SAN FRANCISCO - If you've got a car, chances are, your car insurance eats up a chunk of your budget. Especially for families with multiple drivers, people with poor credit, and drivers with imperfect track records. In a partnership with Consumer Reports, 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney says if you do a little homework, there are ways to lower car insurance costs.
High car insurance premiums driving you nuts? Consumer Reports says there are plenty of ways to cut your premiums, and still get the coverage you can count on.
Start by picking a top-rated insurer.
"Don't be short-sighted. It's not just about getting the lowest premium. You want to make sure you get a company that's going to pay your claim, in a reasonable amount of time. And gives you good service," said Tobie Stanger, Consumer Reports Money Editor.
Then, be sure to set the right deductible. A higher deductible reduces your monthly premium, but you will pay more out of pocket if you have a claim.
"It's generally a good bet, just make sure you have enough to pay that deductible if your luck runs out," Stanger added.
If you are a driver with low-risk behaviors, you can lower rates by asking about discounts for things like:
Drivers who do not use their car for long commutes, students with good grades, teen drivers who take driver-training, or mature drivers who take a defensive driving course.
Having a good credit score can also save you a few bucks.
And, consider bundling your policies. Buying auto and home insurance from the same company could lead to a hefty discount.
All good strategies to help you drive down your auto insurance costs.
People often think that by staying with the same insurance company for many years, they'll get a loyalty discount. But that is not always true. Consumer Reports suggests shopping around often. You may find some significant savings.
Click here for ratings of various companies.
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