As gas prices approach four dollars a gallon, many personal auto insurance policyholders find themselves in a particularly painful kind of trap: most states require citizens to maintain auto insurance. For example, Florida requires drivers to carry at least $10,000 of Florida auto insurance simply to maintain their license. As gas prices eat into family budgets, it can seem impossible to keep gas in your vehicles and auto insurance on your vehicles.
And it’s not just personal auto insurance customers; commercial auto insurance policyholders feel the same crunch. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, firms with fewer than twenty employees can spend up to 45% more per employee to meet federal and state regulations. Some of those regulations, of course, set the minimal required amount of commercial auto insurance. In light of this information, what can personal and commercial auto insurance customers do to soften the blow?
First, drive safely�”and let your insurance company know it. If you’ve been free of moving violations and accidents for the last three years, check to see if your auto insurance policy carries a safe driver discount.
Once you’re focused on driving safely, consider raising the deductible on your auto insurance policies. Although this means you’ll have to pay more in the event of an accident, doubling the deductible on your policy can save you 10% or more on your monthly premiums.
Next, check into moving your auto and homeowner’s insurance to the same provider. Many insurers offer discounts up to 10% for policyholders with multiple policies.
Finally, many auto insurance consumers aren’t aware that insurance companies have begun using credit scores as one factor in setting premiums; if your credit situation is better now than it was when you first acquired your auto insurance policy, make sure your insurer is aware of that fact, or shop your policy around for competitive rates.