According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, getting behind the wheel became significantly more expensive throughout 2023, with the average price of auto insurance rising 20.3% last year. This trend may continue into 2024 as vehicle values continue to rise and repairs become more expensive. More frequent and more severe natural disasters are also contributing to higher costs.
But the rules for finding a good deal on auto insurance haven’t changed. Here are three moves drivers can try this year to find the coverage they want at a reasonable price.
1. Shop around
This is the most important thing drivers can do to find the best deal on insurance. Every insurer assesses risk differently, which is why they all offer different rates to the same person. The only way to find out who offers the best price for a particular driver is to get quotes.
Most of the best auto insurers have online quoting tools these days that allow drivers to view their prices and customize their coverage in minutes. But to get an accurate quote, drivers will need important information, including:
- Their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Social Security Number
- Date(s) of any accident or traffic violation
Many providers allow leads to save their quotes by entering their email address so they can return to them at a later date. This is often worthwhile because it allows applicants to easily compare rates from several providers at the same time.
It’s tempting to focus solely on premium costs, but there are other factors worth considering. The deductible determines how much the policyholder pays out of pocket when filing a claim. And customer service — or the lack of it — can make the claims process a breeze or a nightmare. Weigh all these factors before deciding on the best option.
Read more: check out our picks for the best car insurance companies
2. Look for discounts
Most car insurers offer a variety of auto insurance discounts to help drivers save. Some, like safe driving discounts, are quite common. Others, such as savings on hybrid or electric vehicles, are rarer. It doesn’t hurt to review a company’s list of car insurance discounts when deciding which companies to get quotes from. This is especially true for those who qualify for less common discounts. However, it’s important to note that more discounts don’t always translate to a lower price.
Usage-based discounts are also worth considering for those happy with the included monitoring. Drivers who agree to participate will have a small device placed in their vehicle that monitors their driving behavior, or will have to download a mobile phone app. Good management leads to increased savings in addition to the savings the policyholder receives just for signing up.
3. Choose a higher discount
Increasing an auto insurance deductible usually lowers premiums, sometimes significantly. It’s definitely an option worth considering for drivers hoping to save money in the long run. But it’s important to prepare for the worst.
Drivers may want to save for the deductible in an emergency fund so they have enough cash on hand if they get into an accident. One way to do this is to put whatever they save on premiums by rolling their deductible into a savings account each month. For example, if the premium is $350 per month with a low deductible and $300 per month with a high deductible, a driver can save $50 per month until they have saved enough to cover their entire deductible.
If all that doesn’t work, lowering your coverage is also an option for many drivers. But it is important to understand the risks that come with this. Less coverage increases the risk that drivers could be forced to pay large out-of-pocket costs if they cause a serious accident. And waiving auto insurance is illegal in almost every state, with penalties ranging from fines to jail time. Give the above tips a try before you downsize to see what kind of difference they can make.
Our best car insurance companies for 2024
Ready to buy car insurance? Whether you’re focused on pricing, claims handling or customer service, we’ve researched insurers across the country to provide our best-in-class picks for car insurance coverage. Read our free expert review today to start.