Of all the bills humans have to pay, the ones related to insurance can seem the most frustrating especially when you’re not using that insurance. For example, if you are as healthy as a horse, it’s easy to feel resentful as you fork over a percentage of your paycheck each month to health insurance. Similarly, if you are a good driver who doesn’t get into wrecks, you may exhale a sigh of frustration every time you see your monthly car insurance withdrawal on your bank account statement.

However, there are quite a few things you can do to lower your car insurance bill. Start doing them today, and you could be paying drastically less very soon.

1. Shop Around

No matter how long you have been with your insurance company, it pays to shop around. For example, if you purchased your current insurance online, getting in touch with a local insurance agency could net you considerable savings or vice versa. Compare at least three companies because the differences in how they assess risk can be huge. Ideally, you would do this every year (yes, every year!), but in real life, will you really take the time to do this yearly? Probably not, but shoot for at least every few years.

2. Enroll in a Defensive Driving Class

Car insurance companies don’t want accidents to happen, so they’re willing to encourage folks to, well, not get into accidents. So, many insurers offer discounts if you take a defensive driving class, also called traffic school. You’ll learn how to pass other cars better and about techniques for driving in extreme weather, among other things. It’s information that would benefit you anyway, insurance break or not.

3. Dive into the Discounts

Insurance companies don’t always go out of their way to detail each and every discount you may be eligible for. So, give your insurer a ring (or shoot an email), and ask for a list of all the discounts it offers. You might even be eligible for a discount based on the sorority or fraternity you were in at college.

Here are some of the more common discounts:

  • Going paperless: Insurers save money by not having to mail out paper statements.
  • Paying in advance: You can save prettily by paying your insurance six months at a time instead of monthly.
  • Good student: If you are in school and earn good grades, you just might earn an insurance discount.
  • Using a garage: Parking your car on the street or in the driveway can be risky. Parking in your garage is less so, and you might qualify for a discount this way.

4. Drive Less

The fewer miles you drive, the less of a risk you are. So, many insurance companies will lower what you have to pay if you can show that you are not in your car as much as you used to be. It’s a good motivator to walk or bike to the store or the library instead of hopping into your car. And while walking to work may not be feasible, you could explore carpooling half of the time. Bonus: You get to sit back and relax, and let someone else handle the driving in his or her car.

5. Boost Your Credit Score

Insurers look at your credit score as one way of assessing risk. The higher your score, the more cautious you are perceived as being. So, paying your bills on time can make a big difference in how much you pay for car insurance.

6. Purchase Cars Wisely

Of course, there is one huge thing you can do to save. Buy a sensible, very affordable car that you own outright instead of paying monthly on a new and showy model.

There are quite a few ways to save on auto insurance. The top one is to buy an inexpensive car, but that might not be your thing. However, shopping every year for quotes goes a long way, and so can driving less.

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