The unstable economic situation is cause for concern for millions of Americans who are on the brink of dropping their insurance policies. Financial experts and insurance analysts say that with the unemployment rate expected to worsen in the coming months, the U.S. can expect to see more uninsured motorists driving around. Aside from the added risk to other drivers on the road, uninsured drivers can also force providers to raise premiums substantially.
Analysts point out that there is a direct link between jobless figures and the number of uninsured motorists. With the unemployment rate at its highest level in more than two decades, and with economists warning that more Americans can lose their jobs by the start of 2010, insurance experts say that the industry might have to deal with more uninsured drivers.
However, specialists add, there are some things that car owners can do to slash insurance costs, and in the process, avoid dropping their policies. Some of these methods lead to more savings than others but knowing how to use them wisely can have great implications on insurance expenses, they explain.
First, policyholders should seriously consider asking their insurers for higher deductibles. By accepting the risk of shouldering any repairs for a predetermined amount, car owners can get substantial discounts on their premiums. Some analysts believe that raising deductibles to $500 can slash up to 30 percent off insurance rates. Increasing this amount further to $1,000 can mean savings of up to 40 percent. Of course, motorists should keep in mind that they should have the necessary cash on hand if they need damage repairs or accident-related expenses.
Car owners can also take out multiple insurance policies with the same insurer. By purchasing several types of insurance like homeowners, renters, life, and even health coverage from a single insurance provider, policyholders can ask for considerable discounts. Staying loyal to the same insurer for several years can also warrant rate discounts.
Some states also allow insurance providers to base premiums on their clients’ credit ratings and histories. This allows insurers to see if their policyholders will be able to pay their dues on time and in full. In most states, however, this practice is considered discriminatory and illegal.
Finally, car owners can ask providers for affinity discounts. Most insurers would provide small discounts for motorists that are members of particular groups or organizations. Employees of the federal government, members of the military, or alumni of particular colleges or universities can qualify these discounts. While the amount may not be much, five percent at much, it can still have a significant impact on premiums.