If you are like me, you are always looking for ways to save a little money. One way to drive down costs is to drive down your driving costs.
Let me start by saying that I'm not a mechanic, so I won't be talking about ways to make your car more fuel-efficient or how poor driving habits can affect your MPG. There are a million websites out there that promise that, with a few simple tweaks (like checking your tire pressure and stopping and starting more gently), you can improve your gas mileage by a couple of miles per gallon. That means if your car gets 20 miles per gallon and you can get it to 22 and gas for $2.50 a gallon, you'll save about a penny every 10 miles that you drive.
If you're looking to save real money driving in Bells, let's take a look at how to save on another necessary driving expense.
Outside of maintenance and payments, it is likely your next biggest expense comes with insuring your car. Since the state (and your bank or finance company) require this necessary evil, doesn't it make sense to pay as little for it as possible? With a few simple tweaks here you could save not $100 but hundreds of dollars every year. And, although you probably should, you'd never have to check your tire pressure again!
We're going to start with some facts about Bells to illustrate the need for insurance. Then we're going to talk about how the right coverage (and company) can lower your insurance costs. Finally, we'll dive into how improving your Bells driving can save you even more.
Bells by the Numbers
Bells has a population of 1,515 and of those folks—
- 49.4% are married, 28.4% have never been, and 23.4% are divorced or widowed
- 29.9% finished their formal education with a high school diploma, 16.9% have earned a bachelor's degree
- 8.6% are veterans
- 36.4 is the median age in Bells and the average household has 3.3 people living in it
- 13.9% are under ten; 56.2% are between 20 and 65, the prime working years. Those workers account for Bells's median household income of $71,625
That last one means that if even half of them are heading to work at the same time as you, you are potentially sharing the road with nearly 425 other people, not counting the ones driving into work from out of town. It's a miracle it only takes an average of 22.7 minutes to get to work!
Driving to work, school, the store, or vacation, Texas drivers are involved in an average of nearly 425,000 crashes per year with Bells drivers averaging 20 of them. Whether that sounds like a little or a lot probably depends on where you're from or whether you've been in a crash. The fact of the matter is, without insurance, each of those collisions could easily put the driver's financial future in jeopardy.
What Kind of Insurance Should Drivers Carry in Bells?
Let's start with the required—liability.
This is the easy one as it is required of all drivers in Texas. Liability coverage protects the other parties involved if you caused an accident, both repairs to their vehicle and medical bills of the other driver and his or her passengers.
Texas requires that all drivers carry what is known as '30/60/25' coverage. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, this means that the policy must cover:
- Up to $30,000 in medical costs per person injured up to a maximum of $60,000 per accident.
- Up to $25,000 in property damage (car and/or contents) per accident.
State liability law is in place to make sure every driver can afford to pay for any mistakes they make on the road. Crashes happen to even the safest drivers. Liability coverage will keep you from owing tens of thousands of dollars in damages if you should cause an accident.
But what about your own losses in a crash that is determined to be your fault? Unfortunately, liability won't help you there; you will need other types of insurance to pay your expenses.
Other Auto Insurance Coverages
You may have heard the term 'full coverage insurance.' This is usually meant to describe auto insurance that protects from all losses in an accident, yours and the other driver's. Liability insurance only addresses the damage done to the 'other guy.' What about your losses?
Protecting against your own losses is important, especially if you are financing your car. This protection relies on coverages other than liability. Some of these coverages include:
- Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your car after an accident
- Comprehensive coverage pays repairs or replacement for non-accident damage caused by things like fire, flood, hail, vandalism, or theft
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage pays if a driver who has no or too little insurance hits you. This type of insurance also covers you in the event of a hit-and-run accident
- Medical payments coverage pays for injuries suffered by you and your passengers
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage not only covers medical payments but other losses such as lost wages and other nonmedical costs
Buying the right insurance for you can be tricky. The decision becomes more complicated depending on your personal situation. What injury protection does your health insurance include? Is your car financed? Do you use your car for business or strictly for pleasure?
Keeping Insurance Costs Down
You probably know someone who will drive across town to save a few pennies on a gallon of gas or will spend hours clipping coupons to save $0.29 on a can of soup. It's funny how often the same people won't bother to do research to save themselves money on a much higher monthly expense, their insurance.
All of the coverages we have spoken about come with wildly different price tags. That's why comparison shopping for insurance is so important.
Insurance rates for drivers in Bells are influenced by many factors. These factors include things like:
- The type of car they drive
- The zip code they live in
- Their gender
- Their driving record
- Their credit score
For years, you have heard a little green guy with a tail and an Aussie accent encourage you to shop for insurance, and he's been right for all of those years. You should shop for car insurance with the same amount of energy you used to shop for your car in the first place. A great way to start would be with a no-obligation comparison quote from a company like Gabi.
Bells Drivers Can Save Even More by Improving
You can earn more at your job by getting better at it. In much the same way, you can earn savings on your car insurance by improving your driving. The easiest way to improve your driving is by taking a driver safety course. Many insurance companies offer policyholder discounts to drivers who complete one of these courses. Insurance companies understand that better-educated drivers are involved in fewer accidents. Fewer accidents save insurance companies money and they are glad to pass some of those savings back to you.
Most people only consider taking a driver safety course after they have received a ticket and, while there are many ways to deal with a ticket, a driver safety course is usually the best choice. However, the savings you can earn by taking one voluntarily are significant. Some insurance companies offer up to a 10% discount on certain coverages for successful completion of a driver safety course and these discounts can remain in effect for up to 3 years. That means if a 'safe driver discount' saves you as little as $10 a month, it will have a value of $360. You can look at these savings two ways:
- Completing a course that costs around 30 bucks will net you a 1200% return or
- Completing a course that takes you about 6 hours to finish will earn you $60 an hour for your time
Top Online Defensive Driving Courses in Bells, TX
Driver safety has become much simpler to complete since the advent of online courses. An online course can be completed at your own pace and schedule from anywhere that you have internet access. Drivers in Bells have many online driver safety companies to choose from, but here are five of our favorites.
Bells Drivers Need to Know This
Some drivers in Bells are reluctant to take a driver safety course voluntarily believing that they will sacrifice their right to take one for ticket dismissal later. Don't worry. You won't give up the privilege of saving money on a possible future ticket by saving money on your insurance today.
On the other hand, if you do take a driver safety course for ticket dismissal, you can still save money on your insurance. The state of Texas requires driver safety providers to issue two certificates after a course is completed. One is for the court and the other is for insurance purposes. Don't be among the majority of drivers who miss out on an insurance discount by throwing that second certificate away. It could be that you wind up making money by getting a ticket!