Many people dread the idea of having to call an insurance company and ask for a quote on an auto insurance policy. They may worry that they’re going to get slapped with a high premium, and they hate the thought of having to part with all that money. That’s why it’s vital that when you make this call to an agent, you do everything in your power to obtain the lowest quote possible.
Here are ten things you should mention while talking with an auto insurance agent in order to minimize the quote you will get.
1. Your occupation. To be more specific, you should definitely bring this up if you have a job that is considered a “lower accident” risk occupation in the eyes of insurance companies. Airline pilots, actors, artists, and scientists fall into this category.
2. You don’t mind paying higher deductibles. Most quotes are issued based on a standard level of deductible that you would pay if you were in an accident (say, $250). But you usually have the option of paying a higher deductible if you choose (like $500 or $1,000), and your premium will be lower as a result.
3. Your situation keeps miles off your car. Are you retired? Do you work from home? Is you job only a few miles away? Do you switch cars with your spouse regularly (like taking the SUV to do grocery shopping once a week while your mate takes the sedan)? These circumstances may cause you to drive fewer miles per year than the agent may assume – and you may get a lower quote.
4. You don’t mind paying up front. Like many other service providers, insurers often give discounts to people who “pre-pay” for insurance. So instead of paying monthly, opt for a biannual (or even annual) payment plan. The savings may be worth it.
5. Your vehicle has safety features. Don’t neglect to mention all of the safety features that your car, truck, or SUV is equipped with. Anti-lock brakes, anti-theft devices, airbags, vehicle recovery systems, and even rear view cameras are things that can reduce how much you pay for auto insurance. (A bigger list is here.)
6. You own your home. Insurance company statistics indicate that people who own their homes are less likely to get into accidents than renters or people in other living situations. So don’t forget to mention this fact.
7. Your education level. Don’t be modest. Tell the insurance agent about your higher education degree(s), because education level is inversely proportional to crash incidence. The lower your odds are of getting in an accident, the cheaper your quote will be.
8. You don’t smoke. Maybe you take this for granted, but it’s an important point to raise when shopping for auto insurance. Smokers tend to attempt to multitask more (like lighting a cigarette while driving), which raises their chances of causing accidents.
9. You have taken (or will take) a driver’s education or safety course. You may not realize that completing these types of courses qualifies drivers to get a discount of anywhere from 5% to 10% off of their premiums – even if they took the course to avoid paying a traffic ticket. So make the agent aware if you have completed a course within the last year (or plan to take one very soon).
10. You already have insurance with this company. If you are contacting an agent who is employed by the carrier who writes your life, home, or other type of insurance, make sure you point this out. Most insurers offer multiline discounts, so your premium would be less than the driver who does not have a policy with the company.
Of course, rates and discounts vary from insurer to insurer, so be sure to compare prices and get a few quotes before making a decision. Even though your state requires you to get car insurance, there’s no law that says you have to pay a bunch of money for it!