It’s officially Back to School for most of the country. I’m still in denial that summer is over but the list of school supplies and class schedules are bringing me back to reality. This is the time of year that not only my personal life gets busy, but my job does too. Working in the insurance industry I get tons of calls with questions from parents about their teens heading off to college, and what is the best way to save money when it comes to their auto insurance. Though I don’t claim to be an expert, I have had over 10 years in the industry and I have a few tips for parents (and teens) to save money on auto insurance.
Buy Used. I am still surprised after all these years that parents and teens think it’s the best idea to buy a new car. Sure overall they can be more dependable, but I will assure you the savings you get in just a few months of a large payment, or a few months of full coverage insurance, you will have enough saved for any minor repairs needed when you purchase a used car. Save that extra money for tuition, supplies, or even towards a new car in a few years. There are many great tips on what to look for when buying a used car that can help steer you in the right direction.
Carry Liability Only. Referring back to buying used, try to pay cash only when purchasing a vehicle; not having a loan leaves you free to choice what coverages you carry on your insurance policy. I do recommend, if you can afford it, adding comprehensive coverage to your liability only policy. Most of the time comprehensive coverage is offered at an affordable premium, and covers everything other than an accident – so things like rocks hitting and breaking your windshield, vandalism, theft, or even hitting an animal, you’re car will be covered.
Keep Your Grades Up. Carrying a 3.00 GPA or better can save you quite a bit of money on your auto insurance policy; especially for males. Most companies just need a copy of your progress report, or report card to put the discount on your policy. Be sure to make yourself aware of how often they need an updated transcript so the discount doesn’t get removed.
Call Before You Buy. No matter if you decide to get a used or new car, always always call your auto insurance company and compare rates on the different vehicles you are looking at purchasing; calling with a year/make/model of a vehicle to get a quote can sometimes be a deciding factor in a vehicle purchase. If possible provide the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to get an exact quote. You would be surprised how sometimes the cheaper vehicles will actually cost you more in insurance than one a bit more expensive.
Shop Your Rates. As a co-worker of mine always says, “nothing is good or bad without comparison.” Calling around to see what other rates may be at a different insurance company is always a good idea as well.