Friday, December 22, 2006

Car insurance (budgeting)

Received my auto insurance bill yesterday. Like clock work it shows every six months rain or shine. Thought maybe it would get held up in the snow at Denver’s airport. Nope. So I will fork over my money and hope that I get nothing in return for it. Over the years of driving I have gotten a small return on my money; three stolen radios and a crash that I walked away from. All of them covered. “Here take my money and I don’t want to talk to you for another six months.” We can only hope. That and watch for those freaking deer that always seem to want to play tag.

Anyway, the one thing that my company does that I like is it gives a discount for paying in full as opposed to making payments. I called them today and asked if there was a set percent that people saved by paying in full? After the customer service guy spoke with someone else I was told that the saving percent ranged form 8-13% depending on “factors”. I am happy to report that my “factors” put me on the 13% end. Of course that is not the only reason I went with this company, they also offered the best rates for us. Out of curiosity and because I was writing this today, I called a few other insurance companies this morning. Not one that I called offered a discount for paying in full. What they did have was a fee if you chose to make payments. The bottom line, for those of you following along at home is there is money to be saved if you pay the bill in full. So stick it on a line in your budget, stack it up over 6 months and save a little.

Doing the research this morning I also found out there are discounts that can lower the cost of auto insurance that I hadn’t thought of before. Edmunds has some information about how you might lower your insurance. Check (here) for the article. I also found the government no less has compiled 9 steps you can take to get better rates. At the end of the 9 steps they also provide a cool check list to have out when you are getting a quote. Government’s article (here).

With a little effort you may be able to save some real money. We did, when we switched companies and asked about every discount that we could think of. Don’t forget the money you save can go directly to paying down debt, fully funding a ROTH, or even the occasional dinner out with the wife. (Oh, that last one is just a little reminder to myself... sorry.)

What discounts does your insurance company give you?

That’s it for today. Always ask about the discounts and always keep an eye on your EveryDay Money.

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