Many of us face a major financial annoyance twice a year: auto insurance.
The national average cost of insuring your car is $136 a month, according to Insurify, an insurance-price-information website.
There are several ways you can lower your costs, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III):
· Shop around before choosing your coverage. Different insurance companies charge different rates. Experts recommend that you check at least three insurers before making your decision.
· Increase your deductible, which is the amount you will pay before your insurance kicks in. Increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage cost by 15% to 30%,. But always make sure you have enough money in a cash or checking account to pay a claim that might arise.
· “Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverages on older cars. If your car is worth less than 10 times the premium, purchasing the coverage may not be cost effective,” III says. “Auto dealers and banks can tell you the worth of cars. Or you can look it up online at Kelley’s Blue Book (www.kbb.com).”
· Buy your homeowners and auto coverage from the same insurer. Many insurers will give you a discount if you purchase two or more types of insurance.
· Maintain a strong credit score, as most insurers use it to price auto insurance policies.
· Take advantage of low mileage discounts. Some insurers offer discounts to drivers who don’t use their cars much.
· Inquire about group insurance. Some insurers offer discounts to drivers who acquire coverage through a group plan from their employers, through professional, business and alumni groups or from other associations.
· Ask about other discounts, such as for drivers who haven’t had any accidents or moving violations for a number of years. Taking a defensive driving course also may entitle you to a discount.
The Cheapest and the Most Expensive
Insurers will also base your insurance on the kind of car you drive. In general, the more you pay for the car, the more you’ll pay for your insurance.
According to a report by Insurify, the cheapest car brands for insurance are Fiat ($126 a month), Buick ($128 a month) and Subaru ($133 a month).
The most expensive are Alfa Romeo ($255 per month), Maserati ($243 a month) and Tesla ($242 month).
Here is Insurify’s ranking of insurers.
1. Clearcover—best overall. Average cost per month: $135
2. Nationwide—best for safe drivers. Average cost per month: $199
3. American Family—best for families with teen drivers. Average cost per month: $234
4. Safeco—best for drivers with poor credit. Average cost per month:: $186
5. Farmers—best for rideshare coverage. Average cost per month: $239
6. MetLife—best for hassle-free claims. Average cost per month: $159
7. Liberty Mutual—best for accident forgiveness. Average cost per month: $241
8. Mercury—best for face-to-face service. Average cost per month: $232
9. Progressive—best for senior drivers. Average cost per month: $147
10. Travelers—best for young drivers. Average cost per month: $163