You may feel like you don’t have any control over the bills you need to pay, like your rent, utilities and insurance policies. But you can influence some of these more than you might think. If you drive, car insurance is a necessity. However, you can make changes to reduce your costs.
Here are five steps you can take to determine if there’s money to be saved by making changes or updates to your car insurance policy.
- Review Your Current Policy
Before you make any changes, understand what you currently pay for. Look for the following:
- Drivers and vehicles covered
- Coverage limits
Both of these items are listed on the declaration page of your policy.
Ask yourself if you’ve recently experienced any of the following:
- Changes in income or job
- Change in address
- Changes in experience or status (like taking a driver’s ed course)
These factors might impact discounts available to you. Life changes, and as it does, your insurance needs to as well. Knowing this information will help you decide how much coverage you actually need — and should pay for.
- Know How Much Coverage You Need
Evaluate how much coverage you currently have on your policy. Then ask yourself if it’s enough or if it’s too much. For example, if you’re driving a car with a lower Kelley Blue Book® value, it may not be worth it to pay for comprehensive insurance.
Each state requires mandatory minimums for coverage, but beyond that, you have lots of options. If you’re confused about these options, talk to your insurance agent. They should be able to explain all the terms and what each type of coverage means for you.
- Review Your Discounts
Your policy and insurance provider will be able to send you a list of potential discounts. Review these and see if you’re eligible for any of them. You could get a discount for things like having a multi-vehicle policy, safe driving records or even good grades if you or another driver on your policy does well in school.
- Call Your Car Insurance Provider
Now that you know what your insurance policy currently provides, it’s time to get on the phone with a representative. You can talk to them about discounts or changing your policy to reduce monthly premiums. You can also request a specific quote before changing your policy so you can compare prices.
- Shop Around
Don’t overlook this step in the review process. In addition to calling your current car insurance company, call others as well. Request quotes and then compare all your options to determine what policy provides the best coverage at the lowest price.
Repeat the Process
Reviewing your car insurance (or any policy you have to protect yourself or your possessions) is not a one-and-done task. Do this periodically to save the most money and make sure you’re not paying for more than you need.
Set aside some time once a year to review all your monthly bills and service charges, including car insurance. You may need to schedule in a full day for this activity at the beginning or end of a new year — but doing so could save you big bucks. It’s a smart investment of your time to free up more money in your budget.