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Saving Money on Car Insurance


When I first started to blog here a couple years ago I saved a TON of money on car insurance by reducing our coverage to a more reasonable level (we were way over-insured at the time).

Since then I really haven’t given insurance much thought.

But after our trip to Texas over the Christmas vacation, I was left with a  few chips in my windshield. I went to a place to have the chips repaired and discovered that although my insurance covers repairs 100%, they do NOT cover full glass replacement. The person who was doing the repairs put a black light (or some kind of ultraviolet or something) on my car and showed me the truth….I thought I had 3 chips but I had about 15. ALL OVER the windshield. Plus I’ve had previous chips repaired, which are still visible. Basically, the windshield is a whole big mess.

At that time I also discovered that windshields are crazy-expensive! To replace it paying outright would be over a thousand dollar for my car make and model. What in the world!?

But the repair shop guy gave me a good tip. He said I needed to call and increase my insurance to cover full windshield replacement. “It will cost about 3 bucks a month,” he said. Plus, given the amount of driving we do (biannual cross-country trips:  every summer and winter), the odds of having future windshield chips are HIGH. The guy can continue repairing and repairing, but at some point the windshield really needs to be replaced.

This was back in early January and I just now got around to calling my insurance company to increase my insurance so it includes windshield replacement.

The repair guy was a little bit off (it’s more like $10/month, not $3/month), but the call actually ended up SAVING me money rather than costing me money!

The representative on the phone said we haven’t updated our personal information in several years. She asked where we worked and what we did and, lo and behold, entering in that information actually ended up saving us about $15/month. So now we were actually paying LESS even though I’d increased our coverage.

But wait, there’s more…

Initially I’d tried to add the windshield coverage online and couldn’t figure it out (which is why I ended up calling in and speaking to a representative). However, when I was online there was a little box that popped up saying I could save $160 if I paid in full rather than through monthly installments. I asked the representative what I was paying for an installment fee because I’d thought it was super low. She responded with “The installment fee is $1 per month.” So I was like, “Uhhhh, that’s $12 per year. So pre-paying saves 12 bucks. Why does it say online that I could save $160?!”

Turns out, not only do you save the installment fee, but they also give you one monthly payment FOR FREE (which is where the $160 came from – because that’s about one month worth of car insurance).

WHAT? Shut the front door! How have I not known about this all along?!?

They only pre-pay for 6 months at a time (not a full year), but I sure did throw down payment as quickly as I could grab my wallet! So this month we’ll have a pretty high insurance payment coming out of our budget, but this will end up saving us money in the long-run (and we’ll just have to increase our “semi-annual fees” monthly budget to account for this expense).

So as a lesson to all of you:  1) if you haven’t updated personal information in awhile, you might want to call and see if it can save you some money! and 2) find out if you can save serious money by pre-paying your insurance!  All along I’d just assumed the only savings was that measly $1/month installment fee. Who cares about that? But saving an entire month of car insurance is a bigger deal! I feel like it should be more heavily advertised! I’m not sure if all carriers have similar deals, but we’ve got Progressive so if they’re your insurance carrier, give them a call! (side note: they don’t know about the blog, this is not sponsored or anything, just giving a heads up to save some money!)

What’s the last big ticket item on which you were able to cash in some big savings?


  • Reply Jackie |

    You should always shop around for insurance once a year too. We have AAA which was the lowest at the time and had them for 3 years. We kept having problems with them the last year so I shopped around. I ended up going with Geico and saved $350 on a 6 month policy. Never assume you have the lowest rates.

  • Reply Adam |

    its also worth looking @ pre-pay discounts for the rest of your insurance (life, umbrella, renter, etc.) and possibly things like pest control. when you do the math it works out to them charging you between 5-9% more just to pay monthly or quarterly. I know that’s a lot of money for people to come up with but its worth asking the question.

  • Reply JayP |

    Here’s one I recently found. At Allstate, if you agree to Epolicy – getting all your info online instead of the mail – you can save close to $100 smackers per year. Other insurers have a similar deal.

  • Reply Kate |

    Hello from an insurance underwriter! We are always willing to help save you money. Technically where I work for the company side, the broker is my customer not my insured. However we can usually always save people a few bucks by changing things around! The fee for monthly withdrawal is usually around 2-3% across the board, if you’re insuring a lot of vehicles, that adds up! I have found its always just worth it to pay for glass coverage as well as accident protection, saves so many headaches but I understand where people opt out of it, I never would! (I live in Canada so some of the rates/fees will be different) 🙂

    Great job Ashley, I really enjoy reading your posts on negotiating payments and saving a little bit of money on each bill by calling up and asking.

  • Reply Silvia |

    Hi everyone… As luck as it after reading this post, a rock hit our windshield. Called our insurance company, Progressive also, and unfortunately California is a “unique” state in that there is no “glass coverage.” Called another insurance company and same deal. California also doesn’t allow homeowners insurance to be used for mulitple policy discounts. Bummer.

So, what do you think ?