The 10 cheapest cars to insure

A minivan may not be the slickest car in town, but it can save you a pretty penny when it comes to insurance. In fact, the Toyota Sienna tops the list of the least expensive cars to insure, according to a new survey by Insure.com.  

In comparing more than 900 vehicle models, researchers found that a number of factors can affect car insurance quotes. Those include the frequency of crashes for that model, cost of repairs, cost to insurers when a vehicle is declared a total loss, and cost of bodily injury claims.

Following is a list of the 10 least expensive 2012 vehicles to insure, as ranked by the national average annual rate. The full list is available at Insure.com. Also see our list of the most expensive cars to insure

1. Toyota Sienna LE: $1,111

2. Toyota Sienna (4 cylinder): $1,114

3. Jeep Patriot Sport: $1,116

4. Jeep Compass Sport: $1,118

5. GMC Sierra K1500 Regular Cab: $1,121

6. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab: $1,125

7. Dodge Grand Caravan SXT: $1,129

8. Ford Escape XLS: $1,137

9. Toyota Sienna 6 cylinder: $1,139

10. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab: $1,143

Some advice for current car owners: Call your insurer regularly -- about every 6 months  -- and ask for a better deal. It usually pays.

Case in point: I recently called my Allstate car insurance agent and requested a lower rate -- and got one. Simple as that. After explaining that I was shopping around and wanted to reduce my monthly payment, my agent said she'd call me back in an hour with an updated proposal. She then offered me 5 percent off my coverage for safe driving and another $60 off for paying the 6-month policy in full. Total savings: $100 for the first 6 months. Other incentives also were folded into the policy, such as a "safe driving deductible reward," which immediately reduces my collision coverage by $200.

 Not bad for a 5-minute call. 

Photo courtesy: Toyota.com

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    Farnoosh Torabi is a personal finance journalist and commentator. She is the author of the new book Psych Yourself Rich, Get the Mindset and Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life. Follow her at www.farnoosh.tv and on Twitter at @farnoosh.

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