7 Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance

US News

Today's guest post comes from Joel Ohman, a certified financial planner and owner of a number of different consumer financial education websites, including a website to compare car insurance rates and a website with many different auto insurance FAQ for learning even more ways to find the best auto insurance.

What would you say if I told you that you might be able to save over $500 on car insurance in less than an hour? And that you could complete the entire process from home?

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Here are seven different ways that you just might be able to save hundreds of dollars on your car insurance if you simply take a few minutes to put these tips into action:

[Click here to check auto rates in your area.]

1. Drop Coverage You Don't Need

The beauty of doing a car insurance coverage checkup every six months or so is that even if it turns out that your current car insurance coverage is still the best value out on the market you may just find out that you are paying for a part of your auto insurance policy that you no longer need.

Not only do insurance rates change quite often but your insurance needs change more often than you may think. If you have a new teenage driver or have added a new car to your policy or have moved to a new zip code or--well, the list goes on and on. All of these things may potentially cause you to be paying for coverage that you no longer need.

[See The Most and Least Expensive Vehicles to Insure]

2. Search for Discounts

Never assume that because you searched for all of the car insurance discounts available 6 months ago that now there are no new discounts that you may be eligible for. New opportunities for saving money with a car insurance discount program pop up all of the time as different companies announce different discount programs in order to increase their market share.

3. Improve Your Credit Score

It's no secret that a better credit score will result in better car insurance rates. You may have been working hard to improve your credit score over the last few months in order to qualify for lower interest rates for a home loan or auto loan and you are now starting to see some of your hard work pay off.

When you see an increase in your credit score don't let the opportunity slip by to check and see if this credit score improvement will result in an improvement in your auto insurance rates as well. You've worked hard to improve your credit score so why not spend a few minutes to see if that can only help you get a lower interest rate but a lower car insurance rate as well?

Take some of your car insurance savings and use it to treat yourself to a nice dinner at your favorite restaurant--you deserve it!

4. Pay Your Premiums With a Credit Card

Wanna shave off 1 percent to 5 percent off of your total car insurance premiums just by changing your method of payment? With the average cash back credit card earning you anywhere from 1 percent to 5 percent cash back that's like getting a bill from your insurance company and then having to only pay 95 percent to 99 percent of the total instead of the full 100 percent!

One to 5 percent may not seem like much but as you can see with a cash back credit card calculator that money can quickly start to add up--depending upon how much money you spend each month if you use that cash back card for many of your purchases then your savings could end up being enough to pay for an entire year of college tuition after 15 to 20 years!

5. Tell Your Kids to Keep Their Grades Up

Virtually all of the major car insurance companies offer some form of good student discount. If your kids get good grades then you save money. Some companies offer savings for a lackluster C while most offer savings for you that range from 5 percent to 15 percent if your student maintains a B or an A on their report cards.

Maybe it's time to pass along some of that savings to your kids as a financial incentive to keep their grades high (after all, why not just let the insurance company pay your kids to get good grades rather than you?)

[See Buzzworthy New Cars to Check Out for 2011]

6. Take a Driving Course

OK, maybe you don't want to tell your spouse that you are signing up for a driving course because no one wants to admit that they may not be the world's best driver BUT if signing up for a defensive driving course that will take up minimal time and save you money--why not?

After all, at least you aren't one of the world's worst drivers - at least I hope not! Taking a driving course just one time can result in lifetime savings on your car insurance.

Check with your car insurance company as to what type of courses and course providers they will recognize for a discount on your policy.

7. See If Your Occupation Can Save You Money

Did you know that when car insurance actuaries calculate car insurance rates that they actually assign different risk classes to different types of occupations? Some occupations have cheap car insurance rates while other occupations get assigned an added level of risk that increases their rates.

The various occupation risk assessment algorithms will vary from one insurance company to the next but generally speaking professions like engineering and teaching will receive lower car insurance rates than business owners and attorneys. So what do you call yourself if you are an engineer that owns their own business? You tell me.

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