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Five Keys for Getting the Discount You Deserve on Your Auto Insurance

by Richard Barrington

Are you interested in getting cheaper auto insurance? Wanting to save money is natural these days, but if "cheap" means less coverage, you should think twice. The fact is simply this: there is a wrong way and a right way to save money on auto insurance.

The wrong way to save money on auto insurance is to reduce coverage to the bare legal minimum. While this can save you a little money in the near term, it could prove catastrophically expensive if something goes wrong. Without adequate coverage, you could risk losing your car if it is damaged or stolen, or expose yourself to ruinous legal liabilities.

The right way to save on auto insurance is to get a sensible amount of coverage for the least amount of money.

Five Ways to Save
Here are five things you can do to lower the cost of auto insurance without settling for less coverage:

  1. Use your contacts. If you work for a large company, belong to a union, or are a member of an organization like the AAA or the AARP, you may be eligible for special discounts. This is sometimes known as an "affinity discount." Check with your organization or your insurance company to see if a relevant discount is available.
  2. Don't overlap coverage. Some auto insurance policies include coverage for medical expenses or property damage. This can be useful, but it also could duplicate coverage you are already paying for via your health care or homeowner's policies. It's important to be covered, but it is a waste of time to pay for the same coverage twice. Check your other policies to make sure they don't overlap with terms of your auto policy.
  3. Seek discounts for multiple policies. If you have other policies, see if you can get a discount for having multiple policies with the same company. For example, if you already have a homeowner's policy with a given company, check to see if they will give you a discount for bringing your auto insurance policy to them as well.
  4. Price insurance before buying a car. The car you buy can have a profound effect on the price you pay for insurance. Some cars are notorious for attracting daredevil drivers, some are favorite targets for thieves, and some are simply not as safe as others. Most people typically don't think about this until after they've bought the car, and then they experience a second wave of sticker shock when they get the insurance quote.
  5. Get value for safety. If you have a long record of accident-free driving, or if you have paid for safety features in your car like side airbags or anti-lock brakes, make sure these facts are reflected in the price of your policy. Safe drivers have earned a discount, so make sure you get yours.
Final Thoughts
Always negotiate price on auto insurance by making some comparisons and making sure you are getting the right coverage for your situation. Insurance policies tend to be made up of lists of individual coverage items, each of which costs a little extra. Having a conversation with your insurance agent about what each of those items means, and how they are priced, could teach you a great deal about your policy--and about your insurance agent.

U.S. News & World Report, Car Insurance: What you need to know
U.S. News & World Report, Car Insurance Discounts

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