4 Ways to Lower the Cost of Auto Insurance

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Why pay more for car insurance than you need to? Try these tricks to lower your premiums.

Auto insurance premiums can take a bite out of anyone's monthly budget, but they're an essential expense drivers have to pay. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to lower the cost of car insurance coverag

In fact, taking any of these four simple steps could help ensure your premiums are as affordable as possible.

1. Choose your car wisely

It may come as a surprise, but some cars are much cheaper to insure than others.

It can be easier to find cheap car insurance for vehicles that have lots of safety features. Airbags, anti-lock brakes, and other safety upgrades can significantly reduce the chances of serious (and expensive) injuries in an accident. So cars with these features cost less to cover.

Cars with less expensive parts are also more affordable to insure because repair expenses will be lower if things go wrong. By contrast, expensive vehicles and those more likely to be involved in accidents -- such as sports cars -- may be much more expensive to get insurance for.

2. Shop around for insurance coverage

Comparing car insurance quotes across multiple insurers is also important if drivers want to keep auto insurance costs low. Shopping around and getting multiple quotes helps to ensure you're working with the company that offers the best policies at the most affordable rate.

Shopping around also helps to prevent a surprise factor that could raise car insurance rates. Some insurers use algorithms to assess which customers are less likely to get insurance quotes, and they charge those drivers more. Not all states allow this practice of "price optimization," but drivers still need to watch out for this.

It takes only a few minutes to get insurance quotes online, and making the effort can save people a bundle.

3. Drive carefully and obey the rules

Drivers who get moving violations or who are involved in accidents are much higher risk to insure. You don't want to end up with premium costs rising because of a speeding ticket or because you get involved in a fender bender and are found at fault.

To avoid having to pay for high-risk car insurance, be as careful as you can to obey the rules of the road. Some insurers will also allow you to download an app that monitors your habits and rewards you for good behavior. If you don't mind giving your insurer more insight into your driving habits, this could help make premium costs much more affordable.

4. Take a defensive driving course

Many car insurance companies offer discounts to motorists who have recently completed defensive driving courses. Insurers believe this type of driver education can help to improve your driving habits and make a crash less likely to occur.

To lower premiums, ask an insurer if you can score savings by completing a class -- and find out which ones are eligible. You could both save on your insurance coverage and potentially reduce the chances of an accident, which is a win-win.

Taking any of these four steps doesn't take much time or effort, but the difference in insurance premium costs can be substantial. So they're worth exploring.

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