Top Car Insurance Tips For 2023

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Driving Less? Look Into Pay-Per-Mile Insurance

Perhaps you’re not driving as much because you work from home some days. Or you’re Ubering more. Either way, you might want to try out an alternative car insurance pricing model like pay-per-mile insurance.

In general, here’s how it works: You get charged a base rate per month plus a per-mile rate. Your monthly bill will depend on how much you drive. For example, if you drive 600 miles in a month at a $40 base rate and a $0.05 per-mile rate, your bill for that month would be $70 ($40 base plus 600 miles x $0.05 = $70).

But if you end up returning to your office and a long daily commute, you could end up paying more per month than with a traditional car insurance policy. If that does happen, shop around again for a policy that best fits your needs.

Don’t Mind Your Driving Being Monitored? You Could Save Big

If you’re looking for a sizable car insurance discount, you might want to give usage-based insurance (UBI) a whirl.

Arity, an analytics company, found in a study that drivers believe the top three most important rating factors should be: previous driving record, how many miles driven and how safely they drive. Usage-based insurance takes these items into account, especially safe driving.

UBI uses telematics (through a plug-in or app) to monitor your driving behavior. Based on your score, you may receive a discount. UBI is easier than ever to try out as all the top insurance companies now offer a program.

Typically, you can get a discount of up to 10% for signing up. If you show very good driving habits and earn a good driving score, you can earn a relatively decent discount. For example, Nationwide’s SmartRide advertises a discount of up to 40% off if you prove to be a safe driver.

But you may have to be a really good driver in order to get a discount with a UBI program. According to a TransUnion survey, car insurance rates decrease for only 48% of those enrolled in a telematics program and stay the same for 30%.

You usually don’t get dinged for bad driving, so it can be worth a shot to earn a significant discount. (Drivers in the Snapshot program from Progressive car insurance could get in a higher rate if they show poor driving.)

If you find the UBI program isn’t a good fit, perhaps you brake harder than is liked, you can opt out—no harm, no foul.

Keeping an Eye on the Teen Drivers

There’s no way to avoid an insurance increase when you add a teen driver, but you can avoid even higher rates by doing what you can to make them the best drivers possible at their age.

Some auto insurance companies have specific programs for teens. A couple of programs will monitor the teen’s driving while others focus on driver training.

  • Allstate: teenSmart
  • American Family: Teen Safe Driver program, includes monitoring
  • Hanover: SafeTeen, includes monitoring
  • State Farm: Steer Clear

Talk to your insurance company to see what offerings they have for teenage drivers, and then shop around to make sure you’re getting quotes from the best insurance companies for teen drivers.

Make Sure You’re Covered Before Doing Deliveries

Whether it’s your teen delivering pizzas or you using your car for a side hustle to deliver items, check with your insurance company that you have the right type of coverage.

Making deliveries with your vehicle is considered a business use by insurance companies. If you get into a car accident while doing a job such as deliveries, your auto insurance company could deny the claim, leaving you stuck paying out-of-pocket for car repair bills and medical expenses. The right coverage can help you avoid a potential financial disaster like this.

Think Twice Before Dropping Coverage

It’s good to review your car insurance policy regularly to make sure your coverage, limits and deductibles still fit your needs. Renewal time is a good time to do this and also shop around and compare car insurance quotes.

If you have an older car, you may think about dropping collision and comprehensive insurance to save on your car insurance bill.

But be careful: Dropping coverage could leave you with a coverage gap. For example, if you crash into a guardrail on a snowy day or hit a fence, you’ll be stuck paying the car repair bills on your own if you don’t have collision insurance.

In an Accident? File a Contactless Car Insurance Claim

If you need to file an auto insurance claim, see if you can file a car insurance claim online. You can typically do this through your insurer’s mobile app or website. Many insurers now offer this feature.

Depending on the complexity of your claim, you may be able to go through the entire claims process from the comfort of your couch.

For instance, you may be able to upload photos of the car’s damage, have your insurer use them to determine a repair estimate, and then get an instant payment through a service such as Venmo.

Don’t Miss Out, Download the Insurer’s App

Car insurance companies’ mobile apps nowadays are loaded with goodies. You not only have proof of insurance and policy documents at your fingertips but also, with many companies, the ability to easily file a car insurance claim.

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