With the magazine Consumer Reports leading the way, a national movement for transparency in car insurance pricing is gaining traction. A recent Consumer Reports investigation found that insurance carriers calculate their rates using a complicated secret formula, which includes factors like credit score, use of store credit cards, and even TV providers. In the US, 47 states use this practice, including Florida. Unfortunately, when shopping for car insurance, the deck is already stacked against you.
Despite the deception on the part of insurance companies, there are still ways to save money on car insurance. Here are our suggestions for trimming the cost of this important expense, while still keeping the coverage that will keep you and your family safe.
Do: set money aside so you can increase your deductible.
When it comes to car insurance, a higher deductible means a lower annual premium. If you raise your deductible to $500 or above, you’ll save. But you also need to have that cash readily available in your bank account if you are involved in an accident.
Don’t: cut your coverage to get a better price.
It’s tempting to slash your coverage to the minimums to save money, but remember: you can still be held liable for any damages that your insurance doesn’t cover. If another party sues you because of an accident, your personal assets can be used to pay for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. By purchasing as much liability insurance as you can afford, you’re protecting yourself against a worst case scenario, which can cripple your finances far more than a car insurance premium.
Do: use an insurance broker to shop around.
Get quotes from the major companies, but don’t forget your local car insurance broker. They have access to many smaller but still reputable carriers that can issue a high amount of coverage for less.
Don’t: drop uninsured motorist coverage from your policy.
Almost 25% of Florida drivers are on the road without car insurance. This means that if you’re injured by an uninsured driver, you will be responsible for paying for your own medical bills. Your damages will only be covered if you purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM). Protect yourself and your family from an unexpected and devastating financial blow by purchasing as much UM as you can afford. It’s a coverage you can’t afford to be without.