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Ways to cut the cost of auto insurance

By Matt Boyce - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Auto insurance is one of those necessary evils of car ownership. In today's More Bang for Your Buck we look at some simple ways to save that can keep the cost of coverage from making you cringe.

Many times you can't control whether you're in a car accident or not. But when it comes to the price of your car insurance there are some factors you can control.

George Lyle with the State Bureau of Insurance says there is no one company that offers the best price to everybody.

"They've got to shop around, if they're only interested in the best price they've got to find it it's not going to find them," Lyle said.

The biggest consideration in pricing your policy is your driving record.

"No convictions, fewer accidents, no fault accidents, DUI's don't drink and drive," he said. "The biggest penalty you'll face is to have a DUI on your driving record."

You may be surprised to find out that what's in your credit report can also affect your insurance rates.

"Credit reports, credit history to keep a good credit history will certainly help you to get the best rate you can," he said.

Another way to save, combining coverage. Insuring all your vehicles with the same company you have a homeowners or renters policy with can save you money.

"By putting the policies together you might be able to receive a signifigant discount, 10 to 20 percent," Lyle said.

Be sure to ask about any special discounts that may apply to your situation.

"There's some discounts if your college student is more than 200 miles away from home, for instance, and they don't have the car with them," he said.

Assuming more risk can save you cash too, a higher deductible means you pay less for coverage. As your car gets older you may consider dropping the collision coverage.

"If your car's only worth $2,000 and you could save $500 a year by dropping your collision coverage you may want to take that risk," he said.

Most companies' rating plans consider how you use the car so be sure your agent knows if you car pool or use public transportation. Usually the less you drive the vehicle, the less you pay for coverage.

There are even discounts for purchasing insurance online. The Bureau of Insurance publishes a consumer guide designed especially for comparing premiums in Virginia. You can contact the Bureau for a copy of this guide.

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