Dumb Ways to Get Cheap Car Insurance

Auto Insurance, Insurance
Dumb Ways to Get Cheap Auto Insurance

Everyone wants cheap car insurance quotes — and some will go to great (and even illegal) lengths to get it. If you’ve ever thought about lying to an insurance company with tricks like these to lower your premium, keep in mind that if you’re caught, your policy could be canceled:

  • Misrepresenting your address. Because of crime rates and traffic conditions, urban drivers often pay more for auto insurance than those in the suburbs. If you live in an expensive-to-insure area, you may be tempted to use a relative or friend’s address on your car insurance application. Don’t. Use your primary address — the one where your car is normally garaged or parked — on any insurance forms.
  • Lying about mileage. High-mileage drivers typically pay more for insurance. If you spend a lot of time on the road, insurers reason, your odds of an accident are higher. What’s “a lot?” Mileage cutoffs — and the premiums you’ll be charged for them — vary from company to company, but driving more than 12,000 to 15,000 miles each year will often put you into a higher tier. Saying you drive less than you do may seem like harmlessly fudging the truth, but it’s still not a good idea.
  • Bending the truth about vehicle use. Using your personal car primarily for business may not seem like a big deal, but from your insurer’s perspective, it changes your risk. That’s why companies may want you to buy a business auto policy, and may charge you more. Delivering pizzas, for example, puts you into the “business use” category. Don’t try to get out of it. If you’re not sure if your driving qualifies as business use, ask your agent.
  • Lying about the primary driver. If your children pay sky-high car insurance rates because of their age or driving record, you may have considered insuring their car in your name instead — especially if you’re helping to pay the premiums. No one gets hurt, right? Not so fast. This is called “fronting,” and no auto insurer permits it. Don’t lie about the primary driver on any car’s policy.

Pulling a fast one on your insurer is a bad way to try to get cheap car insurance. Instead, go legit. Ask your agent to review possible discounts. Consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage if your car is old. Raise your deductibles. And most important, keep your driving record clean.

Alice Holbrook is a staff writer covering insurance and investing for NerdWallet. Follow her on Google+.


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