Many Americans have paused their daily commutes and are driving less – or not at all – as a result of stay-at-home orders. However, just because you might not be using your vehicle right now doesn’t mean you should let your auto insurance lapse.
“Even when you aren’t driving your vehicle regularly, it may still be at risk for theft, vandalism or being hit by another vehicle while parked, especially if you’re unable to stow it in a garage when not in use,” said Kevin Quinn, vice president of claims and customer experience at Mercury Insurance. “If your vehicle is damaged or stolen and you don’t have insurance coverage, you’ll be responsible for the repair or replacement costs. Additionally, an insurance lapse can result in higher rates down the line.
“We understand that many Americans are struggling to pay bills during this difficult time, and there are several ways Mercury is trying to help. If you’re experiencing financial difficulty, you can call your insurer to discuss your situation and they’ll work with you to come up with a solution.”
Here are six quick insurance tips Mercury recommends that could also save you some money.
1. Bundle Your Policies. Do you have an auto insurance policy with one company and a homeowners or renters insurance policy with another? Bundling your policies not only makes things easier by having everything in one place, but it may also lead to nice a discount. Mercury Insurance, for example, provides up to a 15% discount on both your auto and homeowners policies when purchase them together. It also streamlines your monthly bill payments and you’ll have one insurance agent to handle your policies.
You might also be a candidate for a discount if you insure more than one vehicle with the same carrier, but discounts may vary by state, so check with your insurance agent to learn more.
2. Pay in Full. Auto insurance premiums are typically offered in six-month terms. While you may be given the option to pay in monthly installments, paying your full premium up front might qualify you for a discount.
3. Increase Your Deductible. A deductible is the amount you would have to pay out-of-pocket for damages to your vehicle before your insurance would kick in if you make a claim.If you’re willing and able to pay a higher deductible in the event of a collision or other damage to your car, your insurance premium will most likely go down.
4. Limit Your Mileage. The number of miles you drive impacts your insurance premium – the more you drive, the higher the risk of getting into a collision. Consider leaving the car in the garage or driveway and carpooling or taking public transportation when possible, and be sure to report your lower mileage to your insurance agent. Driving less can help lower your insurance premium, and it also comes with an added benefit – it’ll also save you money on gas.
5. Electronically Sign Your Policy. Signing your policy online instead of in-person not only cuts down on paperwork and time, but it also might qualify you for a discount.
6. Factor in Teen Drivers. Rates for teen drivers can vary dramatically and parents could see their insurance premiums go up. Getting a quote from several different companies may help save anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars or more.
Additionally, taking the time to teach teen drivers best driving practices is important in decreasing the risk of collision and other poor driving behaviors. Mercury Insurance created the Drive Safe Challenge to help parents and teens prepare for life behind the wheel. It includes a variety of tips and information, instructional videos, quizzes and more.