Cutting Car Insurance Costs

March 18, 2009
Special Feature

Whether you call it penny-pinching or belt-tightening, the recession has most Americans taking a hard look at their household budgets to find ways to save.

Whether you call it penny-pinching or belt-tightening, the recession has most Americans taking a hard look at their household budgets to find ways to save. One expense that you may be able to cut is your car insurance premiums. Insurance pros suggest some cost-shaving strategies that may not work for all car owners, but many will, and it can pay to see which ones apply to you.

Shopping for car insurance is a prime way to save. With a good driving record, you should be able to find more than one insurance company willing to issue a policy, and you’re free to pick one that saves you some cash. Another time-honored way to slash premiums is by boosting your deductible amounts. Increasing deductibles on collision and comprehensive coverage can cut your premium for that coverage by as much as 40%. Dropping collision insurance on an older car can save you even more; some insurance experts advise that collision insurance on a car that is worth less than 10 times the additional premium is generally not a good deal.

Check out other discounts you may be eligible for. You may earn a discount, for example, if you buy your homeowners insurance from the same company that issues your auto insurance policy. Airbags and anti-lock brakes can also cut your premiums. Most insurance companies will also give you a discount if you have anti-theft devices installed in your vehicle, or if your high school student gets good grades and has taken a driver training course, or if your college student is on a campus more than 100 miles away and does not have a car there.