Secrets To Saving On Car Insurance

In difficult times, people are cutting costs everywhere -- including behind the wheel.

Early Show consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen had some ideas on Tuesday on how you can do it.

Car insurance is costly for some, but Koeppen told Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith there are ways to cut high insurance costs.

She said the key to getting a lower rate is being a good driver. But you can also ask for a higher deductible.

"If you go up to a $1,000 deductible, you can save as much as 40 percent on your car insurance," Koeppen said.

She also suggested the multi-policy route, which means bundling your car insurance with another type of insurance like home owner's or life insurance.

Koeppen said you should also get at least three quotes on insurance to enhance your chances of finding the lowest price.

Koeppen also reminded viewers that not all cars are created equal.

"You'll pay more for a red sports car than you would, say, for a minivan."

Good credit is also an incentive for car insurers to give you a lower rate, Koeppen said.

"Studies show that someone who has good credit and has good credit for a long time cause fewer accidents," Koeppen said, "so you'll get a better rate."

Another way to get a better rate is to do something most buyers don't: Ask for discounts.

"There's a lot of things that are there that you may not know about, you have to ask the questions," she said.

Koeppen also answered a Chicago viewer's question about gas pumps' accuracy.

She said pumps are monitored differently from state to state. In some states, she said, pumps are checked only every few years.

"In some cases, you're getting less gas, in some cases you're getting more gas," she said. "If you really think there's a problem with a gas station and some of the gas pumps, you should file a complaint with the consumer affairs department in your state."

You should also consider possible discrepancies in the size of your gas tank, Koeppen said.

"Whenever your owner's manual says you have a 20-gallon tank, that doesn't mean you actually have a 20-gallon tank, it could be 18 gallons, it could be 19 gallons."

Koeppen also affirmed one Maryland viewer's suspicion about supermarket staples being kept in the back of the store.

"It's true," she said. "They put milk and eggs in the back of the store not by mistake...You usually go back there eventually. They are your staples, so as you walk along to get the milk and eggs, you pick up the cereal, you get some sugar -- you start grabbing stuff."

Koeppen suggested that to avoid just grabbing products in the grocery store, you should go in with a list and stick to it while shopping.