By ALLEN MCQUISTON
The Jemez Agency
Many of us are well aware that owning a car can be expensive (especially a new car).
According to a AAA study, the average cost of owning and operating a new car was $773.50 a month in 2019. Expenses like fuel, maintenance, and insurance can add up.
The average cost of car insurance (including collision, comprehensive and liability) was $1,062 per year in 2016, according to a National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ report.
While you can’t control every expense associated with owning a car, you can take advantage of discounts to help lower your auto insurance premium.
There are many different types of auto discounts that allow for savings, but it’s good to know these points ahead of time:
Discounts vary by state and company.
Some discounts don’t apply to your entire bill – only on specific coverage types.
There can be a capped-limit on some discounts.
Not all discounts are automatic.
Now, pretty much every insurance company offers a package discount. This means you will receive a certain percentage off of your home and/or auto policies by having the same insurance company write the coverage.
Many companies also offer discounts for paying your premium in full annually. Electronic options like EFT can help make sure you pay your premium on time, which can also lead to a discount.
There are also discounts that accumulate over time. These include claims-free discounts along with loyalty discounts. Yes, that’s right – loyalty discounts.
Despite what some insurance companies make you want to believe, changing insurance companies from year to year isn’t always the best way to save premium. Many insurance companies reward their policyholders by giving them loyalty discounts, or in some cases, diminishing deductibles. Therefore, it can certainly pay to remain with the same insurance company for an extended period of time.
For the youthful driver in your family, some companies offer discounts for completion of diver safety courses like teenSMART Driver Safety Program, the most effective driver crash reduction program ever developed. Teens completing the program reduce their chance of being in a crash by 30 percent, and parents can receive a discount on their auto policy. Ask your insurance professional if you company offers this program.
While saving money is always a good thing – and I encourage you to explore all of the discounts for which you are eligible – keep in mind that insurance is there for a reason: protection against loss.
The cheapest policy isn’t necessarily going to do what you would like it to do when the unthinkable happens and you face financial disaster. Accidents happen, and those who are affected want their insurance policies to respond.
Take the time to not only review your available discounts with your trusted insurance agent but review your available coverage options with him or her as well.