So I was talking to a few of my friends, and everyone was comparing car insurance rates with their varying circumstances in life. One of the points of discussion was around paying in full vs. paying monthly, and I learned that the VAST majority of my friends are just paying this thing monthly either via auto-draft or auto-credit card payment.
I just received my renewal offer for my car insurance, which I always pay in full because I know there is a discount for doing so. What I didn’t realize is that the discount is as large as it is (never paid attention to actual discount because a discount is a discount for something like this, even if its just like $50). I just got the offer from Progressive for $1523 over 6 months for my 2 vehicles if paid in monthly installments, but the pay in full offer is $1190. That is a $333 difference, which is a ~22% discount. In other terms, by paying in monthly installments, I would effectively be paying
22% interest over 6 months. edit: not accurate, but really it’s like paying 22% more than you need to pay That’s on par with or worse than credit card debt.
At that rate, this is something you should consider dipping into your e-fund to take care of when it comes up if you haven’t prepared for it, and use the next couple of months to save extra hard to rebuild the fund and make sure you can pay in full at the next renewal.
Also – last but not least, always reshop your policy at renewal or every other renewal at a minimum. It takes less than 30 minutes to hit all the major carriers and you’ll probably save money.
edit1: Yes, the obvious pay it in advance if you can applies and if the savings is worth it to you beyond the cash flow flexibility of monthly payments instead.
edit2: My rates are high because of my particular resident zip code in the great state of FL. Uninsured motorist coverage here is stupid expensive because we have 25% of all drivers on the road lacking insurance, and beyond that the state minimums (which is what the majority of insured drivers probably obtain) are atrociously low. We own 2 luxury vehicles so payouts on these vehicles tend to be higher and tend to come at least in part from the insured party even in not at fault accidents (because of aforementioned lacking or inadequate insurance from the at fault party). We are early thirties, married, excellent credit, no violations, 1 accident on record with property damage payout only.