You’re Handling Your Car Insurance Wrong

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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Sometimes I forget what car insurance I have. It’s easy to do since I’ve had car insurance through three different companies in seven years.

The insurance companies didn’t do anything wrong, but every year when my husband and I review our policy, we check out the competitors to see which one offers the best rate. Sometimes we jump ship. Other times we remain loyal — at least for another year.

Reviewing your car insurance policy is one of the easiest ways you can save money every year. Here are a few things you can do to save hundreds of dollars on your car insurance.

1. Find out how much insurance you need

Laws vary by state, so make sure you know what’s required in yours. In most states, you need some variation of personal injury protection, bodily injury liability coverage, and property damage liability coverage.

For example, in my home state of Florida, I need at least $10,000 in personal injury protection. In Maryland, you need $30,000 for bodily injury liability coverage. Once you know what you need, you can shop for car insurance accordingly.

But don’t discredit the extra investments. After a woman without insurance totaled my car a few years back, I discovered I didn’t have uninsured motorist coverage. While my car and recovery were addressed, I missed out on nearly $10,000 in cash because Florida is a “no-fault” state. Now, I always make sure uninsured motorist coverage is included in my policy.

You might want to consider collision insurance, which helps you repair or replace your vehicle regardless of who is at fault. Or you can opt in to accident forgiveness coverage, which means if you crash a car, your premiums won’t go up. In Florida, if I crash a car, the state can request that I have bodily injury liability coverage.

2. Compare insurance companies

Most insurance companies have comparison shopping tools on their sites, but feel free to use a third-party site such as Compare.com or Insure.com. When you compare insurance companies, make sure you get quotes on the same coverage.

At this point, you usually can find companies you want to explore further and companies you want to skip. The Insurance Information Institute recommends that you compare at least three price quotes.

Both the Insurance Information Institute and Consumer Reports recommend finding a top-rated insurer. The cheapest option isn’t always the one you should choose. Find a company that has your best interests in mind.

3. Haggle your heart out

You’ll spend most of your energy on this step. Set aside time to call some companies — your current insurer and the few you’re interested in. Be civil, polite, and respectful.

Tell your current company that you found the same coverage elsewhere for less money. Usually, your current insurer will try to keep your business and match the price. Sometimes, it will offer another discount between 10% and 15%.

If you like your current insurance company, you can stop here, as your work is almost done. If you don’t, it’s time to call another insurer. The new company might match the low cost to lure in new business, but don’t be upset if it says it can’t go any lower.

Companies might not feel as inclined to win the trust of new customers. Don’t be discouraged if you get rejected. You can be nice and persistent in your negotiations. You never know if a company will agree unless you ask, especially when it comes to discounts.

4. Ask about discounts

Not all drivers are created equal. Your driving record has a direct impact on your car insurance rates. At some companies, good drivers get discounts simply for being good drivers. Other discounts include:

  • Being a member of certain groups or organizations (including professional groups or alumni associations)

  • Completing driver training courses

  • Combining with other insurance, such as homeowners, renters, or life insurance

  • Having good credit

  • Having multiple vehicles on one policy

  • Getting good grades as a student driver (and if you’re a student away from home, you might qualify for another discount)

  • Reducing mileage (some offer pay-as-you-go options)

  • Driving an older vehicle

  • Being at least 25 years old

  • Being a newlywed

Your cost also depends on if you’re leasing or buying a car (as well as what kind of car you’re getting). If you’ve had a big life change, such as the loss of a family member or medical problems, Consumer Reports suggests asking your insurer for an exception.

5. Pay your premium upfront

Many companies offer extra savings if you pay your six-month or 12-month premium upfront. If you can swing the extra cost, it’s worth saving in the long run. Keep in mind that not all insurance companies offer this perk, so when you’re in the haggling stage, inquire about this opportunity.

Always review your car insurance

If you’ve always had your car insurance deducted from your bank account without giving it another thought, you might be missing out on extra money in your pocket. You could use it to pay back your student loans or stash it away in an emergency fund or retirement account.

Regardless of what you do with your newfound money, make sure you review your car insurance policy every year to get the best deal.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal LoansFixed rates from 6.58% APR to 14.87% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.275% APR to 12.575% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of July 16, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.275% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.10% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  • Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  1. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  2. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

  • Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  1. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  2. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.28% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.87% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.99% – 29.99%$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
5.99% – 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.49% – 18.24%$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.