Call your car insurance company.

When I identified my “built-in” monthly costs described in Getting Organized, I learned that any cost could be reduced if you want.  I eliminated the unnecessary ones and decided on the ones I did not want to reduce further (such as cell phone bill, with lowest data plan).  That left the middle set that I want or need to keep, but could work on modifying.

That brought me to car insurance, which is one of my highest monthly bills after rent, loans, and utilities.  If you’ve just been letting car insurance auto-debit out of your account for years and haven’t called them to update anything, consider calling.  I moved two towns away and that lowered my annual premium by $250.  But this generally only works if you are moving to a lower vehicular crime rate area.  FYI to Boston-area people: Allston is not a clever town for car insurance rates.

One funny thing about car insurance is that your premium shoots up when you buy a new car, but it doesn’t seem to fall relatively over the years as it ages despite its lower value and lower cost to replace.  I’ve only had two cars, so I don’t know what logically happens next.  But I noticed that with my first car, 4 years old and used, the premium I got was low enough.  Then I bought a brand new car, and the rate went up about $400.  Now my car is almost 3 years old and is at the same rate not accounting for the location discount.  Maybe next year I will call other insurance providers to see if I would get the “new-old car rate” because by then my car will be 4 years old but they do not know me.

Have you tried this or anything else clever with car insurance?

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