Remember, not all companies are equally good.  As is the case with any form of insurance, the cheapest price isn’t always the best buy. Ask your friends about the experiences they have had with their companies and check the rating services. 

2) Drive Like You Know You Should. One thing that will raise your car insurance costs the fastest is a bad-driving record.  This is something you can control—do it! 

3) Arrange for Higher Deductibles. A deductible is the money you have to pay before the insurance company fulfills your claim. You can reduce the cost of your insurance drastically by raising the deductible (the amount you’re responsible for) on collision and comprehensive coverage.

4) You Might Opt Out of Comprehensive and/or Collision Coverage If You Drive An Older/Cheaper Car.  Assuming your agent is trustworthy, this is might be worth discussing.

5) Inform Your Agent If You’re A Low Mileage Driver.  Some companies determine their rates based on the amount of annual driving a policyholder does. 

6) Tell Your Agent About Any Safety Features and Anti-Theft Systems On Your Car.  Some companies reduce their costs to people who drive cars with automatic seat belts, airbags, and other safety and theft devices.  It’s worth asking about.

7) Pay Your Premium in One Lump Sum.  Some companies charge less if you pay your premiums annually or semi-annually.  This can avoid some of the service charges associated with monthly payments.

8) Check and See if Your Insurer Discounts Car Coverage When You Buy Other Insurance from Him.  Some insurers give price reductions to clients who buy their homeowners, umbrella, and other coverages from them. 

Here's a Little Grief-Saver

A while back I reevaluated my own insurance coverage.  Of course, every agent I talked with presented a convincing case for his product and the companies he represented.  So, how can people like us really know which company does the best job settling claims?  Do we simply have to buy the coverage on blind faith—and, wait until we have an accident to find out?

Let me tell you what I did.  I collected the names of all the companies I was considering and went to visit the manager of the body shop that I would take my car to.  I said, “Stewart, here are the companies I’m looking at—what kind of results have you had working with these outfits?”

It took about five minutes for Stewart to illuminate me.  I left with a much better picture of the “real world” of car insurance companies as seen through the eyes of a guy who works with them every day.

 


Steve Diggs presents the  No Debt No Sweat! Christian Money Management Seminar  at churches and other venues nationwide. Visit Steve on the Web at  www.stevediggs.com or call 615-834-3063. The author of several books, today Steve serves as a minister for the Antioch Church of Christ in Nashville. For 25 years he was President of the Franklin Group, Inc. Steve and Bonnie have four children whom they have home schooled. The family lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.

A complete financial compendium, 19 chapters
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• How mutual funds work
• How to stop fighting over money
• What to teach your kids about money
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