When to Check for Discounts on Your Auto Insurance

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Automobile insurance companies are headaches to us all. The term ‘auto insurance’ itself rarely inspires much other than a frown and an anticipation of dealing with waiting on hold, and hearing some sort of irritating news. They generally offer services that are ultimately low to adequate on customer service and expensive, which at best, gives the average person only a simple sense of indifference towards them.

However, there is a way you can brighten your day when having to deal with your auto insurer by knowing that you were able to lower the cost you pay for their services. We all know that auto insurers offer discounts, at least at some basic level, but what most people do not know is that most insurers offer more discounts than they advertise, and that to get them, the policyholder has to personally inquire about it.

So when should a policyholder ask his or her agent about receiving extra discounts off their auto insurance premiums? The answer to that is simple, anytime there is a significant change in your life or daily routine.

This is extremely relevant in that aside from actual discounts, you can reduce your base premium rate by changing cars or driving styles.

When to call your agent

-When you change cars/drivers, not only is it required to maintain coverage, but it can also save money on your premium by switching to a car that costs less to insure.

-If you are driving less than originally estimated. Your premium is based on the amount of driving you plan to do during a 6 month or 1 year period, if you are driving less, then tell your agent and your premium will decrease.

-If you have a teen or college driver on your policy, having good grades will merit a discount on the cost to cover them. If your student is good grades, make sure your insurer knows about it.

-If you bundle multiple policies into one from a single insurer, then they will offer a discount on the total combined premium rate. If you have things like ATV’s and snowmobiles, consider bundling them along with your homeowner’s/renter’s insurance to your auto insurance, or vice versa, to receive big savings on your total monthly cost.

-If you are a safe driver and have not been in a reported accident for 3 years or more, then you qualify for a safe driving discount.

-Having a good credit score will also lower your base premium. If your auto insurance is higher than you think it should be, let your agent know if you have a good credit score and it may lower your bill.

-If you have taken a driver’s safety, often called ‘Defensive Driving’, course, your auto insurer will reward you with a decent sized discount.

-For those with comprehensive and collision coverage for their vehicles, having up to date anti-theft devices installed on your car will make sure to keep the thieves out and the price to insure it low.

-Being a long term customer generally has its advantages, most insurers reward their patrons by offering discounts, and sometimes they are even tiered to offer higher discounts for the longer policyholders.

-One discount that is almost always overlooked is one for being an affiliate member to another organization. For example, being an affiliate member to the Honda Motorcycle Association, or Costco, or AAA can offer you discounts with particular insurance companies.

Do not expect your newly found discounts to pad your wallet just yet though. It generally takes until the next renewal cycle for most of discounts to take effect. The prices for the next renewal will reflect your price after all the discounts. Sometimes however, a discount can be applied immediately after discovery. If this is the case, then your insurer will not send you a refund check, instead they will apply a credit worth the amount of the discount to your next renewal cycle bill.

No matter what company you hold an auto insurance policy with, it is a good idea to ask your agent about what particular discounts you can qualify for. Since every insurer and policy is different, the requirements for each of their discounts are not universal, so it is important to ask your agent exactly what you qualify for instead of relying on word of mouth and hearsay from friends, because chances are, their situation is completely different from yours.

Mark McCrell is an auto aficionado who loves to drive his 1974 Buick LaSabre around town and write about all things auto. He currently blogs for the website AutoInsuranceQuotes, which specializes in auto insurance tips.

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