3 Smart Ways These People Are Saving a Collective $2,040/Year on Car Insurance

Scenic views inside of Denali National Park near Fairbanks, Alaska.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

When’s the last time you compared your car insurance options?

Many of us treat our car insurance bill the same way we treat our other monthly bills. We add it to the pile and don’t think much about it — except that it’s an inescapable burden on our budgets.

After all, if you drive a car in just about any state, you’re required by law to have insurance. There’s no skirting the subject.

But there are actually ways to save on car insurance.

3 People Who Figured out How to Save Money on Car Insurance

Rather than settling for your current rates, take notes from these three folks, who managed to save a good chunk of money on their car insurance.

Lourdes Robles-Velazquez: $960/Year in Savings

“Being a single mom and a student, [I am] always trying to find ways to save money,” Lourdes Robles-Velazquez, 60, says. “With car insurance, you have to have it. There’s no way you can get around it.”

She reached a point where something had to give, though. She couldn’t afford her premiums anymore. Her insurance — with Liberty Mutual at the time — had to cover two Toyota Priuses that she and her daughter drive.

She found a solution through a Facebook ad. It was Gabi, a service that compares auto insurance policies. Gabi shopped around for her, collecting rates from the 20 largest auto insurers in her home state of California.

Once Robles-Velazquez linked her insurance account to Gabi, it immediately:

  • Scanned her existing insurance plan.
  • Analyzed which coverage she had.
  • Compared other major insurers’ rates for that same coverage.
  • Found her a better rate and offered to help her switch on the spot.

She didn’t even have to fill out any forms. Insuring two Toyota Priuses, she’s saving $80 a month, which adds up to $960 a year.

Gabi says it finds an average savings of $720 per year for its customers.

It is a true apples-to-apples comparison at the same coverage levels and deductibles you currently have. Once you sign up, you never have to shop again. Gabi’s software has your policy on file and keeps on monitoring for savings as your life changes.

You can create a free account without committing to anything. Just click on the button that says “Start Your Free Review.” You don’t have to buy anything to see how much you could save.

Artie Januario: $360/Year in Savings

Artie Januario, right, and his father.
Artie Januario, right, and his father, Artie Sr. Photo courtesy of Artie Januario

Until Artie Januario’s recent cross-country move, he’d never considered shopping around for car insurance.

When he lived in Boston, one of his best friends was his insurance agent, so he just went with it.

“I thought, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m getting a good deal, and I have good coverage,’” he says. “It was an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of thing.”

At the time, the 32-year-old paid about $95 a month through Liberty Mutual.

When he moved to Austin, Texas, he had to re-register his car, get a new license, secure new car insurance — all that jazz.

He decided he had nothing to lose and compared insurance quotes through The Zebra’s online search engine. It combs through more than 200 providers to aggregate your best offers.

“Pun intended, but it’s very black and white,” he says, quoting the company’s motto.

In about half an hour, he had new insurance — and managed to knock off about $30 a month, now paying about $65 a month in a state that, on average, has higher insurance rates than the one he’d moved from, according to The Zebra’s State of Auto Insurance report.

“The Zebra is literally there to save me money, which I think at the end of the day, that’s what everybody wants,” he says.

To get your free car insurance quote, simply enter your zip code. In about two minutes, The Zebra will aggregate a ton of car insurance options for you.

Susan Gibbons: $720/Year in Savings

Susan Gibbons doesn’t drive much. She works from home. Sometimes she’ll swing by the supermarket or the doctor’s office, but that’s about it.

“I was paying State Farm $1,100 a year so I could look at my car in my driveway,” she explains.

It made no sense to Gibbons that someone like her, who easily drives less than five miles a day, should pay the same rate as someone who drives 50 miles a day.

She found Metromile, a San Francisco-based startup trying to revolutionize the auto insurance industry. It offers low-mileage drivers a unique new option: Pay-as-you-go insurance coverage.

How does Metromile know how many miles you drive?

It tracks your mileage through a free device called the Metromile Pulse, which you plug into your car’s diagnostic port. This gizmo transmits your mileage to Metromile via a wireless network.

It’s been compared to Fitbit for your car, and it saves her about $720 a year.

“I understand that some people would never plug anything into their car to give someone access to their data, but it doesn’t bother me,” she says. “This is the 21st century. The younger generation, they’re all walking around with their location on their phone, and every app knows where they are.”

If you’re thinking about signing up, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance is currently available in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.
  • Your car must be a 1996 model or newer to qualify.
  • After you sign up, the company will mail you a free device that plugs into your car and tracks mileage. (That’s how it saves you money.)

“I signed up on the waiting list before it was even available in my state,” says Gibbons, a Pennsylvania resident. “It’s a great deal for me.”

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