I currently pay more than I would like for car insurance. When I originally bought my policy a couple of years ago, I added a lot of coverage that I'm not sure I even need, and at the time, I didn't qualify for many discounts. I'm ready to make the call, shop around and see what I can do about bringing my rate down, but I want to be able to go into the conversation informed. What kinds of coverage do I really need? What kinds of discounts should I ask for? I don't necessarily want to go bare minimum, but what IS the bare minimum? 

Grace Schweizer is the email and platform content writer for The Penny Hoarder. She's working on aggressively paying off her debt -- even if it means cutting back on her sushi consumption to save money. 

Original Post

I probably over insure. I think that's better than minimum liability. We have 2 vehicles. One is our main and the other is just for convenience. I have full on our daily driver and just liability on the other one. They are both paid off. After looking around last year, my best rates were from esurance. I'm actually due so I'm going to check again. Loyalty means nothing anymore, so if I find a cheaper rate I'm changing.

 

legally you have to have a minimum of liability.  that's what I have.  I would also encourage you to have underinsured driver's insurance bc there a re so many people out there driving wo car insurance

 

Looks like I'm staying with ensurance for another 6 months. I do 100/300 bodily . $1000 deductible for comp and collision. 100/300 for uninsured etc. Around $500 for 6 months.

I currently have full coverage on my vehicle since it is not yet paid off. Before I only had liability which was fine for my older Honda Accord.

Once this car is paid off I plan to switch it to liability simply because it is worth less than half of what I paid for it and I honestly hate it.

I am currently insured by Country Financial (only in certain states) and have been since I first got insurance. They provide many different discounts such as multi-car discounts, marriage discounts and student discounts among others.

The best thing to do is simply to ask up front what discounts they offer and if after they give you a rate, it is still to high, ask if there are any additional discounts you can take advantage of.

For example, I also have renters insurance although I don't really need it, but it made my insurance cheaper overall when I added it on to the point that I was saving money by having both.

How much coverage you have really depends on how much you value your car and how much risk you are willing to take.

I pay about 500 for 6 months as well, and that includes my renters insurance. I've been with the same company FOREVER. I know I should call around, but I have not. 

I have full coverage on the car because it's not paid off yet. When it is, I will drop it. 

Like all of us here I am saving money. But do I really need extra insurances? I pay my own health insurance,  I have car insurance,  I also pay for a small disability plan and an accidentally death plan. I feel like all this insurance money I could be putting toward paying off my car or student loans or towards retirement.  What do you suggest?

I'm certainly no expert, so this is just what I do. I have life (just 1.5 annual salary) and (small) disability through work, and pay for health and car of course. I keep a higher deductible for my vehicle to reduce monthly payments, still full coverage since I am still paying for it. Life is designated for the kids since they are teen/preteen. Oh, I do pay a small amount for renters- many landlords mandate it. 

I really hate paying for insurance. I've never needed it, except health of course. I'm sure that when I do, I'll be glad I have it, but till then, it irritates me every time I pay. 

Review your comp and collision.  I think so many people still carry that on vehicles that are older. If you are involved in a collision where the cost to repair is more than an older vehicle is worth, the insurance company is likely going to "total" your vehicle. 

Most of the time that's a tough place to be because you can't go out and replace your vehicle for the same amount of money the car insurance company is willing to give you for a "totaled" older car or truck.  So you are paying for something that may not even be a benefit.

Also review the small stuff on your policy. Many add road service and towing and if you have AAA (we do) or even dealer or bank coverage (the fine print) you may already have coverage.  Car rental is another add on.  We carry car rental coverage because we have to have 2 vehicles because 1 is needed to haul work equipment.  Once my hubs retires, we will have a 2nd vehicle to use if the other is not driveable.

I find any kind of insurance totally confusing so I bought "Insurance for Dummies" and found it to be an excellent guide for us.  I recommend buying the latest edition because insurance regs change yearly.

Last edited by mintjulep

The amount of coverage you need may depend on the state that you live in. I would shop around on the internet. Use a insurance comparison site and check them out. I check my rates every year when my policy is up for renewal. Also make sure that you get the discounts that you are eligible for. Hope this helps.

I have switched to AAA since my last comment, as my former insurance company more than doubled the price of my insurance without telling me. I tried contacting my agent but he wouldn't return my calls so I figured it was time to move on!

After reading some of the other comments, I have realized that there are some other cost related things I should look into and I could potentially lower what I am currently paying.

Thanks for all the helpful comments everyone!

I had the same issue last year. Mercury wanted to increase my insurance to around $1450 per 6 months from $950. We have had no claims in years. I shopped around and found esurance at $680 per 6 months.That's with one full coverage and only liability on our other truck. Good luck all.

@Moore Income and @friardave  We had that happen, doubling our rates with no claims and also with great credit, with Safeco a few years ago.  We did speak with our agent and though he's a really great person (a personal friend) he could only pump up the advantages of staying with Safeco instead of rationalizing why we had such a jump.  I believe at some point agencies must just purge clients because no one seems to be able to give us a good explanation why the rates went up so exorbitantly so suddently.  We could only conclude that the jump in rate was meant to edge us out by Safeco.

@KellyFromKeene It is crazy that it would jump up that much. I think what @mintjulep said about them just edging you out is true.

When I finally called my agent to let him know I switched insurance, he didn't ask any questions or try to get me to stay. Honestly, it felt like they were trying to get rid of me for some reason.

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