Not to be rude and bring up 2020, but before we can put the year fully behind us and move on for good, you’ve got one last task to tackle—filing your 2020 taxes. With the deadline to file coming up on...
Super Bowl Sunday is almost here! I get pretty excited about the culmination of football season, and while I’m disappointed my former team, the Green Bay Packers, didn’t make the cut, you can bet I’ll be rooting for Kansas City next Sunday.
As you can imagine, I relate a lot of things in my life to football. To succeed and thrive, you need a winning playbook to guide your decision-making process. If paying less for auto insurance is a goal you want to tackle, here are some of my go-to plays for reducing your rates:
1. Don’t Skip Leg Day
One valuable lesson I learned in the NFL—you don’t skip leg day. Conditioning off the field not only helps you hit harder when you need to, it also keeps your muscles limber, which helps protect them from injury when you’re the one being tackled.
Buying auto insurance is like leg day. It’s one of those necessary expenses that most drivers would probably prefer to skip altogether—until they are involved in an accident and realize that their auto insurance policy saved them thousands of dollars and helped to put them behind the wheel of a replacement vehicle.
2. Watch Tape to Scope Out the Competition
One of the less glamorous, but vitally important components of preparing for game day is watching hours of tape to size up the competition. When you’re shopping for auto insurance, you’ll want to do some background research by scoping out multiple carriers.
There is no shortage of insurance carriers or agencies, so don't be afraid to shop around for the best rate. Just because your parents used ABC Insurance Agency doesn't mean that you have a lifetime commitment to do the same. In addition, before you go car shopping, consider potential insurance costs before deciding on a vehicle. The cost of an insurance premium is partially based on:
The vehicle make and model
The safety record of the vehicle
The probability of the vehicle being stolen
The cost to repair damages
3. Run Interference
According to NerdWallet’s 2020 rate analysis, the national average cost of car insurance is $1,427 per year. However, you can run interference against high rates by taking advantage of discounts.
Insurance carriers offer a number of discounts—everything from military to safe driver—so when you are making policy decisions with your agent, leave no discount-stone unturned. Ask if they offer group discounts for being a member of certain organizations, working for particular companies, being a teacher, etc. Additionally, some carriers offer discounts to seniors, college graduates, low-mileage drivers, and students with good grades. There are also multi-policy discounts available for bundling your auto insurance with other insurance needs such as homeowners, renters, and life, so consider that avenue as well.
4. Stay Healthy On and Off the Field
To be in top shape for game day, you maintain your health both on and off the field. This means hitting the practice field and weight room, eating a proper diet, and paying attention to your mental health.
When it comes to getting a lower rate on car insurance, maintaining a healthy credit score is a winning play. There are several things that can impact your insurance rate, such as your age, your gender, the state you live, your driving record, and surprisingly, for some carriers, your credit score. You can help maintain a healthy credit score by paying bills in-full and on time. Your credit score will not only impact the interest rate you get on your vehicle loan; it may also affect your insurance rate.
5. Keep Your Stats Up
The best thing a professional sports team can achieve is a solid winning record. In terms of auto insurance, your driving record is one of the primary factors in determining your rate.
You can maintain a good driving record by abiding by your state's traffic laws and avoiding moving violation tickets. While it can be tempting to drive over the speed limit on an open highway, a speeding ticket could cost you big—both in the form of the traffic fine and the cost of your insurance rates rising. If, however, you do slip and get a traffic fine, consider taking a defensive driving course to keep the violation off of your driving record.
6. Listen to Your Coach
The key to a successful game is listening to your coach. You can certainly find ways to save money on your auto insurance, but make sure you talk to an insurance agent to make sure that you have the coverage that you need to protect you and your loved ones should an accident occur.
As Executive Vice President, B2C Channel Development, Tyreo Harrison enables referral partners and financial institutions to offer personal, commercial and surplus lines insurance products to increase non-interest income, improve borrower retention and add value to their service offering. He maintains his General Lines Agent Licenses for Property and Casualty, Life, Accident, Health, and HMO. He is a graduate of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lab and in 2008 was named as one of the San Antonio Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” Rising Stars. Prior to joining SWBC in 2005, Tyreo played professional football for the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers.