Many things go into getting the best price on your auto insurance.
Following are some discounts that you should be aware of:
1. Homeowner/Renter (bundled policies)–often the most significant discount is the multi policy discount involving insuring your home and auto with the same company. Insurance companies have found that if a customer brings all of their insurance business to them, they are customers for longer and are better risks. Even if you do not bring both the auto and home, to the same company, if you are a homeowner, many companies will apply a discount based on that fact alone. Along the same lines, even if one is not a homeowner, it is often cheaper to purchase an auto policy and renters policy, from the same company, than it is to just have the auto. Similar to the homeowner, the multi policy discounts are usually significant, resulting in a lower payment for two policies as opposed to one.
2. Prior insurance for at least six months – all insurance companies prefer that you have had prior insurance for at least six months. If you have more than six months of prior insurance, some companies will discount your policy more. The company that you are coming from as well as the coverages that you had with them, will also factor in to paying less. If you carried higher insurance limits and more coverages, such as comprehensive and collision, often, they will discount your rate. It is important to recognize that shopping and switching frequently does not save you money, in the long run. Keep in mind that when you initially purchase a policy, you are paying policy fees and frequently, you are also incurring a down payment, which is normally larger than the regular monthly installments. The lesson here is don’t just focus on the monthly payment. Know and understand what the total bill is, including the monthly installments, down payment and policy fees.
3. Employment and affinity discounts – If your agent has not asked you if you are employed, you may be missing out on a discount. Insurance companies like it when you have a job and are able to pay the bill. Additionally, many insurance companies offer an affinity discount to certain occupations.
4. Many agents charge a broker fee. This is typically represented as an administrative fee but is not part of what goes to the insurance company. Agents are compensated, by insurance companies, in the form of a commission. The broker fee is an additional charge by the agent, for the agent and is not asked for by the insurance company. It is not applied to your insurance premium and should be considered when you are considering your entire insurance bill.
5. Pay in full if possible. Most companies offer a significant discount in the total insurance premium paid, over the six month term of the policy, if a customer pays in full. If it is not possible to pay all of the premium at once, elect to have your payments withdrawn from your bank account or credit card automatically, every month. While the discount is not as much as a paid in full discount, it is still substantially less than paying monthly with cash or money order.
6. Good or safe driver – most auto insurance companies will apply a discount if you have not had an accident or ticket in a stipulated period of time. Additionally, at this time, several companies are offering apps that track your driving habits. These companies will customize a rate based on the results. In some cases, the rate comes down, in some cases, the rate goes up but in most cases, it stays the same. Most of these companies will discount your rate while you are in the monitored driving phase.
7. Good student discount–many carriers offer a discount for having a certain grade point average or better. For companies offering this discount, proof of having the minimum grades is often required on an ongoing basis.
8. Paperless–consider giving your email address so that all of your notifications (with the exception of a cancellation) go to your email. This saves the insurance company money by not having to mail paperwork to you which is passed on as a discount. Additionally, it prevents documents from getting lost in the mail.
In summation, know the available discounts and get the best policy with the most coverage, at as reasonable a price as possible. Ultimately, the purpose of insurance is to protect you and of course, you want to do that while not spending too much. Knowing and understanding the available discounts will help in this endeavor. Contact Stellar Insurance of Las Vegas and see how much we can save you on auto insurance.