Nine Ways To Lower Your Auto Insurance Costs

You may not realize it, but the insurance rates you pay for your car can vary dramatically depending on the insurance company, agent or broker you choose, the coverage is you request and the kind of car you drive. Listed below are a number of things you can do right now to lower your insurance costs.

1. COMPARISON SHOP. Prices for the same coverage can vary by hundreds of dollars, so it pays to shop around. Ask your friends, check the yellow pages or call your state insurance department (phone numbers are on back page). You can also check consumer guides, insurance agents or companies. This will give you an idea of price ranges and tell you which companies or agents have the lowest prices. But don't shop price alone. The insurer you select should offer both fair prices and excellent service. Quality personal service may cost a bit more, but provides added conveniences, so talk to a number of insurers to get a feeling for the quality of their service. Ask them what they would do to lower your costs. Check the financial ratings of the companies too. Then, when you've narrowed the field to three insurers, get price quotes.

2. ASK FOR HIGHER DEDUCTIBLES. Deductibles represent the amount of money you pay before you make a claim. By requesting higher deductibles on collision and comprehensive (fire and theft) coverage, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision cost by 15% to 30%.

3. DROP COLLISION AND/OR COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE'S ON OLDER CARS. It may not be cost-effective to have collision or comprehensive coverage's on cars worth less than $1000 because any claim you make would not substantially exceed annual cost and deductible amounts. Auto dealers and banks can tell you the worth of cars.

4. ELIMINATE DUPLICATE MEDICAL COVERAGE'S. If you have adequate health insurance, you may be paying for duplicate medical coverage in your auto policy. In some states, eliminating this coverage could lower your personal injury protection (PIP) cost by up to 40%.

5. BUY A "LOW PROFILE" CAR. Before you buy a new or used car, check into insurance costs. Cars that are expensive to repair, or that are favorite targets for thieves, have much higher insurance costs. Write to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 1005 North Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22201 and ask for the Highway Loss Data Chart.

6. CONSIDER AREA INSURANCE COST IF YOU ARE MAKING A MOVE. Costs tend to be lowest in rural communities and highest in center cities where there is more traffic congestion.

7. TAKE ADVANTAGE Of LOW MILEAGE DISCOUNTS. Some companies offer discounts to motorists who drive fewer than a predetermined number of miles a year.

8. FIND OUT ABOUT AUTOMATIC SEAT BELT OR AIR BAG DISCOUNTS. You may be able to take advantage of discounts on some coverage's if you have automatic seat belts and/or air bags.

9. INQUIRE ABOUT OTHER DISCOUNTS. Some insurers offer discounts for more than one car, no accidents in three years, drivers over 50 years of age, driver training courses, anti-theft devices, anti-lock brakes and good grades for students.


$500 deductible _______ _______ _______

$1,000 deductible _______ _______ _______

More than 1 car _______ _______ _______

No Accidents in 3 Years _______ _______ _______

No Moving Violations in 3 Years _______ _______ _______

Drivers Over 50 Years of Age _______ _______ _______

Driver Training Course _______ _______ _______

Anti-Theft Device _______ _______ _______

Low Annual Mileage _______ _______ _______

Automatic Seat Belt _______ _______ _______

Air Bag _______ _______ _______

Anti-Lock Brakes _______ _______ _______

Good Grades for Students _______ _______ _______

Auto and Homeowners Coverage with the Same Company _______ _______ _______

College Students Away From Home Without a Car _______ _______ _______

OTHER DISCOUNTS: _______________ _______ _______ _______ _______________ _______ _______ _______ _______________ _______ _______ _______ _______________ _______ _______ _______

You Can Reach Your State Insurance Department At:

AL: 205-269-3550

AK: 907-465-2515

AS: 684-633-4116

AZ: 602-255-5400

AR: 501-686-2900

CA: 800-927-4357

CO: 303-894-7499

CT: 203-297-3800

DE: 800-282-8611

DC: 202-727-8002

FL: 800-342-2762

GA: 404-656-2056

GU: 671-477-5144

HI: 800-468-4644

ID: 208-334-2250

IL: 217-782-4515

IN: 800-622-4461

IA: 515-281-5705

KS: 800-432-2484

KY: 502-564-3630

LA: 504-342-5900

ME: 207-582-8707

MD: 800-492-6116

MA: 617-727-3357

MI: 517-373-9273

MN: 800-652-9747

MS: 601-359-3569

MO: 314-751-2640

MT: 800-332-6148

NE: 402-471-2201

NV: 800-992-0900

NH: 800-852-3416

NJ: 609-292-5363

NM: 505-827-4500

NY: 212-602-0203

NC: 800-662-7777

ND: 800-247-0560

OH: 800-686-1526

OK: 405-521-2828

OR: 503-378-4271

PA: 717-787-5173

PR: 809-722-8686

RI: 401-277-2223

SC: 803-737-6117

SD: 605-773-3563

TN: 800-342-4029

TX: 512-463-6464

UT: 801-530-6400

VT: 802-828-3301

VI: 809-774-2991

VA: 800-552-7945

WA: 800-562-6900

WV: 800-642-9004

WI: 800-236-8517

WY: 307-777-7401

For more information, call the National Insurance Consumer Helpline (NICH) at 1-800-942-4242

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