It's the one product you have to buy and hope to never use. Car insurance can be expensive, but there are ways every driver can lower their out-of-pocket costs.
Every January, savings expert Kimberly Roberts calls her auto insurance company to make sure she's getting every discount she can.
”Eligibility might change because of your personal age, the age of the car, if you have changed jobs," said Roberts.
When she called last month, she found a few problems. She only drives about 8,000 miles a year, but her coverage had her driving the national average of 15,000 miles.
"So when I gave them the correct number, it ended up saving me over $76 every six months just on my car alone. The way my car is set up, you have to have a programmed key to start the car. That's also a discount I was not taking," said Roberts.
"There might be more than 100 different factors that go into calculating a car insurance price," said Elephant Insurance’s Kevin Chidwick.
Every day, staff in the call center at Richmond-based Elephant Insurance hear from clients eager to lower their rate. CEO Kevin Chidwick says that in Great Britain, two-thirds of all drivers shop for a new policy every year.
"We might drive three or four miles down the road to save five cents on a gallon of gas, but how often do we think about shopping for car insurance, which costs us hundreds or thousands of dollars each year," questioned Chidwick.
Insurers offer discounts for all sorts of things-students earning good grades, bundling home or rental policies, going paperless and paying your premium in full.
First responders, teachers and military can save money with certain insurers. So can moving to a new location where there are less accidents.
"The zip code makes the difference, the location makes a difference, whether you have a garage or it's street parking," said Roberts.
One phone call could save you a lot more than you think.
Raising deductibles can also lower your premium, and if you drive and older car that has less value, do the math to see if carrying comprehensive and collision insurance is worth it.
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