HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) – Throughout the month we offer ideas on how to save money and make money during these tough economic times.
We’ve already talked to you about saving on your home insurance, now we’re bringing our tips to the road with car insurance. He’s been running Victor Auto Body Works in Middletown for nearly 70 years, which means Tyler Rok doesn’t just listen to engines all day.
He’s also heard everything you can imagine from customers about their auto insurance policies. “Nine times out of ten when they leave us, they ask which insurance company to go to next because there are a lot of caveats with certain insurance companies that aren’t disclosed until you have an accident,” says Rok. While Rok can’t tell us which company he would choose, he along with other experts have shown us ways to save on your monthly premiums and still get the coverage you need.
SHOP AROUND, CHECK REVIEWS:
The first piece of advice: shop around and pay close attention to reviews. “I would really look at consumer reports, check the BBB to see what kind of complaints are going on for certain insurance companies before I make a decision,” says Rok.
COMPARE PRICES WHATEVER CAR YOU BUY:
Loretta Worters of the Insurance Information Institute says you want to compare rates every year, especially before you buy a car. “There are certain cars that are more expensive to repair, more often that are stolen,” says Worters. For example the 2000 Honda Civic and the 2004 Honda Accord. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, these are the cars most likely to be stolen in Connecticut, which would increase your premiums.
INCREASE YOUR DEDUCTIBLE:
One way to lower your premium is to increase your deductible. “You can probably save about 20 percent on your insurance if you significantly increase the deductible,” says Worters. But be careful, make sure you first check how much the state is asking you to do and how you can afford to insure yourself if you get into an accident. Here are the rules for CT: https://bit.ly/3zyVLTO
DISCOUNTS AND DRIVER PROGRAMS: The good news is there are a variety of auto insurance discounts out there. In some cases, you’re eligible for discounts of between 10 and 30 percent by enrolling in your insurance company’s driver’s program. That’s only if you’re a good driver, says Peter Porzellanburger of the UConn Insurance Law Center. “It literally measures how you drive,” says Porzellanburger. “How fast do I break? Am I making a lot of left turns instead of right turns? Am I accelerating? They make a game out of it. Okay, if I brake lighter, can I lower my premium even more? It gives you information so you can take action.” Tyler Rok says his son has personally seen big savings. “He’s gone from about $200 a month because he’s only 19 to $160 a month because of his driving habits,” says Rok.
LEAVE SOME COVER:
Depending on the age of your car, you may ditch the cover you don’t need. Collision and comprehensive insurance is often where people make changes. “You should be careful because the cost of used cars has increased tremendously in recent years since the pandemic,” says Rok. If your car is worth less than your excess plus the amount you pay for annual coverage, drop it. Collision and comprehensive insurance never pay more than the car is worth. “The old saying was, when your car turns 10 years old, your agent tells you you don’t need an accident anymore. An average 10-year-old car today is worth over $10,000,” says Rok. “There should be a new set of rules with agencies saying maybe at the 15 year mark the clash should be lifted. When it comes to 3 or 4 grand.”
RENT REFUND: What about the cancellation of the rent repayment insurance? It’s the add-on that reimburses the cost of a rental car if your car is repaired due to covered damage or accident. Our experts wouldn’t do it. “Most of the time it won’t save you much money at all. And as a mechanic, Tyler Rok says that’s where customers need their insurance most, but then realize that saving those few dollars a year leaves them no choice. “People come in and find out I don’t have rent,” says Rok.
But when it comes to roadside assistance, “If you already have a triple-A roadside assistance card in your wallet, I would say you won’t get roadside assistance through your auto insurance policy because you’ll be sitting on the road 5 times as long as you do for triple a . Remember, you’re the one on the move, so you have the final say. “It’s your car, it’s your choice,” says Rok.
If you have additional questions, the Autobody Association of CT can help. You can find them here: https://abaconn.org/
Copyright 2022 WFSB. All rights reserved.