High insurance rates show up in states that are litigious and hard driving, says the study's authors. You can't do much about that, nor is it likely you'll trade the south for New England just because car coverage costs less. But there are steps you can take to cut your own insurance costs. Here's how.
- Drive a soccer mom car. The flashier the car, the higher the premiums, according to a ranking of insurance costs by car. In 2010, you'll pay $2,533 to cover the supercharged Jaguar XKR but only $1,095 for the Honda Odyssey. That's not just because the Honda is cheaper to fix. It's because, on average, those Jaguar drivers are putting on more miles and driving faster than the carpool-driving mom who's probably behind the wheel of the Odyssey.
- Raise your deductibles. Insurance is meant to cover the costs you can't afford. So save every month by raising your deductible to $1,000. If you're driving an old beater, you could drop your collision coverage (which pays for your car to be fixed) altogether.
- Grab every discount. Like the ads say, "There's a discount for that." You can cut your premiums if you are older, belong to a professional association, buy your homeowners insurance from the same company, or work in a low-risk occupation like engineering. (We hear that they are careful drivers.)
- Comparison shop. Use online brokers like Insure.com and Insurance.com, and compare their quotes with companies like Geico and Progressive that sell directly to consumers.
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