When it comes to saving money on car insurance, the last person you’d probably think of is genius Albert Einstein. But the famous physicist, popularized in caricature as a wild-haired scholar with a goofy side, was known for saying some pretty thought-provoking things in his time – many of which you’ll recognize right away.
But what do all of these have to do with saving money on car insurance? Einstein died in 1955, but had he been alive in modern days, he probably would have marveled at the aerodynamics of sleek sports cars or the cutting-edge eco-conscious electric cars on the market today. He may have even owned one.
And he most certainly would have gotten insurance.
One of the most unusual (and rarely) used methods of saving money on car insurance has nothing to do with insurance at all, but rather maintaining a good credit history. The fact is, insurers can access your credit report and use credit details to price auto insurance policies accordingly. Conclusive research has shown that people who manage their credit effectively make fewer claims.
You’ll want to check your credit report on occasion anyway to make sure that all the information in accurate, but having a solid credit history (or working toward building one, if you’re a student) is a smart step in the right direction. Other discounts can also apply, including a good driver discount, bundling your home and auto insurance, and a good student discount for maintaining a certain grade point average (Einstein would have wholeheartedly approved of that last one!)
Accidents happen. It’s a truth as old as time. Whether you’re a new driver fresh on the roads or you’ve been driving for decades, you’ll gain valuable experience as you drive – not to mention a healthy distrust of your fellow human beings! But being proactive on the road is just one thing you can do to save money on your car insurance.
Another is investing in collision insurance.
Collision insurance is a type of insurance that protects you no matter if you are at fault or not. It often has a deductible you’ll need to pay even if the accident isn’t your fault. Over time, you’ll learn that there are other ways to save money on car insurance – including comparison shopping before you buy a car, reducing insurance coverage on older cars, and even getting recommendations from family and friends.
Above all, use their invaluable experience to help guide you toward choosing the right insurance for your needs – they’ve done it before and have the wisdom and experience to steer you on the right path.
Let’s say you do have an accident. You might immediately think that, even if it’s just a fender-bender, your car insurance rates will immediately skyrocket. That’s not entirely true. The fact is, auto insurers look at many different facets of an accident before making their decision.
The biggest factor by far is the severity of an accident. If a gravity-loving tree limb shatters your windshield, the cost of replacing the windshield is far less than an accident in which you carelessly plowed into the other driver after running a red light. No two claims are alike which is why insurers take the time to understand every angle.
Another consideration is your own driving history. If you’re essentially the patron saint of driving and haven’t had so much as a speeding ticket in 20 years on the road when you suddenly get rear-ended by a texting teen, it may not impact your coverage at all.
And even if all these things happen to converge on you at one time, many auto insurers don’t think you should be to blame simply because you had a bad streak of luck. Now, this may change if you live in a no-fault state, which basically says that both insurance companies from both drivers respectively had to pay a portion of the claim. Still, the above points may still apply.
Finally, many auto insurers have “accident forgiveness” policies in place for small claims. So even if you do cause an accident, it may not affect your rates. Different insurers have different standards for what constitutes accident forgiveness though, so be sure to check your policy to see how this affects you.
Einstein was often hailed as a genius even though he was also adept at solving problems. Just the very simple act of having car insurance prevents a lot of problems. But you may also want to look at having uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This is coverage that’s sold in addition to your existing car insurance and is required in a handful of states (although most insurance companies nationwide offer it).
Uninsured, as you might expect, protects you in the event of an accident where the other driver doesn’t have insurance. Underinsured coverage protects you even if the other driver has insurance, but not enough to cover the claim. There’s also collision coverage, which helps cover actual vehicle damage. Having this kind of insurance is a small price to pay for a lot of peace of mind – particularly since you’ll be on the road with “geniuses” who elected not to have insurance in the first place.
Einstein spent many of his years trying to explain complex concepts in theoretical physics to rooms full of baffled scientists and researchers. Thankfully, you don’t have to go through quite such a hurdle when shopping for car insurance.
Many of the terms you’ll encounter are clearly defined and there are guides and printable worksheets available that you can take with you in case of an accident, so you’ll have an instant checklist that helps make processing your claim easier. Some auto insurers even have apps that guide you through the process so that you don’t forget anything (very easy to do when you’re feeling emotional after an accident) in the spur of the moment.
All in all, shopping for car insurance isn’t a decision you should make likely. Most auto insurers have greatly simplified the process. Start out by getting a quote, comparison shopping and asking questions – because, after all...