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How can I save money?

The price you pay for your auto insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars, depending what type of car you have and the insurance company you buy your policy from. Here are some ways to save money.

Shop around

Prices vary from company to company, so it pays to shop around. Get at least three price quotes. You can call companies directly or access information on the Internet. Your state insurance department may also provide comparisons of prices charged by major insurers.

Get quotes from different types of insurance companies. Some sell through their own agents. These agencies have the same name as the insurance company. Some sell through independent agents who offer policies from several insurance companies. Other companies sell directly to consumers over the phone or via the Internet.

But don't shop by price alone. You want a company that answers your questions and handles claims fairly and efficiently. Ask friends and relatives for their recommendations. Contact your state insurance department to find out whether they make available consumer complaint ratios by company.

You can also check the financial health of insurance companies through independent rating companies and by consulting consumer magazines.

Select an agent or company representative who takes the time to answer your questions. Remember, you'll be dealing with this company if you have an accident or other emergency.
 
Before you buy a car, compare insurance costs

Before you buy a new or used car, check into insurance costs. Your premium is based in part on the car’s sticker price, the cost to repair it, its overall safety record, and the likelihood of theft. Many insurers offer discounts for features that reduce the risk of injuries or theft. These include air bags, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights and anti-theft devices. Some states require insurers to give discounts for cars equipped with air bags or anti-lock brakes.

Cars that are favorite targets for thieves cost more to insure. Information that can help you decide what car to buy is available from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety  
 
Ask for higher deductibles

Deductibles represent the amount of money you pay before your insurance policy kicks in. By requesting higher deductibles, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage cost by 15 percent to 30 percent. Going to a $1,000 deductible can save you 40 percent or more.
 
Reduce coverage on older cars

Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverages on older cars. It may not be cost-effective to continue insuring cars worth less than 10 times the amount you would pay for coverage. Any claim payment you receive would not substantially exceed your premiums minus the deductible. Claims occur on average only once every 11 or 12 years. Auto dealers and banks can tell you the worth of a car, or you can look it up online at Kelley Blue Book. Review your coverage at renewal time to make sure your insurance needs haven’t changed.
 
Buy your homeowners and auto coverage from the same insurer

Many insurers will give you a discount if you buy two or more types of insurance from them. Also you may get a reduction if you have more than one vehicle insured with the same company. Some insurers reduce premiums for long-time customers. But shop around; you may save money buying from different insurance companies despite the multi-policy discount

 
 
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