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I.I.I. Offers Ways to Save Money on Your Auto Insurance in a Recession


Liability coverage, for example, is not only mandatory, but crucial, warns the I.I.I. states require certain levels of minimum liability insurance because it is the coverage that pays for damage you do to others, including bodily injury and property damage. It also pays for your legal bills if you are involved in an accident. But other coverages are optional. By making informed decisions, consumers can save hundreds of dollars on their annual insurance costs while still protecting their assets.

The National Consumers League (NCL) suggests that consumers do some comparison shopping in order to get the best coverage at a reasonable price. “Consumers should do their homework when shopping for insurance,” said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director, NCL. “Like any other product or service, you can save money by taking the time to compare products, prices and service.”

The I.I.I. offers nine ways to “recession-proof” your auto insurance:

  1. Before you buy a car, compare insurance costs

    Before you buy a new or used car, check into insurance costs. Your premium is based in part on the car’s sticker price, the cost to repair it, its overall safety record and the likelihood of theft. Many insurers offer discounts for features that reduce the risk of injuries or theft. These include air bags, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights and anti-theft devices. Some states require insurers to give discounts for cars equipped with air bags or anti-lock brakes.

    Cars that are favorite targets for thieves often cost more to insure. To find out which makes and models are stolen most often, visit the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

    You can get information about insurance losses experienced by vehicle make and model at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Vehicles with high insurance losses will generally cost more to insure.

  2. Ask for a higher deductible

    Deductibles represent the amount of money you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance policy kicks in. By requesting a higher deductible, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $250 to $1000 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage cost by 15 percent to 30 percent, depending on the car you drive. Keep in mind that claims occur on average only once every 11 or 12 years.

  3. Reduce coverage on older cars

    Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverage on older cars. It may not be cost-effective to continue insuring cars with less than 10 times the amount you would pay for coverage. Any claim payment you receive would not substantially exceed your premiums minus the deductible. Auto dealers and banks can tell you the worth of a car, or you can look it up online at Kelley Blue Book.

  4. Buy your homeowners and auto coverage from the same insurer

    Many insurers will give you a discount if you buy two or more types of insurance from them. Also you may get a reduction if you have more than one vehicle insured with the same company. Some insurers reduce premiums for long-time customers. But shop around; you may still save money by buying coverage from different insurance companies despite the multi-policy discount.

  5. Maintain good credit

    Your credit rating may affect what you pay for insurance so keep a close eye on it. Credit makes insurance rates more accurate, fair and objective. While the use of insurance scoring varies from state to state and company to company, it is a fact that drivers with long, stable credit records have fewer accidents than drivers who have poor credit. There are various Internet services that allow you to check your credit rating and provide tips on how to improve your score.

  6. Seek out safe driver discounts

    Companies offer discounts to policy holders who have not had any accidents or moving violations for a number of years. You may also qualify for a reduction if you have recently taken a defensive driving course.

  7. Take advantage of low mileage discounts

    Some companies offer discounts to motorists who drive a lower than average number of miles per year. Low mileage discounts can also apply to drivers who carpool to work.

  8. Inquire about other discounts such as:

    Group insurance
    Good student discounts for young people who take drivers education and/or get good grades
    Defensive driving

  9. Shop around

    There are many auto insurance companies to choose from. Get at least three price quotes. You can call companies directly or access information on the Internet. Your state insurance department may also provide comparisons of prices charged by major insurers

    Get quotes from different types of companies. Some sell through their own agents. These agencies have the same name as the insurance company. Some sell through independent agents who offer policies from several insurance companies. Other companies sell directly to consumers over the phone or via the Internet.

    But don’t shop by price alone. You want a company that answers your questions and handles claims fairly and efficiently. Ask friends and relatives for their recommendations. Contact your state insurance department to find out whether they make company consumer complaint ratios available.

To watch the video news release, go to Saving Money on Auto Insurance. Reporters who would like a DVC Pro or Beta hard copy contact: Susan Stolov at 202-638-3400 or

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K said...

Having access to information about auto insurance is a great benefit.

joshua said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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