remember, bottom line price is not always the goal. What you are after is policy value.
In other words, it does not do any good to have a cheap car insurance policy on your brand-new car if it doesn’t cover the cost of replacing the vehicle in the event of an accident. You need to spend slightly more to get adequate collision and comprehensive insurance.
Know Auto Insurance Laws in Your State
Before you get started in your search for affordable car insurance, we want to remind you of one more thing: be sure you know the insurance laws in your state. There is no federal mandate for car insurance, so each state is allowed to set its own rules and regulations.
Just as an example, New York State requires any vehicle with a valid registration to have appropriate amounts of liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Drivers who allow their insurance to lapse must immediately surrender their license plates and registration or face fines and suspensions.
It is important you know what your state requires and then follow the law. Remember that breaking the law will definitely lead to higher insurance premiums if you are caught.
Now it’s time for you to get started with the insurance quote process. Take advantage of our free quote tool to find the best quotes possible. Just enter your ZIP code and you are on your way to saving money on your car insurance!