Springtime is typically the time when we think of spring cleaning our homes; when we get rid of older things and put away our heavy winter clothes.
Spring is also when we're probably thinking about our finances, given that we're filing our tax returns. But maybe your finances could use a good spring cleaning, too. April is Financial Literacy Month, so if you're looking to save some money, consider looking at one of your biggest expenses: your car.
The Current Costs of Affordable Car Insurance
Being a car owner can be expensive, with maintenance costs, tolls, gas, and auto insurance premiums and deductibles. You probably also know that every auto insurance policy is different for every driver.
According to car insurance search engine The Zebra, as of 2019, American car owners pay an annual premium of $1470 on car insurance. That rate has risen 23 percent from 2011 and since 2013, premiums have consistently risen across the country. Over time, some states have had prices rise from over 40 percent to even 80 percent.
It Pays to Shop Around
Because auto insurance rates continue to rise, it's especially important for you to make sure you're getting the best rate possible. "[Y]ou may be overpaying if you haven’t shopped and compared quotes in a while. No two insurers charge the same rate for the same policy because they evaluate policyholders differently," personal finance expert Laura Adams explained in an article about how to lower your bills.
Adams goes on to explain that if you have driven a lot of miles or you have troubles with your credit, these factors are weighed into your insurance rate. Other factors which can impact your auto insurance rates include the following:
- Your marital status
- Your age
- The kind of car you drive
- The age of your car
- Traffic tickets and violations, which can impact your premiums for three years
- The amount of your insurance deductible
Your Alma Mater Can Help You Save Money
With all those factors affecting car insurance premiums, it's even more important to make sure you're getting a great deal on car insurance. Besides obtaining several different quotes from insurance companies, there's one unique way you may not have heard of to get a deal on car insurance. It's through your college alumni association.
So where should you begin your search for these discounts? First, check out your alumni association or alumni relations webpage. You can do a simple web search with your college's name and "alumni discounts" or "alumni benefits" and you should be able to find the website with a list of available discounts and benefits.
Two Companies to Check Out for Auto Insurance Discounts
One of the largest insurance companies that colleges and universities work with is the Alumni Insurance Program (AIP), which is through the insurance group USI Affinity. By working with top insurers such as Liberty Mutual, AIP can give you another insurance quote to add to your list of auto insurance options.
Liberty Mutual Insurance has worked with AIP for over 18 years. If you don't find your alma mater on AIP's webpage, you can reach out to Liberty Mutual Insurance directly to see if your college or university has a discount program through them.
"Liberty Mutual Insurance is the industry leader in offering alumni association members discounts on their auto and home insurance. We partner with more than 500 alumni associations and have been doing so for more than 20 years. Discounts vary by state, but generally savings can be up to 10 percent," said Glenn Greenberg, Director of Media Relations & Sponsorship PR for Liberty Mutual Insurance.
You may find that, along with your alumni discount on your car insurance, you'll find additional savings by bundling that coverage with other kinds of insurance, such as home or renter's insurance.