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Image used with permission from Microsoft

Image used with permission from Microsoft

Below are steps you can take to lower your insurance rates. Many of these ideas can save money on your homeowner’s insurance as well.

Raise your deductible. Raising the deductible on your policy from $200 to $500 could reduce the cost of collision and comprehensive coverage by up to 30%. Raising it to $1,000 could lower your premium by 40% or more. Just be sure you have enough money put aside to cover the higher deductible amount in case you are in an accident.

Take advantage of discounts. Regularly ask your insurance agent to review your policy to see what discounts you may qualify for. A good student discount for teenage drivers with a B average or higher could save 15%. Some providers offer a 5-10% discount if you take a defensive driving course.

Look for group discounts. You may qualify for a discount through your employer, credit union, professional association, auto club, or even a wholesale shopping club such as Costco.

Drive carefully and responsibly. Even one speeding ticket could raise your premium. Many insurers will lower your rate if you haven’t had an accident or ticket in the past 3-5 years.

Join a car pool or to take the bus to work and you may qualify for a low-mileage discount.

Consider the cost of insurance before buying a car or truck. Premiums vary significantly between makes and models. Rates may be higher for models and colors that tend to be a target for thieves or radar guns or that are expensive for repairs.

Shop insurance companies every few years and when your situation changes. A given insurer may be less expensive when you have teenage drivers, but another may be less once that child is married. Get at least three quotes before you buy a policy. You can shop for quotes at websites such as and, or by working with an independent insurance agent. Your state insurance department can tell you if there have been complaints against insurance companies that operate in your state.

Drop unnecessary coverage. Comprehensive or collision coverage for older cars may not make financial sense. Consider the annual cost to insure older vehicles compared to their potential resale value. It may be that it costs more to insure an older vehicle than it costs to replace one. On the other hand, if you have little savings, insurance may be a relatively inexpensive way to replace an asset worth a few thousand dollars. Also consider the annual cost of coverage for towing against the likelihood that you will need it.

Get a multi-policy discount by getting car and homeowners insurance from the same provider.

Clean up your credit report. Insurance companies use your score, in part, to determine your premium. Statistics show a correlation between bad credit and a propensity to receive more tickets and be involved in accidents. People who are extremely poor in their payment habits could pay 30-40% more. Manage your money well and you are more likely to save on car insurance premiums.

Pay your premium every six months. Many insurance companies tack on service fees if you pay monthly.