Auto Insurance Savings

You've seen the commercials promising big savings on your car insurance. Though you may be able to shave hundreds off the bill, it may take more than a simple phone call. Sue Perry, Deputy Editor for ShopSmart Magazine gives some steps you can take to cut your car insurance costs.

First, shop until you get the rate you want. Get as many quotes as you can from carriers at AnswerFinancial.com, InsWeb.com, NetQuote.com and insurer websites. And be prepared to put up with email and phone calls from insurance agents.

Next, you should shed unneeded coverage. If you own another car, you don't need rental reimbursement. Drop collision and or comprehensive if the annual premium for it equals or exceeds 10 percent of your car's book value. Dump the personal injury protection/medical payments if you have good health-care coverage, unless your typical passengers might not be well insured.

Raising your credit score will probably help because in most states the better your score the lower your premium. To boost your score check and correct credit reporting errors. Ask for an exception if your finances have been adversely affected by the recession or life changes such as military deployment or divorce. Ask to be rescored once a year. Pay bills on time and keep your credit balances low in relation to your credit limits.

Do increase your deductible to $1,000 unless you don't have the money to cover that amount out of pocket.

If you don't ask, you won't get, so ask for discounts. An insurer will trim your premiums if it considers you low risk. If you're a good student or have completed a driver training course ask for a break. You can also get deals by being apart of an affinity group such as a college alumni association.

For more information on lowering your car insurance and other consumer topics, click here.

Sue Perry & Erika Wortham

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