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What I Learned About Saving Money From Working a Decade in the Insurance Industry

You’re probably paying too much and here’s why


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Josh Raimonde

3 years ago | 3 min read

Most people in the U.S. use a vehicle to get around. And if you’re using a vehicle, you’re going to have to pay for car insurance. We have to pay for it every month with the hope that we never have to use it.

Over the last decade in the insurance industry, I’ve seen the numerous ways in which people overspend on insurance.

There are many opportunities to save money: both on premiums upfront and on deductibles on the backend. Here are the top ways you can save on your car insurance.

Don’t Choose Too High of a Deductible

Deductibles can vary a great deal. In New York, I’ve seen them range from $50 to $2,500. The lower the deductible you have, the less you will pay in premiums each month, but you must choose wisely.

It’s not worth it to have too high of a deductible. Many people try to save upfront by going with a higher deductible but then can’t afford to pay it when they need to use their coverage.

Finding the right balance is the key to saving money here.

Take a Defensive Driving Course

Most people can take advantage of this course and save on their insurance after completion. The course can be taken online and often provides a 10% discount, which is usually good for three years.

Don’t Get a Brand New Vehicle

This should be common sense, but brand new vehicles cost more than older vehicles.

Therefore, it is going to cost more to insure a newer vehicle than an older one due to the potential of insurance having to pay to replace it if it totals. Collision repairs are also much more costly on newer vehicles.

It also makes more financial sense to purchase a used vehicle. I purchased my 07 Kia in 2010 and am still driving it in 2020.

Sure, I could go out and buy a nicer looking new vehicle, but I haven’t had to make a car payment in over five years, and I reap the benefit of paying much less insurance on it.

Make Sure Your Usage is Accurate

Insurance is based on risk. You will pay more for it if you drive more often since this increases the likelihood of an accident. If you are working from home now, then you should make sure your insurance provider knows that your usage has changed as it may affect how much you pay.

Slow Down

Speeding, and other moving violations, can cause your premiums to increase. Drivers who speed are more likely to be involved in accidents than those that practice safe driving habits. Do yourself, your wallet, and all the other drivers on the road a favor and slow down.

Be Selective When Using Your Coverage

Insurance exists to protect us, but sometimes it might not be worth it to use. If a bumper repair is $400 and you have a $500 deductible, then insurance won’t be paying you anything. However, you might end up paying more in the future thanks to the addition of an accident to your driving record.

You can get a free quote at most body shops, and then decide if it’s worth it to you to put through insurance.

Shop Around

I have stayed with my insurance company for the last decade, but that is only out of loyalty because I work for them. It’s common for new customers to receive the best rates when purchasing a policy; that is how insurance companies entice people to switch.

You may then start to see that rate slowly creep up at each future renewal. Keep this in mind, and shop around every 3 to 4 years to make sure you aren’t overpaying.

Don’t Skimp on Liability Coverage

You can get a vehicle insured in New York and carry a minimum of $10,000 for property damage. I can assure you that I see multiple cars every week with more damage than this would allow.

If you have $10,000 in property damage and cause a $30,000 vehicle to total, then insurance can only pay $10,000 as outlined in the contract.

Please consider this especially carefully and talk to your insurance provider for guidance. There are better ways to save money than on liability coverage. You don’t want to put yourself in a position to be sued for thousands by trying to save a few dollars on upfront costs.

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