Did you know that Florida is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive states to purchase car insurance?
There are a couple of factors that contribute to our high rates, including our growing population, propensity for hurricanes, and our no-fault insurance laws, to name a few. Unfortunately, most of these are out of your control as a policyholder.
That said, there are steps you can take to get your Florida auto insurance at a better price. Let’s take a closer look.
Most people are used to paying a monthly insurance premium. But did you know you could save by paying your premium in full when you take out the policy?
Insurance companies offer these savings because getting a full payment upfront greatly reduces their risk. Depending on your company, you may save as much as 35% by paying the full premium.
Of course, there’s a reason most people pay their premiums monthly. The average annual cost for full coverage in Florida is nearly $2,500. Most people simply don’t have that kind of money burning a hole in their pocket.
That said, depending on how deep of a discount you’re getting, it might make sense to either dip into savings or put the cost on your credit card. Your overall savings could be higher than the total interest you’ll accrue.
By the way, whether you’re paying up-front or monthly, always go for the 12-month, rather than the 6-month policy if possible. This way, you will lock in whatever discounts you are receiving for a longer period of time.
These days, it’s easy to access any information you need about your bank accounts, credit cards, or insurance policy online.
Many people immediately throw out their paper statements, unopened. They may not even know that they’re receiving statements in the mail. But your insurance company does.
It costs your insurance company money to print out your statement and mail it every month. And, since paperless billing has made this unnecessary, they often charge a convenience fee for it. Requesting to go entirely paperless could result in savings of up to 5%.
Lower Your Perceived Risk
There are several factors that car insurance companies use to calculate how high of a premium to charge drivers. One of these is their perceived riskiness as a driver.
Simply put, based on statistics and trends, insurance companies identify certain external factors as putting drivers at a higher risk of making a claim. While some of these, such as your age or gender, are out of your control, others are not.
Buy a Home
Obviously, it’s not necessarily a smart economic decision to buy a house simply to get cheap car insurance. But, if you’re currently weighing the benefits of buying vs renting, your insurance premium is a factor to consider in favor of buying.
First of all, homeowners receive a discount over renters when purchasing car insurance. This is because homeowners are viewed as more stable than renters are, and therefore less risky.
In addition to a discount for owning a home, you might be able to get an additional discount by bundling your home and auto insurance with the same company. This can get you a lower rate on both policies.
Again, getting a discount on your car insurance is probably not the best reason to pop the question. But, if you are in a long-term relationship with a partner, you could be missing out on lower insurance rates simply by not being officially married. Not only will you get a discount for being married, but it will be less expensive to add your spouse to your policy than to add an unmarried partner.
In some cases, you might be able to get the marriage discount even if you’re not married. For instance, single moms can qualify for the discount under certain policies.
Keep a Clean Driving Record
It’s no secret that drivers with clean records get lower insurance rates than those with a history of accidents and speeding tickets. And, of course, no one drives with the intention of getting into an accident or getting pulled over. But there are proactive steps you can take to keep your record clean.
For instance, if you get pulled over for speeding, don’t just pay the ticket to make the fine go away. Once a year, you can participate in online traffic school rather than pleading guilty to speeding. This way, you don’t get points on your license, and your insurance won’t go up.
Fix Your Credit
Most people recognize that a poor credit score could impact their ability to qualify for a loan. But did you know that it could also result in higher insurance rates?
Insurance companies will often view drivers with poor credit as high-risk. Getting your credit under control will help you not only score a better interest rate when you get your next car loan, but also get a better insurance premium.
Don’t Let Your Kids Drag You Down
For many parents, there are few things more nerve-wracking than teaching their 16-year-old how to drive. That is until they call the insurance company to add their child to the auto policy. One study found that adding a teenager to your policy could raise your rates by as much as 80 percent!
Luckily, there are ways you can soften this blow. If your child is in high school or college, submit their grades to your insurance agents each quarter. Students who receive As and Bs will qualify for a good student discount.
Also, if your child is attending college more than 100 miles away from where the vehicle in question is registered, you may qualify for an “Away at School” discount. In this situation, the insurance company may give a much lower rate because the young person will not be driving the vehicle as often.
Get Affordable Florida Auto Insurance Today
With these tips in hand, you’ll soon be able to find a Florida auto insurance policy that won’t break the bank.
To find out if you can save on your insurance bill, get a quote today. We’ll have an insurance specialist work with you to get you the insurance you need at the right price.