If you a drive a car, truck, or motorcycle, whether you own your vehicle or have an auto loan,  you are very well familiar with the cost of insuring your vehicle in order to be able to drive in your state. Whether you have full comprehensive and collision or you carry liability insurance, you may have often wondered how, if at all, you can lower your monthly rates or annual premiums on your vehicular insurance.

As it turns out, there are a few good steps you can take to not only discover if there are cheaper rates available to you but what you can do as a driver to ensure that you are paying the best value on your automobile insurance coverage in your state.

Always Shop Around

The first and most important rule to saving money on your auto insurance is to always shop around and compare rates from reputable companies. This rule applies to both situations, whether you are shopping for new vehicle coverage or are looking to renew your current coverage. Take the time to shop around different insurance companies and go ahead and check out their Facebook pages and Yelp pages. This will help to quickly identify companies that advertise low rates, but then pull the old bait-and-switch on you when you are unsuspecting.

Use different methods of comparing rates from all the automobile insurance agencies you are shopping. You can call around to the various companies and get quotes based on your automobile and driving history. We recommend that you also take the time to visit the websites of each company and complete online request for coverage to find out who has the most competitive rates and who is hungry to earn your business.

There are also online tools that can help you quickly compare rates of some of the most competitive insurance agents. One that we recommend for newbies is nerdwallet.com

Check your Auto Insurer For Incentives

OK, so you have taken the time to scour the competition and compare rates among all the companies worthy of your business and hard earned cash. Now what?

For starters, check with your insurance agent and see if they have any incentive programs available to help reduce your premium. Many companies will offer usage based incentives for drivers that use their vehicles less than others. Also, there are “good driver” rewards you can earn to lower your bill even further.

For example, Allstate offers a program called DriveWise which allows you to download an app and/or install a small device on your vehicle which tracks your good driving habits and save you up to 30% off your monthly rate. Progressive has the name your price tool and also has a product called Snapshot which is a tool you plug in to your car or truck and it tailors your rate based on your driving habits.

So, in summary, as you shop around you will inevitably start to identify companies that are going to either give you built in discounts with their rates in an effort to earn your business or offer incentive programs to help you reduce your current rate. Remember, always shop around and even after you have found your insurance of choice, don’t forget to continually check with them for driver discounts.