Are you wondering why auto insurance premiums have gone up? You’re not alone. Rates have been increasing since 2012, even for those drivers with excellent driving records.
Why the rising rates? Cheaper gas prices and an improving economy means more drivers on the road and because of mobile phones, more are driving distracted, leading to an increase in severe and fatal car accidents. Insurers must bear the costs, which includes more expensive car repairs, higher medical bills and claim settlements. So in an effort to remain profitable, they have increased insurance rates.
Luckily, there are ways to keep your own costs down and find the coverage that best meets your needs. Here’s how:
Car Shopping? Estimate Insurance Costs First
Some cars are more expensive to insure than others; that’s why it pays to do your homework and estimate insurance costs for the vehicles you are interested in purchasing. Edmunds’ True Cost to Own® tool helps you figure out the total cost of owning a car over a five-year period. In addition to estimating insurance premiums, you’ll also see what your gas, maintenance and repairs could cost. Safety features play a big part in reducing your premiums too, so look for those when you shop for your new car. For more tips read How to Be a Savvy Car Shopper.
Get an Insurance Review
Of course, you want to get the best pricing on your insurance policy, but don’t overlook coverage options that can protect you and your finances. For instance, make sure you have enough liability and uninsured/underinsured coverage in case you have an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver. Our licensed insurance agents with SchoolsFirst Insurance Services can do a quick review of your needs, identify any gaps and find savings opportunities and discounts. They also compare rates with highly rated insurance companies, such as Progressive, Safeco, Travelers and Mercury. If you want to do more research on your own, visit the California Department of Insurance website to learn more about the top insurers.
Bundle Your Insurance
If you have auto and home insurance with different companies, a smart way to save money is to bundle your coverages with one company. By doing so, you can save 10% to 20% on each policy. Some companies offer discounts for bundling auto insurance with renters or condo insurance, although the discounts are smaller.
Choose Higher Deductibles
You can save significantly on your policy by increasing your deductible, to $500 from $250, for example. Just make sure you have enough money set aside in case you need to file a claim and pay that deductible.
Consider Extra Protection
There are other affordable ways to ensure that you and your vehicle have enough financial protection. SchoolsFirst FCU offers:
MEMBER’S CHOICE® Guarantee Asset Protection or GAP
GAP Insurance can help fill the gap between what your vehicle insurance will pay and what you owe on your loan if your vehicle is totaled or stolen.
Mechanical Repair Coverage
Mechanical Repair Coverage helps Members pay for covered auto repairs when an unexpected breakdown occurs.
Let Our Experts Help You
Our licensed insurance agents are here to make sure you find the coverage that’s right for you. Get a free quote online or call 800.462.8328, ext. 4309, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
CA Insurance License 0I19344.
Extra Credit provides general information to help improve our Member’s financial lives. Every situation is different, so please contact us at 800.462.8328, ext 8288 for guidance on your specific needs. The advice provided in Extra Credit is not intended to serve as a substitute for speaking to a loan representative, financial advisor, or BALANCE counselor who can help tailor a solution for you.
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