Insurance is a necessity, but it doesn’t mean you have to overpay for it. Whether you are looking to buy and insure a new SUV soon or find savings on an existing one, there are many ways you can save money. Here are eight recommendations to assist you.
What You Drive Matters
An overlooked component of the SUV buying process is accounting for items like insurance costs. The last thing you want is to enjoy your new SUV then receive an eye-popping bill in the mail because your insurance rose significantly.
To prevent this surprise from occurring, you can receive a quote on the SUV you are interested in buying. The items you need for the quote include the make, model, year, and VIN number. Once you have this information you can check with your current insurance provider to see how much coverage for the new vehicle differs from what you pay now.
You can also comparison shop between providers.
Whether you are buying a new SUV or your premium is about to expire, it’s a good idea to investigate your options. Many insurance providers are surprisingly helpful when it comes to helping you shop for coverage by offering comparison tools; this is where they show you how much they charge you for insurance and how much you can expect to pay with other providers.
Cost is only one factor to examine, however. Service is another area you should investigate. To illustrate, if your SUV is in an accident, what is their claims process? Do they allow you to take your vehicle to a shop of your choice or do they have preferred shops? As part of the repairs, does the shops use OEM or aftermarket parts? If a shop uses aftermarket parts and your SUV is under warranty, it could negate it.
Along with claims, see how well the insurance company you’re interested in treats its customers. You can research companies through the Better Business Bureau, who assigns grades from A+ to F in part on how well a business resolves customer complaints.
Lastly, ask your friends and relatives for advice. If they have had a good experience with a certain provider, it might be worth going to them even if they charge a little more than the competitors.
When insurance providers consider you for coverage, they want to know how much risk you pose to them. If you have had multiple speeding tickets or accidents, it conveys to them you have unsafe driving behaviors, resulting in you having to pay more insurance.
The best course of action is to practice safe driving behaviors such as adhering to speed limits. If you have had moving violations, see if you can take a safe driving course. Some insurance companies provide a discount on your premium if you pass this course successfully. Overall, the less risk you pose to the insurance company the less you have to pay for insurance.
Though somewhat counterproductive to buying an SUV in the first place, insurance companies reward you when you drive less. The reason for this is the less amount of time you are behind the wheel, the less risk you represent to them.
You can lower your SUV’s mileage by grouping errands into one trip, do carpool for work, and/or bike to visit places in town. Typically, the sweet spot to hit is between 7,500 to 15,000 miles annually, according to DMV.org.
Pay Your Bills on Time
As part of the underwriting process, some insurance companies will check your credit history. They do this because they want to gauge your ability to pay for the policy. If you have a credit history full of late payments, it indicates a risk to the insurance company. So if your score is low don’t be surprised to pay more for insurance. Conversely, if you have a stable history of timely payments, it could lower your premium cost.
Juggle Deductibles to Match Your Finances
Here's how a deductible works: Say an accident happens, where someone runs their truck into the bumper of your SUV. Your insurance policy has $250 deductible, which means you must pay that $250 before insurance pays the remainder of the tab.
The short term savings comes by raising your deductible limits. By doing this, you can save as much as 40 percent according to the Insurance Information Institute. However, if you raise your deductibles to $1,000 be sure to have that money saved in the case you must file a claim.
The other option you can do is to keep your deductibles low. While you’ll pay more for it by way of higher insurance premiums, the savings often offset the cost should you need to file a claim.
Think of it this way, say the windshield on your SUV breaks and your deductible is $100. You only have to pay that $100 to have it fixed, which is much less compared to a higher deductible like $1,000. If finances are tight, it’s better to pay a bit more for lower deductibles because it limits the amount of out of pocket expenses you will have.
Bundle Multiple Policies
Similar to the way cable and internet providers advertise, insurance companies offer discounts by having multiple policies through them. If you have homeowner’s, life, or renter’s insurance policies, consider bundling them with your car insurance provider. Normally, you’ll receive a good discount when doing this.
Find Other Discounts
Many insurance companies provide discounts for a variety of factors including if you serve in the military, haven’t had a moving violation in three years, are a student with good grades, your SUV has anti-theft devices and more. The most effective way to find all the applicable discounts for you is to call your local agent and ask. They are a great resource because they can tell you about all the discounts you might not find on the company’s website.
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