Manage Your Insurance to Save Money

I've frequently said that knowledge is power. Let's give you the power today to manage your car insurance better. If you do, you'll save money. One thing you can do to help avoid higher premiums is to not allow friends to borrow your car. If your friend is at fault in a wreck, guess who can get sued and what can happen to your insurance premiums?

You as the owner who permitted him to drive and he as the driver will be sued. Your insurance company can take the claim into account and raise your insurance premium. Next, will your auto insurance reimburse you for personal property like clothing that was damaged or stolen from your car? Generally, not unless you bought special coverage for that, but your homeowners insurance may cover that for you, so check that policy to see if it does.

How can you find the lowest insurance rates? One of the best ways is to look online. Various sites will give comparisons of prices for multiple insurance companies. All you have to do is answer questions about your age, where you live, your recent driving history, and how much coverage you want. The internet does the rest, and in a moment you'll see a screen showing the comparison.

What if you don't drive much? Can you get insurance based on the miles you drive? With many insurance companies, yes. Usage based car insurance allows you to buy coverage based on how much you actually drive. Progressive Insurance began this program in 1998 in Texas and has expanded it since. Other companies have followed. Even if your insurance carrier doesn't offer usage based coverage, you may get a low mileage discount from it. Its effect is the same, so if you've reduced the miles you drive to work, for example, it may pay you to ask for a reduced premium.

You might have heard of the report issued by the FTC in 2007 relating accident risk to poor credit ratings. Auto insurers have and most believe that your credit score is an indicator of whether you will be in an accident, so your insurance policy is priced accordingly. Clean up the credit score, and you might see your premium come down. If you want to know your auto or home insurance score, you can buy a report through ChoiceTrust, which is operated by ChoicePoint, a provider of consumer insurance scores to insurance companies.

If you break up your insurance payments into installments, will your overall bill increase? In most cases, yes, because you will probably be charged fractional premium fees. They are typically charged when you divide your annual premium payment into installments on a six month, quarterly, or monthly basis. The fractional premium fee amounts to an administrative fee charged by the insurance company for its extra work. The more installments you make in a year, the larger the fee. Saving money on insurance is usually a common sense proposition. All it requires is a little thought and management.

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