If you have a newer car, your insurance premium might be too steep to pay upfront. A popular option is to choose monthly payments, though this option may not ease the burden by much, because those payments can seem like an additional car payment. As costly as it is to maintain an automobile, there are a few things you can do to lower your insurance premium and keep it low.

car

1. Don’t Allow Your Policy to Lapse

You should never allow your auto insurance to lapse because the next insurance company you use will find out. If you allow a lapse in coverage, this is a red flag that you’re a high risk. After all, it’s pretty risky to drive an automobile without insurance.

A lapse is considered to be a period of at least 30 days. The longer you keep your policy continually active, the lower your premium will be. Coming into a policy after a lapse could cost you several hundred dollars a year. What could you do with a few hundred extra dollars?

2. Use the Same Agent for all of Your Policies

Agents want your business. They want to insure your house, all your cars, your boat and your life. The more policies you have with an agent, the more you’ll save on each one. Just by bundling your home and auto, you could save up to 25 percent on each policy.

Always shop around and find the best deal. Sometimes if an agent knows your shopping around they might even remember an extra discount they forgot to mention.

3. Take a Defensive Driving Course

If you’ve had driver training, insurance companies feel you’re less likely to become involved in an auto accident. After all, the premium you pay is based on a risk assessment the insurance company makes based on details such as your sex, age and the type of car you drive.

Insurance companies feel you’re a lower risk if you’ve learned safer driving techniques in a course like the Texas defensive driving course. Look to save somewhere around 10 percent on your premium for being a safe driver with training to prove it.

Depending on the agency you use, there are various discounts that can be applied to your premium. Some companies even give a discount if you allow them to monitor your driving habits. However, the three discounts above are tried and true among nearly all companies. Keep these in mind the next time your policy is up for renewal.