save money on car insurance

By Alex Chesko | February 23, 2016

Let’s face it – you can’t turn on a T.V. or a radio, or go online today without being bombarded by ads claiming how much money they can save you on your car insurance.  But how many of those claims of savings are true and not just hype?   The truth is the average consumer has a significant amount of control over their auto insurance premiums.

To demonstrate this, we’ve asked the experts at Brighton-Pittsford Agency to give you a look behind the curtain and share with you their ten best ways to reduce your car insurance premiums:

  1. Consider raising your deductibles. Simply put – the higher the deductible, the lower your premium for that particular coverage (Comprehensive or Collision) will be.  Remember – a deductible is how much you are willing to pay out of pocket in the event of a loss.  The idea is to select a deductible that you can still afford to pay in the event of a major claim.  If you really want to keep your rates low – don’t put in small claims if you can avoid it.  Using your auto insurance policy for a $200 scratch is just going to drive your rates up in the long run.
  1. Make sure you’re getting any applicable discounts. Most companies offer a variety of discounts – take a look and see if you’re getting all that you qualify for.  Here’s a few to consider:  Low mileage (typically <7500/year), multi-car, anti-theft device, daytime running lights, good student, paid in full, paperless billing.  Take a look at your policy and ask your agent if there are any other discounts available.
  1. Take a defensive driving course. Seriously – you can even do them online now.  They cost about $30, and they can get you roughly a 10% discount on your policy for 3 years!  Here’s a link to one we recommend: newyorksafetycouncil.com.
  1. Consider using a telematics device. Many companies now offer discounts for using a telematics device.  It’s usually a little device which can be plugged into your car’s diagnostic port and will track your driving habits.  They monitor things like heavy braking & acceleration, speeding, what times of day you typically drive, etc.  Companies offer large discounts (up to 30%) based on how well your individual driving habits are scored.  As Big Brother-ish as it sounds, the results generally can’t be used to increase your premium or cancel your policy if you score poorly.
  1. Comparison shop. Auto insurance rates can vary by company, and they are always changing.  The company you took out a policy with 10 years ago may not be competitive anymore.  It’s a good idea to check around every few years.  Want to save time?  Consider talking to an independent agent who can comparison shop several different companies all at once for you.
  1. Improve your credit score. For better or worse – your credit score can affect what pricing tier you qualify for with a company.  The better your credit – the better the tier you can qualify for, and the better rate you’ll receive.  Improving your credit score will increase your chances of qualifying for the best rates a company offers.
  1. Consider packaging multiple policies together with the same company. If you have home or renters insurance with one company, and your auto insurance with another – chances are you’re missing out on a multi-policy discount that can save you in the neighborhood of 15%.
  1. Consider dropping Collision coverage on older vehicles. This is a tough call, but as the value of your vehicle declines over time, so does the amount of any settlement you might receive if it were totaled.  If the value of your vehicle is such that you have sufficient savings to replace it if needed, you may want to consider dropping your collision coverage.  It may not make financial sense to carry a $500 deductible on a vehicle that’s worth $1,500 on a good day.
  1. Compare insurance costs before you buy a new car.  If you are choosing between several different models of new vehicle it’s a good idea to check out which one is the most cost effective to insure.  Flashy, turbo-charged vehicles will usually cost more to insure than their pedestrian counterparts.  Available safety features and estimated repair costs are also factored in to the insurance rates for different models.
  1. Have fewer claims & tickets. Insurance rates for people with clean driving records are significantly lower than those with more checkered pasts.  Accidents & tickets on your driving record can impact your insurance rates for anywhere from 3 to 5 years.  Driving cautiously can reduce your chances of an incident appearing on your record and affecting your rates.

Want to learn more about how you can save money on your car insurance?  Come in and talk to one of our insurance advisors at the Brighton-Pittsford Agency.  We can sit down and review your current policies, make recommendations and comparison shop over a dozen different companies to find you the best rates.  You can also reach us by email here: