To save money on your car insurance, one simple thing you can do is increase the amount of your deductible. The lower your deductible, the higher your premiums. Ask yourself how likely you are to incur expenses and how often that might occur. Compare that with the extra amount you're paying on your policy. For many people, it makes sense to carry a deductible of about $500 and pay lower premiums. Hiking a deductible from $200 to $500 can sometimes save you 15-30%.
Another option is to make sure you're not overinsuring your car. If you're driving an old clunker, you may not want to bother with collision and comprehensive coverage on it. Cars worth less than $1,000 are often not worth repairing. If you have an accident where the cost to repair the car exceeds its fair value, the insurance company will usually opt to "total" the car. That means your car is labeled a "total loss" and the insurance company is obligated to pay you only the "Blue Book" value minus your deductible, rather than paying the higher amount necessary to fix the car. They also will no longer insure the car, so you'll be left looking for a new set of wheels.
Many insurers will give you a significant discount (up to 10%) if you hold more than one policy with them. So, look into buying both auto and home insurance from the same insurer. Whichever company you choose, make sure you investigate all possible discounts. Some insurers will knock off a few dollars for safety devices such as airbags or antitheft devices such as passive engine disablers.
Oddly enough, paying a little more for your policy can save you money, too. Most policies, for a few dollars per month, will pay for a rental car should your car be damaged and unusable. This can be a big savings, so it's something to think about. Something else to include is coverage that protects you if an uninsured or underinsured motorist hits you. (According to some experts, as many as half or more of all motorists fall into these categories.) Most policies offer a degree of coverage in this area, but it might not be as much as you need or want.
And finally, do some comparison-shopping! Don't assume that the price differences among various insurers are small, because they're often not.
Learn more about insurance in our Insurance Center and our Insurance discussion board. You may not have thought about some kinds of insurance, such as disability or long-term care insurance, but they're vital for many people. Take a little time to learn more and you may be very happy you did, if some calamity occurs in the future.
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