MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - We definitely need car insurance, but it's one of those things that you don't want to spend a penny more than what you have to on.
With that in mind, there are a few tips to help you get the best coverage without breaking the bank.
Online vs. actual agent
Tony McAfee, a licensed State Farm agent in Myrtle Beach, said many people like the convenience of shopping online for their insurance needs.
"When you purchase online, it's a great opportunity to shop at home and get yourself a policy, but one of the advantages of talking with an agent is they can ask some more probing questions, make you aware of some discounts you may not be aware of," McAfee said.
He added that even if you buy online, follow up with an actual agent with the company to ensure you're getting the most for your money.
One-stop shopping for all your insurance needs will help customers maximize their savings.
Customers that need multiple polices will often find deeper discounts by grouping them together.
"Insuring their home or their apartment with the same company that they insure their automobile presents an opportunity to save some money by bundling," said McAfee.
Increase your deductible
Consider raising your deductible, which is the amount the insurance company doesn't cover when paying for repairs. If agree to pay a higher deductible, often times the insurance company will offer a lower premium. For example, instead of paying a $500 deductible, you opt to pay a $1,000, which ultimately lowers your monthly premium policy coverage.
McAfee, however, stresses that you should make sure your budget is prepared to take on the costs.
Insurance companies are competitive and they are looking to earn your business. Get quotes from several companies at least once a year to make sure you're getting the best deal. Then, compare to find what best suites your policy coverage needs and don't be afraid to ask if the company can beat their competitor's price.
McAfee says don't jeopardize the coverage for the price.
"Everyone wants to save money, but the most important thing about getting an insurance policy is making sure you're meeting your needs and covering yourself appropriately," he said.
Don't zoom by the discounts
Slow down and enjoy all the discounts around you, because every insurance company will offer special ways to save. McAfee said there are discounts for multiple cars in the household. Even adult drivers who take a defensive driving class can get a discount on their rate.
Young driver discounts
Coverage for young drivers is the highest. With texting and driving, youthful drivers are considered the highest-risk categories. McAfee said parents and young drivers still qualify for a discount on their rates.
McAfee said good grades and driver training can lead to discounts.
It's just that simple.
"One of the greatest ways to save money is driving safely," McAfee said. "Not being at fault in automobile accidents will save you a lot of money, not getting any moving violations will save you a lot money."