If you drive a clunker, you’ve probably had people tell you that you could save a huge chunk of cash by dropping everything but liability insurance. The savings you could rack up are self-evident—to get an idea of exactly how much you could save, compare vehicle insurance premiums online sometime. But is relying solely on liability insurance such a smart idea?
Not a lot of people like to imagine life without collision or comprehensive insurance. If you carry both, you’re essentially covering yourself for any damage that occurs to your vehicle in an accident, or if your car falls victim to other hazards outside of the realm of a collision—like if someone steals your car, guts it, and leaves it for dead in a ditch somewhere.
The thing is, if you’re driving a heap that’s only worth a few hundred bucks, you could be throwing money away by paying for collision and comprehensive—both of which, combined, account for about half of your entire car insurance monthly payment.
Ultimately, the decision depends entirely upon your circumstance. If you’re upside down in your car, it’s never a good idea to expose yourself to financial ruin by not insuring it adequately. However, if the car is paid off and isn’t worth insuring, you could save a significant amount of money every month by scaling back to the bare minimum that law requires you to have, like liability, which will pay for any damages you cause to other vehicles.
Gas prices today are getting so outrageous that people are starting to get creative in their approach to savings so they can afford to get around. One of the most effective ways to save a sizable chunk of money without altering your driving habits or giving up your wheels is by simply combining home and auto insurance policies. This action has the potential of bringing your car insurance premium down so far that you might actually end up saving money.
But what do you do when combining auto insurance with your home coverage just isn’t enough to make up for the gap? Here are some of the most popular ideas being put into practice by people every day.
• Don’t overinflate or underinflate your tires. Stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Driving around on underinflated tires can greatly decrease your gas mileage, but overinflating your tires can cause them to wear out prematurely, putting you out a few hundred dollars and bringing you back to square one – or possibly even worse off.
• Limit your air conditioner usage. This can have a huge impact on your vehicle’s gas consumption. Try to park your car in shaded areas to prevent your car from boiling in the sun, increasing your need to run the A/C.
• Obey the speed limit. The faster you drive, the more gas you burn. If you’ve got a lead foot, try to cure it before it bankrupts you.
• Seek out alternate routes. However, bear in mind that steady freeway driving is more fuel efficient than taking backroads that cause you to stop or shift frequently.
• Consider buying a hybrid car. If you’re trying to save money in the here and now by combining home and auto insurance and doing everything else you can, a new car might be out of the question. But if you’re already thinking about buying a car, hybrid might just be the best way to go.
So you’ve got a stack of parking tickets big enough to earn you a spot on the local PD’s wall of shame. You may ask yourself from time to time: how will this affect my car insurance premiums? The answer is: not at all. Parking tickets, on their own, are essentially a non-concern with respect to car insurance premiums.
This isn’t to say that getting one parking ticket after another is a good thing. Just because a parking ticket isn’t a moving violation and doesn’t qualify as the type of infraction that impacts car insurance premiums, doesn’t mean that it can’t ultimately come back to bite you. For one, failure to pay your parking tickets could result in suspension of your license—and that can have a big impact on your insurance premiums.
The answer? Pay your fines, and pay them promptly. You’ll likely find plenty of so-called experts or online resources that’ll tell you there are some parking tickets that you should pay, and others that you should avoid (such as tickets received from private companies versus tickets actually received from the police department). But in order to avoid complications that could result in losing your driving privileges and negatively impact your car insurance premiums, you must pay for your transgressions—and resolve to do better next time. It may take a chunk out of your bank account today, but when you consider what you could be saving in the long term on car insurance premiums, it’s a chunk worth parting with.