If you own a vehicle, you have to purchase auto insurance.

Car insurance is not one of those optional expenses that you can do without. It protects you when Murphy’s Law of “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong” happens while you’re driving over the open road. The question is not whether you need car insurance; the question is how do you save money purchasing it.

Let’s discover the six ways to lower your car insurance premium.

#1 Shop for Auto Insurance Like You Shopped for Your Car

Do you remember the time and effort you put in when you shopped for your current vehicle? You hit the Internet by reading the reviews uploaded by both consumers and auto experts. Research includes comparison shopping by seeing the price local dealerships set for the make and model of the vehicle you wanted to buy. When you arrived at the dealership that offered the most affordable sticker price, you negotiated with the sales representative to reduce the price of the vehicle.

Use the same buying principles when it comes to car insurance, and you should walk away with a great deal. Research different policies online, as well as compare prices among different insurance companies. As with a car, you should negotiate the price of an auto insurance premium.

#2 Stay Alert for Discounts

Let’s state one fact for auto insurance companies: They want your business. This means car insurance companies are willing to reduce the prices of premiums to attract new customers. Discounts come in many forms, with the most popular type of discount called bundling saving you hundreds of dollars a year on auto insurance. Bundling involves packaging a car insurance policy with other types of insurance, such as health and homeowners insurance.

You might receive a discount for driving a safer vehicle or enjoy cost savings by simply driving safely.

#3 Stay Ticket Free

Speaking of driving safely, car insurance companies love customers that maintain clean driving records. Getting a ticket for going 35 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zones will increase your monthly premium. Staying ticket free is just one way to demonstrate to your auto insurer that you are a safe driver. Another way is to complete a driving safety course that is certified by local law enforcement.

#4 Pay for the Insurance You Need, Not What Your Insurer Wants

The older your car, the less you should insure it for collisions. Collision insurance is one of several types of auto insurance that you might not need. Another type of car insurance is called comprehensive insurance, which covers the cost of repairing a vehicle that is damaged by a storm, vandals, or colliding with an animal like a deer. If your car is valued at less than your deductible plus the money you pay for annual coverage, then it’s time to remove collision and comprehensive coverage from your policy.

#5 Pay More for the Annual Deductible

If you decide to keep collision and comprehensive auto insurance coverage, you can still save money by raising the deductible. The deductible is the amount of money that you have to pay out of pocket for a repair bill. For example, if your deductible is $1,000 and your repair bill is $3,000, your insurer must cover the remaining $2,000. Make sure you can afford to pay more for out of pocket repair expenses before increasing the deductible on your car insurance policy.

#6 Improve Your Credit Score

Car insurance companies review applicant credit scores to determine financial responsibility. Improving your credit score is important to do before applying for auto insurance. Make sure you pay all credit sources on time, as well as minimize the utilization of credit. You have the right to a free credit report from the three major credit reporting bureaus each year.

Finally, if you don’t drive much, you should consider car insurance that is based on how much you drive. As the saying goes, you should get what you paid for when it comes to auto insurance.

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