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around when purchasing an
insurance policy, since rates
often vary wildly from one
The year, make and model of
your vehicle can have a
profound impact on your
insurance rate. All else being
equal, new, expensive or
sporty cars will cost more to
You'll also save money by
opting to go higher on
deductibles, nixing comp and
If you're shopping for car insurance, you know there are certain crucial factors influencing your rate that are out of your hands. Such factors include your age, gender and record of prior claims.
Despite this, there's a lot you can do to score a lower rate, and your choices bear more
power than you might think. Here are 10 tips guaranteed to help you get the best rate
possible on your auto insurance.
1Get more than one rate quote before you commit. "Company prices are very different, and it pays to shop around. You can easily wind up paying double from one company to the next," says J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance with the Consumer Federation of America, a national watchdog group.
Click on your state and you're taken to the state's Department of Insurance Web
site. Its consumer buying guide compares insurance premiums across a range of
companies. You'll also learn how many complaints each company has logged.
Surprisingly, you don't have to sacrifice service quality to score a low premium. "A
lot of the lower-priced companies have the best service rates," says Hunter.
There are a host of independent Web sites, likeCarInsurance.com, that allow you to
comparison-shop by offering online price quotes. These sites can be incredibly
useful. However, Hunter warns that these services \u2014 which earn their keep by
charging carriers a commission on each sale \u2014 occasionally fail to include the
insurance companies with the lowest rates, since these low-cost carriers are
unwilling to pay commissions.
model of your vehicle can have a profound impact on your insurance rate. All else
being equal, new, expensive or sporty cars will cost more to insure than older,
cheaper and more utilitarian vehicles. But you could find a substantial discrepancy
even when comparing the cost to insure similar cars. So if you've got a few models
on your shortlist, contact your carrier to see what rate each vehicle commands.
Doing so could ultimately net you a windfall in savings when the time comes to pay
3Go high on deductibles. If you're willing to give a little with your deductible, you
can wind up saving big on your rates. "If you go from a $250 to a $1,000 deductible,
you can save between 25 and 40 percent on your policy," says Hunter. You can
then set aside a portion of these funds to cover your costs in the event of a claim.
4Nix collision and/or comprehensive coverage on older cars. If your older car has comp and collision coverage, you might find yourself paying more in insurance than the car is worth. "Take your comp and collision premium and add it up, then multiply it by 10. If your car is worth less than that, don't buy the coverage," says Hunter. If you're worried about being left overexposed, consider this: The typical policyholder makes a claim only once every 11 years, and reports a total loss only once every 50 years.
5Mind your credit score. An increasing number of carriers are considering credit
scores when making rate calculations. "Your credit score can be very important in
determining your rate," says Hunter. "You can wind up paying up to 50 percent more
if you have a bad credit score." Keep your credit score in tip-top shape by paying
bills in a timely manner and by regularly checking that there are no items on your
history that do not belong to you.
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