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Tips to Save on Auto Insurance

We all like to save money - and we especially like to save on auto insurance.  According to a survey conducted by Motor Trend magazine, the average driver spends $84,000 in their lifetime insuring their vehicle. According to one survey, annual rates can run as high as $1,800 and as low as $320, a variation of $1,480.  That’s a significant difference. If you want to shave dollars off that figure, here are some tips to help put extra cash in your pocket:

Shop Before You Buy:  With the availability of online resources for price comparisons, it’s much easier now to get a variety of quotes from different companies.   Get identical quotes from at least three different companies before you purchase insurance.  Make sure you’re getting price quotes for exactly the same coverage on your vehicle. 

Surf for Discounts: Find out what price cuts you might qualify for.  Some potential insurance discounts include:

  • Completing a safe driving course can save you money on auto insurance.  Accredited courses such as this are especially applicable to drivers over the age of fifty.  Find out if you qualify for one.
  • Low Mileage Drivers often qualify for discounts.  If you drive your vehicle infrequently throughout the year, you might just get a price break from your insurer.
  • Combine insurance Policies.  Insurers will often give discounts if you combine policies.  If you have homeowner’s insurance, check with them to see if they’ll give you a discount on your auto insurance.
  • Anti-theft devices.  Insurers often offer discounts for vehicles that prevent theft, such as steering wheel locking devices and car alarms. This is especially true in high-crime metro areas.
  • Loyalty Discounts.  If you’re a long-time customer of your insurance company, they might offer you a discount.  Oftentimes they don’t offer this information freely.  Ask and you might receive a discount.
  • College Students:  If your child has gone away to college and doesn’t drive your car anymore or just occasionally, find out if you can take them off your policy.  It will save you dollars on your premium.

Increase your Deductible: One of the easiest ways to reduce insurance cost is to change your deductible, which is the amount you’ll have to pay in the event of an accident before your insurance kicks in.  Increasing your deductible to $500 from $200 can save you 15% to 30% on your annual insurance cost.  Increasing it to $1,000 can save you more than 40%, a savings that adds up over time.  Just be sure you have the savings to cover the additional cost in the event of an accident.  Your insurer can refuse to pay out if you don’t have the money to cover the deductible.