The average American household spends approximately $5,000 a year on car insurance. That figure, though now finally slowing, has in the past seemed to rise year after year, reflecting medical and legal costs, accidents, theft, fraud, drunk driving, auto repairs and even insurance company expenses.
Where you live also helps determine the cost of your car insurance. (As real estate agents say, "Location, location, location!") Finding cheap car insurance can be a real challenge near cities like Detroit, Philadelphia, Newark, Los Angeles or New York City—the most expensive cities for car insurance. But move to Roanoke, Virginia; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Green Bay, Wisconsin or Raleigh, North Carolina—the least expensive cities for car insurance—and cheap car insurance is easy to come by.
Getting the Best Price
With gasoline prices about 25 percent higher nationwide than a year ago, acquiring cheap car insurance is more vital now than ever.
Cheap car insurance is not an untold secret. In fact, almost anyone can find it…you just have to know how to go about it.
The first step is to do your research and read as much as you can on the subject of car insurance.
Seek out information from your state's department of insurance, where you can find many articles and press releases. Go to your area library and look up books and magazine articles on car insurance. Check out insurers online with companies like A.M. Best and Weiss Ratings Inc. There you can find out how insurance companies score on issues such as customer satisfaction and price.
The next step in finding cheap car insurance is to comparison shop.
Use a company like InsureMe to seek out comparative quotes. Talk to local insurance agents to find out what kind of coverage you need, what they have to offer and how competitive they are for your business. Talk to friends and family members to see who they use for cheap car insurance and how satisfied they have been with their insurers.
Finally, consider the information you have gathered and make the most informed decision possible.
Consider not only price but also elements like customer service and satisfaction. These factors can go a long way when you need to file a claim or report an accident.
Determining Your Premium
Pricing amongst auto insurance companies varies greatly. Although cheap car insurance can be acquired, premiums are generally based upon certain set factors and characteristics.
Some of these include:
More expensive insurance often accompanies more expensive vehicles, or those which cost more to repair. So before you buy a new car, be sure to consult with your car insurance company to find out if you can get cheap car insurance.
Cutting back on the number of miles you drive annually can go a long way toward keeping your car insurance premium low. If your household consists of two vehicles or more, consider putting the majority of miles on the least expensive car. This will help maintain cheap car insurance while keeping the other vehicle's depreciation at a minimum.
The driving records of all drivers in your household are used to set your car insurance premium. If you have very young or elderly drivers living with you who have acquired numerous tickets or accidents, their driving reputations may mean you cannot get cheap car insurance.
Your credit history can be used for two purposes: to determine whether an insurance company will insure you, and to set your premium level. Some states no longer allow car insurance companies to use this information in determining your eligibility for cheap car insurance, but the majority does.
Keep your credit score as high as possible by paying bills on time and
keeping credit and debt to a minimum to ensure the best car insurance prices