Take an online defensive driver course to reduce your insurance rate

Car Insurance Comic

I took an online defensive driver course to reduce the auto insurance rate. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way for me.

The process took six hours of listening to videos and taking tests in between the modules for $45. It was silly. However I passed it, and when I called my insurance company they said that it didn’t help me. Why? They said the person who was the primary driver on the policy had to take the test and even though I was an additional driver, it didn’t make any difference what I knew.

Now this is just silly. I may not have been the primary driver, but in the past I put way, way more miles on the car driving it. Insurance companies are crazy when they try to figure out risk. Since I am insured with Geico the rep said that for $14 they have a test/course that the primary driver can take. So the answer here is that at least for Geico only the primary driver matters what they know.

The reason that I did this is that Geico wants to increase the insurance premium by $90 and when I asked about this it was because a law was passed in NY this year that is called Supplemental Spousal Liability insurance.  What this means is discussed in this nice article.  The bottom line here is that this can be helpful but only used in rare instances, so you have to decide if it is right for you. Geico did say that we could remove this insurance with a form, but I am still researching if this is the best decision.

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Car Insurance Comic
car insurance comic

Now another thing you can to do reduce your rate is to get quotes from other insurance companies. So I did that last night. I went to four other companies that provided auto insurance in NY, and 1 of them said that due to the make of my car it couldn’t be covered. One had pretty much the same price as Geico, and the other two didn’t cover it in NY. I also investigated the cheapest companies for auto insurance, but the ratings on them were poor so I decided against that.

Probably the easiest thing to do to save money is to contact your insurance and ask what discounts can be applied. If you have been with them for several years, you often get a discount. Same if you have security equipment or have changed ZIP codes that might be cheaper. Also if you WFH change it from commute to pleasure, you often save money there as well. Having a second driver on the policy lowers the rate for me, although when I was in another state the costs were lower but that was years ago. Having a used car also lowers the cost since they don’t potentially need to pay out as much. I have switched insurance companies in the past to get a lower rate it just takes some effort. It is generally worth it, however.

For most of my life, I have paid between $500-$800 for two used cars every six months. About a hundredish a month which seems fair to me. I have seen many auto policies be much more and I wouldn’t drive if I had to pay more than that. It just isn’t worth it to me. At that point, Uber/Lyft becomes cheaper when you figure out the total cost of depreciation, gas, repairs, and so on. At some point owning a vehicle just isn’t worth it.

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