College is a time of expanding your horizons and learning about how the world works. Unfortunately, that also means that it is a time of increasing expenses and greater responsibility. One of the responsibilities that you’ll encounter that can take a significant toll on your monthly expenses is car insurance. Many students consider the insurance carrier that they used while living at home to be sufficient for their auto insurance needs, but this may not be the case. Just because your parents’ insurance company worked well for them, perhaps even saved them money, doesn’t mean that the same will be true for you. In order to get the best bang for your buck, you’ll have to take the time to do some research, get quotes and make certain that you’re getting what you’re paying for.
Evaluating Current Coverage
Look closely at the car insurance coverage you currently carry and determine if it suits your needs. You might find that you’re paying for insurance that’s appropriate for a new car when in fact you drive an old car that doesn’t have as much value. Insurance companies aren’t going to tell you you’re overpaying. They’re just going to collect the checks. If your vehicle is five years old or older, check its current value at an online vehicle valuation service and compare that to your deductible. If the deductible is $1,000 or more, and the car is only worth $3,000, then it doesn’t make sense to carry full coverage that could cost $100 per month or more. You’ll end up paying more out of pocket for the insurance than the car is worth. You may want to consider reducing your coverage in such a case so that you’ll save some money every month.
Comparing Car Insurance
Occasionally, it’s a good idea to shop around for car insurance rates and see what sort of discounts or lower prices other companies might be offering. If you don’t shop your rates around, you’ll find in time that your insurance company will gradually raise your rates, only to occasionally drop them small amounts during major life milestones, such as turning 25 or getting married. The overall effect, though, is that your insurance rates will gradually increase. Meanwhile, competing insurance companies are all trying to earn your business, so their rates will be quoted lower. The Kanetix.ca auto insurance quotes comparison service is a popular free service.
Every two years, obtain quotes from at least three competing insurance companies, being certain to get quotes that reflect the same level of coverage. Before you move your insurance, though, take the quotes to your current insurance company and ask them if they can beat them. If not, then your best recourse is to switch insurance carriers.
Switching Insurance Carriers
The process of switching insurance carriers is simple during college. If you only carry auto insurance, the process is just that much easier. All you have to do is sign up with the new insurance company, and your new agent will request all the information from your current insurance company. You’ll have a few papers to sign and return in some cases, and then you’ll receive a check in the mail for any insurance from your current insurance company for which you have already paid.
Insurance bundling isn’t just for parents and homeowners. College students can benefit from bundling their insurance products, as well. In the insurance industry, this is known as having multiple lines. It can include renter’s insurance, life insurance and just about any other insurance product you carry. Ask your insurance provider what discounts are available for having multiple lines, and you might just be surprised how much you can save.
Rather than avoiding insurance during college, make certain that your auto insurance is exactly what you need at the time. This way, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll have peace of mind to keep your attention on your studies, as well.
As a retired insurance adjuster of 20 years experience, Colin Woods enjoys spending time discussing vario