"Don't be one of those statistics," said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and chief communications officer at the I.I.I. "It's very important to take driving seriously—not only will it keep you and your passengers safer, it can also help keep down the cost of your auto insurance."
Your insurance premium is based on a variety of factors, including your driving record; how much you use your car; where it is parked and where you live; the type of car you drive; your age and gender; your credit score; and the type and amount of coverage. Understanding these factors can help you get a better deal on your policy.
The I.I.I. offers these tips for finding the best auto insurance policy for your needs and budget:
1. Shop Around
Prices and coverage levels vary from company to company, so it pays to shop around. But don't shop price alone; look for a financially sound insurance company with a reputation for good customer service.
2. Check Insurance Costs Before Buying A Car
The price of the vehicle, the cost to repair it, its overall safety record and the likelihood of theft can all affect the price of your coverage, so check with your insurance professional before deciding which car to buy.
3. Increase Your Deductible
When you file a claim, the deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in. With a higher deductible, you can lower your premium significantly--but be sure you have enough money set aside to pay it if you have a claim.
4. Reduce Coverage On Older Cars
If the market value of your car is less than 10 times the auto insurance premium you are paying, purchasing comprehensive and/or collision coverage may not be cost-effective.
5. Maintain Good Credit
Many insurers use credit information to price auto insurance policies, so a solid credit history can lower your premium.
6. Ask About Discounts
Insurance companies offer a wide variety of discounts—here are some you can ask about:
- Antitheft devices
- Multiple policies with the same company
- College students living away from home
- Defensive driving courses
- Drivers ed courses
- Low annual mileage
- Long-time customer
- More than one car
- No accidents in three years
- No moving violations in three years
- Student drivers with good grades
THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.
Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-5500; www.iii.org
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SOURCE Insurance Information Institute