insurance

Tips for getting affordable auto insurance

If you drive, auto insurance is a must. But how do you avoid overpaying for coverage? Here are some helpful tips.

Be cost conscious

One of the best ways to save on car insurance is to maintain a clean driving record. But while avoiding accidents and tickets will help lower premiums, there are other lifestyle factors that can reduce costs. For example, taking a defensive driving course, installing a car alarm and paying your policy in advance can all help save you money. It's also important to take advantage of discounts through membership organizations such as AAA or a professional society you may belong to. And don't forget that most carriers will offer a discount to married drivers. Also, if you move to a ZIP code with a lower crime rate, be sure to alert your carrier. They'll need to know about your move anyway, but you may get a cheaper rate for living in a better neighborhood.

Shop around

While it's important to be able to compare policies based on identical coverage, the price you pay won't always be the same from carrier to carrier. In fact, it pays to shop around to compare auto insurance quotes, and experts recommend getting at least three quotes. It's also a good idea to expand your search by looking online and working with a trusted agent.

Make adjustments

One easy way to save on auto insurance is to adjust your options. By driving an older, less expensive vehicle, raising your deductible and dropping unnecessary coverage such as rental car and towing, you can reduce your premiums. Of course, before you make any of these cuts, it's important to make sure you can afford to live with those choices should you need to file a claim.

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