Want to lower your auto insurance?

Here are some inventive ways to save

Dan Lewis gets a migraine when he thinks about the $3,000 he pays annually in car insurance, but he’s actually a darling to insurance companies. He’s had no accidents and only one traffic ticket in the last decade — all on four cars: a Lincoln Navigator, which he drives for nights out on the town, a Chevy pickup for hauling items, a Toyota Camry, and a Hyundai Accent, which he drives when he wants to save money on gas.

“It’s important to me to get every discount available,” says Lewis, 45, owner of D.L. Enterprises, an investment firm in Jonesboro, Georgia. “With the present state of the economy and owning my own business, I take every opportunity to save money on car insurance.”

With escalating insurance costs in every industry, consumers such as Lewis relish any type of available discount or incentive. Farm Bureau Insurance gives Lewis a multicar discount and the best rate for his good driving record. He also gets discounts for renewing his contract and having antilock brakes and an antitheft device. Those are a few of the major discounts that drivers can expect to receive. But there are plenty of others.

Progressive Direct (www.progressive.com), the No. 3 auto insurance company in the nation with 9.5 million personal auto policies, is offering its customers $50 for every six months of data they share through the TripSensor device. In order to help the company more accurately assess the type of driver you are, TripSensor captures information such as the miles, speed, and time of day your vehicle is driven.

In addition, according to Insure.com (www.insure.com), drivers can lower their premiums by comparison shopping at their state insurance department’s Website, considering higher deductibles, dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverage on older cars, and researching group insurance and corporate discounts through organizations such as AAA or your alma mater. Also ask about discounts for air bags, automatic seat belts, antitheft alarms, antilock brakes, driving school attendance, and safe vehicles.

Some insurance carriers offer specialized discounts. According to Horace Mann (www.horacemann.com/insurance), your agent can do a lot of the leg work to get you the discounts you deserve. If you’re insured with a large company, however, you may not have an individual agent. So be sure to inform your insurance carrier of the following things that may impact your rates: moving, your military service, and your occupation or any professional affiliations.

Auto Insurance Discounts
The next time you review your car insurance policy, see if you’re eligible for the following discounts:

  • A higher deductible
  • More than one car
  • No accidents in three years
  • No moving violations in three years
  • Driver training courses
  • Defensive driving courses
  • Antitheft devices
  • Low annual mileage
  • Air bags
  • Antilock brakes
  • Daytime running lights
  • Student drivers with good grades
  • Auto and homeowners coverage
  • with the same company
  • College students away from home
  • Longtime customer
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