Monday, October 14, 2013

5 Tips To Reduce Your Auto Insurance Premium


Anyone who owns a car understands the pain of paying for auto insurance. If you are a safe driver, you will never be able to use something that you pay hundreds of dollars a year to use. Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce the amount that you pay each year for car insurance.

1) Improve Your Credit Score Research has shown that drivers who are not responsible with their money are often not responsible behind the wheel. In addition, drivers who have bad credit have a financial incentive to file fraudulent or shady claims in the hopes of getting a quick paycheck. If you have a questionable credit score, start taking steps to improve it as soon as possible.

2) Reduce The Amount Of Coverage You Have Your car insurance premium will drop if you reduce the amount and types of coverage that you have. For instance, you may not need collision or comprehensive insurance on a car that is more than a few years old or that you are no longer making payments on. By reducing your bodily injury coverage levels, you can see a significant savings each year.

3) Increase Your Deductible A deductible is the amount of money that you have to pay before your insurance policy kicks in. If you have a low deductible, you will have a higher premium. By increasing your deductible, you are taking on more of the risk if you get into an accident. Therefore, your premium will drop as a result. Policyholders should know that there is a separate deductible for damage to glass and damage to the body of your car. Typically, increasing the deductible for body damage lowers your premium more than increasing the deductible for glass damage.

4) Add Security Features To Your Car Adding security features to your car makes it less likely that someone will damage or steal your car. This reduces the risk of a policyholder filing a claim for lost or stolen property. In the event that your car is stolen and not recovered, your insurance company will give you a check equal to the current value of the car. Cars that have anti-lock brakes or airbags reduce the risk that you will get into an accident or suffer severe injuries in an accident.

5) Pay In Full Every Six Months The easiest way to lower your insurance premium is to pay in full every six months. When you pay in monthly installments, you are paying convenience fees as well as any fees to process a payment by phone or credit card. Paying your premium every six months as opposed to every month can save you up to 10 percent over the course of a year. Saving money on auto insurance doesn't have to be difficult. By improving your driver profile, adding security features to your car and paying in semi-annual installments, you can save a lot of money on something that you hope that you never have to use.

(Photo credit: Alan Cleaver)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Is A Ford Extended Warranty Better Than One From GM?

2008 Ford Taurus photographed in Gaithersburg,...

I previously talked about the benefits of a GMC warranty (all of a couple of blogs ago), but as a Ford owner as well, I thought it would be worth a bit of time to discuss the differences between the two plans and decide if one is worth more than the other.

First, Ford's extended warranty is officially a "service plan" and it goes by the name of Ford ESP (Extended Service Plan). I got mine online from and I got a MUCH better deal than I would have at the dealership. 

So, just a quick note, from my past experience NEVER buy an extended warranty at the dealership. They try to catch you at a moment of weakness and you don't have a chance to compare the price you can get anywhere else. Many of the dealerships have separate websites (like the one I purchased from) and you can get a substantially sweeter deal going this route. Trust me.

There are a few different options for your Ford ESP plan, the top notch plan is their Premium Care package, which works similarly to my GMC Warranty. So far, so good, as I've had a couple of repairs at the dealership and they've all fallen within the realm of my ESP coverage. For the most part I've found both warranties to work very similarly. On my Taurus, however, I did find the shopping process to be much easier. Namely because Ford does a VERY good job laying out what's covered and what isn't with each of their plans. As a fairly knowledgeable gear head, it's nice to be able to make an educated decision as to what components you want covered. If the car was a little older I may have dropped down to the Base care package. But for the time being I want things covered.

Anyhow, moral of the story is that GMC and Ford extended warranties have treated me well, so it may be a good option for you as well. But just be sure to shop around before you pull out your wallet!