Insurance companies offer plenty of potential discounts on car insurance, and most drivers are aware of the common ones. Bundling policies, installing a security alarm, driving safely, and not driving a lot are just a few examples. There are still many other ways to reduce premiums, though. Here’s what else you can do to save on auto premiums, even if you’re already taking advantage of those more common discounts.
Lesser-Known Tips to Save on Car Insurance Premiums
Improve Your Credit Score
Insurance companies often check driver’s credit scores when calculating premiums. This is a somewhat controversial practice that several states have prohibited, but Vermont generally allows the practice.
In short, credit scores and insurance premiums have an inverse relationship. Lower credit scores may result in slightly higher rates.
Thus, improving your credit score might help you reduce what you pay for insuring your vehicle. Depending on your current financial situation, there are several steps that usually lead to better credit scores:
- Make all payments on time
- Pay down credit cards with high balances
- Pay down any other outstanding debt
- Address any debts currently in collections
- Dispute any errors on your credit report
(You can get one free credit report from each of the three main reporting agencies through www.annualcreditreport.com. This is a federally authorized site; be aware of look-alikes.)
These steps won’t instantly lower your credit score, but they might help you get slightly lower premiums next time your policy renews.
Exclude High-Risk Drivers
Car insurance policies normally base rates on all drivers living at the policyholder’s residence. This usually isn’t an issue, but could result in higher rates if you have someone with a DUI or a young driver in the house. These are both sometimes classified as high-risk drivers, and assigned higher rates.
If you have a high-risk driver in the house, you might be able to specifically exclude them from a vehicle’s insurance policy. They then can’t operate the vehicle, as any claim occurring while they’re behind the wheel would likely be voided. It’s one option that could yield substantial savings if you’re in this situation, though.
You may have to exclude a high-risk driver from all car policies that you have. In certain circumstances, however, you may be able to exclude them only from driving a specific car.
Should you wish to pursue this option, make sure to work with a knowledgeable insurance agent who specializes in auto coverages. A specialized agent will know how to navigate this possible discount.
Complete a Driver Safety Course
Driver safety courses, like the ones that new drivers often take, frequently qualify for a discount on auto policy premiums. The discount is typically a percent off of specific coverages, which can equate to a substantial savings if your coverage rates are high. The possible savings could be even more if you have points on your license from a traffic violation.
In order to qualify for a discount, the driver safety course you complete must be recognized by Vermont. An insurance agent who’s familiar with auto policies will be able to recommend an in-person or online course that qualifies.
Work With an Independent Car Insurance Agent
If you want to explore any of these lesser-known ways to save on car insurance, make sure you compare policies with an independent insurance agent. An independent agent can check how much different insurers will charge after these, and any other discounts, are taken into account. To speak with an independent agent in Vermont, contact us at Paige & Campbell Insurance.