There are certain things you have to do when you own a car. You have to wear a seatbelt, you need to drive sober, and you’re required to carry car insurance. With that last example, we know, not too many people are happy about it. While the insurance requirement exists to protect policyholders financially, it can sometimes become expensive.

But before you resign yourself to spending an enormous amount on insurance premiums, take heart. There are those out there that don’t understand that the insurance industry is just like any other business, wherein it’s possible to make adjustments and buy the right policy at the right time. Yesterday, we shared a few tips with you to help you save on your premiums. Today, we’d like to share a few more.

  • If you’ve been with a particular insurance company for a while, keep in mind you don’t have to stick with them. Some companies will reward your loyalty, while others simply use it as an excuse to raise your rates. When you start getting close to renewal time, shop around a little if you’re less than impressed with your current company. Even if all of your insurance needs are being met, it’s a wise move to make sure you’re also getting the best deal.
  • Bundling your insurance needs can save you a lot of money in the long run. Typically, insurance companies will offer discounts if customers opt to not only get their auto coverage, but also homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, or coverage for multiple family members and multiple vehicles. Sure, every company wants your money, but a reputable company will give you a reason to shop with them.
  • When you make payments to your insurance company, if it’s at all humanly possible, do not make monthly payments. Instead, make payments either every six months or yearly. When you pay monthly, your payments can often be between $3-$5 more expensive. That might not seem like much, but in the long term, you’re spending a lot of your own money unnecessarily.
  • Part of being a smart consumer is being prepared. Want to make sure you’re never taken by surprise because of a rate hike? Insurance companies are regulated by the state, and they are required by law to publicly file their rates, file rate hikes and the justification for the price increase, along with any complaints filed against them. Do some research about your company and others that you’re considering. If their business practices seem a little sketchy, or if rate increases happen too frequently without a good reason, plan to go elsewhere.
  • For most insurance companies, one of the many factors that determines your rate is your credit rating. However, they cannot use your credit rating mid-term to change the amount of your policy. When it’s time to renew, you can ask your insurer to check your credit, and if it’s good, you might get a discount. You want to be positive that you have a good credit rating. If it’s not so great, you might see your rate increase, and there’s nothing you can do about it.