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Tips for saving on car insurance during the pandemic

Christopher Ulrich of Syosset said that when he

Christopher Ulrich of Syosset said that when he shifted to remote work at the outset of the pandemic, his family's need for two cars all but disappeared. Credit: Barry Sloan

There are a few things Long Islanders can do – and need to be careful with – if they’re looking to save on car insurance at a time when they’re driving less (or not at all), according to experts.

Work with your insurance company

They’ll want to keep your business, and speaking to a representative can ensure you stay out of trouble, said Kacie Saxer-Taulbee, data scientist at Insurify, an insurance comparison shopping website. A good representative can help you reduce your coverage based on your circumstances, but make sure you keep anything you need to be covered legally. If you're driving less, you may also choose to raise your deductible to lower the price of your overall policy. And, if you tell your insurance company you're now working from home, they may be able to reduce your policy cost.

If you’re storing your car, store it

Don’t be tempted to drive it with reduced coverage that won’t cover accidents or medical expenses, which you’ll be financially and legally responsible for, said Robert Passmore, a policy expert at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association.

Be sure before you drop coverage completely

If you’re not planning to use your car for a few months but expect to drive it again eventually, it might be cheaper to keep some sort of insurance on it, especially if it’s your only vehicle. Lapsed insurance on your record can raise rates in the long term, disqualify you from certain discounts, and subject you to reinstatement fees if you want to drive the car again, Saxer-Taulbee said.

Shop around

Many insurance companies offered discounts at the outset of the pandemic and want to keep you around. If you’re comfortable with usage-based programs and don’t drive much, you may be able to save money there, too. Check out comparison websites to help you with the process — sites like The Zebra, Insurify and Compare.com.

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