Penny Pincher's Guide to Insuring a Toyota Rav4
If finding affordable car insurance was easy, most of us would take the time to do it. But we always seem to pay too much for coverage and most people would rather go to the dentist. Buying insurance on your Toyota Rav4 might leave you feeling the same way.
Step One: Shop Around
The old-fashioned method of shopping for car insurance included visiting several local insurance agents and being on the receiving end of a hard sell tactic. Not anymore!
All the major car insurance companies sell insurance for a Toyota Rav4 and you don't even have to visit each individual website!
Simply click the link below to enter your information. Once complete, you can compare the returned rates and make a decision on which policy to purchase.
Important Tip! In order to accurately compare rates for your Rav4, it's critical that you use the same limits and deductibles for liability and physical damage coverages like comprehensive and collision. If you use different limits, you will not be able to accurately compare rates between carriers.
Step Two: Techniques to Lower your Rav4 Insurance Rates
After step one is complete, it's now time to analyze some of the other factors that can negatively impact car insurance rates for a Rav4.
- Vehicles that tend to get stolen or have high repair costs will cost you more to insure. If your Rav4 falls into either category, it could cost you.
- With age comes cheaper rates! If you're a senior citizen, many car insurance companies will give you a discount. Also, if you belong to a professional organization, check to see if your company gives discounts to members.
- Since you're insuring a SUV, you will pay a little more due to the increased risk of rollover and a more complex power train.
- Safety features such as antilock brakes, traction control and air bag systems all help reduce the cost of car insurance by keeping the passengers safer.
- Having recently completed a class in driver's safety could earn you a discount of 5% to 10%. Check with your insurance company to see if they offer that credit.
- Filing too many claims with your company can end up either costing you more for insurance or having your policy cancelled. Insurance companies don't like paying any more than you do, but they have the option of whether to keep you as a policyholder or not.
- Having any gaps in coverage (known as a lapse) is bad in the eyes of any insurance company. Make sure you keep coverage in force at all times by synchronizing the expiration and effective dates of your policies.
- If you're a young driver, you will pay more to insure a Rav4. There isn't anything you can do about your age, but rates will drop as you mature.
- Homeowners often see a break on their car insurance rates because there is a correlation between owning a home and being a responsible driver.
- Speeding tickets and other violations can negatively impact your insurance rates for up to three years. Get too many tickets and you'll be shopping for a new car insurance company.
- If you have a high credit score, you will be rewarded with lower insurance rates. Conversely, if your credit rating is on the low site, your rates will be higher.
- You can save money on your physical damage coverage (comprehensive and collision) by increasing your deductibles. Higher deductibles mean you are willing to pay more before the insurance company covers a claim.
Step Three: Make an Informed Buying Decision
Car insurance is pretty easy to buy online, but you do need to be aware that it is a legally binding contract. You need to have funds available for a down payment as well as review your coverages for any insufficiencies.
On your new policy, double check that the effective date is the same as the date you are cancelling your old policy. This avoids any lapse in coverage which can cause an increase in your rates.
If you are adding a vehicle to an existing policy and not buying a new one, just make sure to get the vehicle added as soon as possible. Every insurance company offers a grace period to add new vehicles, so make sure you get the Toyota added prior to the expiration of this grace period. The coverage extended to an add-on vehicle is only as good as the coverage on existing vehicles, so if none of your current insured vehicles have full coverage, your new Rav4 won't have it either. So in that case, it's important to call your agent or company directly from the dealership and have them bind coverage immediately.
Be sure to replace any old proof-of-insurance cards in your car. You must always have the current card in your vehicle as required by state law. If you are required to file an SR-22 with your state, your new insurance company will take care of that for you. If you cancel your coverage for any reason, you risk the loss of your driver's license.
Other Insurance Resources
The Insurance Information Institute has a great resource of car insurance articles where you can learn more about coverages and money saving tips. Visit iii.org.