Five Ways To Lower Your Auto Insurance Premium

January 21, 2020

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The average car insurance yearly premium reached a new high last year.  In fact, rates were higher for 63% of drivers in 2019. On average, it cost Floridians a record $2,309 last year for auto insurance, which is up nearly 30% since 2011. Florida has the third highest costs, just behind Louisiana and Michigan. The cost you pay for insurance is driven by a number of factors, including the region where you live, weather events (such as wildfires and hurricanes), local crime rates, and the percentage of uninsured drivers. Your personal finances, including your job and credit score, also affect your rates, along with your driving history. But there are some easy steps you can take to ratchet down that annual premium. First, shop around.  A recent survey found 54% of Americans had remained with their current company for 15 years or longer. An annual look at your policy means you should be shopping it around. Start by contacting the direct-writer insurers, those that have their own agents and offer competitive prices. Choose a top-rated insurer as a low premium isn't the only key factor.  You want an insurer that provides fair and fast claims settlements, good customer service, and help and advice. Don’t skimp on essential coverage. Make sure you carry enough liability coverage, which pays for bodily injury and property damage that you cause to someone else in a crash. Get more than the legal minimum even if you don’t have much in assets to protect. In Florida, up to 25% of your take-home pay can be garnished if you're at fault for an accident without adequate levels of insurance. Look for cost-cutting options. Opting for a $1,000 comprehensive and collision deductible instead of $500 can reduce your costs by 11%. If your car is older, consider canceling your collision and comprehensive altogether, because you could end up paying more than you would get back in repair or replacement costs. Finally and most importantly, be a careful driver.  Texting or using a cell phone while driving can hike your premium by more than 20% and at-fault accident can result in a 41%. Busted for reckless driving can increase your car insurance by as much as 67%!

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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