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Even though it often feels like a necessary evil, having the proper car insurance can be a financial lifesaver if you ever experience an accident. However, just because your required to carry insurance doesn’t mean that you need to pay too much for the coverage you need.

Spend more than 10 minutes watching TV, and you have a pretty good chance of seeing a commercial that talks about saving money on auto insurance. But does cutting a few dollars a month off of your premiums mean receiving less than adequate coverage or having to work with a provider that offers less than stellar customer service? Fortunately, there are several ways you can save money on auto insurance without sacrificing the quality of your coverage.

Think Before You Buy

When the time comes for you to purchase a new or used car, don’t forget to take into consideration the cost of insuring the vehicle as part of its overall cost. Your auto insurance premiums can vary depending on a vehicle’s average repair costs, price, safety features and record, and whether it’s a popular target among auto thieves.

Package Deal

Just as your cable company offers discounts when you bundle together TV, Internet, and phone services, most insurance companies offer a discount on coverage when you have multiple policies, such as auto coverage, homeowners, or renters insurance. You could also reduce your premiums if you insure all of vehicles in your home under the same policy or if everyone in your family who’s of driving age is under the same plan.

Shop Around

While you could potentially save money by combining all of your insurance needs with one company, it’s also possible that mixing and matching coverage from different companies could save you the most money in the end. For example, your current insurance provider may offer some of the lowest rates on experienced drivers, but then have of some of the highest rates in the industry for teenage drivers. In general, you should get auto insurance quotes from at least three providers before deciding on coverage.

A helpful resource to use when researching auto insurance providers is your state’s department of insurance, who typically offers information about customer ratings, rate comparisons, and number of consumer complaints.

Less is More

The more often you drive, the more likely you are of getting into an accident. Because of this rather obvious fact, most insurance providers offer discounts to drivers who put a low number of miles on their vehicles each year. Ask your insurance provider what mileage discounts they offer, and what you must do in order to qualify.

Safe and Secure

Safe driver discounts are given to individuals who don’t have any accidents or moving violations on their driving record for a certain number of years. Ask your insurance provider about any safe driver discounts they offer, and whether they offer a discount to motorists who successfully complete a defensive driving course.

Raise Your Deductible

A definite risk versus reward maneuver, raising your deductible would mean having to pay more money out of pocket in the event you’re ever in an accident, it also means saving money on your monthly insurance payments. By raising your deductible by a few hundred dollars, you could save between 15 to 40 percent on the cost of collision and comprehensive coverage. If you decide to raise your deductible, consider setting aside some of the money you save each month to ensure you can afford to pay a higher deductible in case of an accident.

Ask About Special Discounts

Your insurance provider may offer special discounts, such as student, military, or senior discounts, you qualify for that can save you additional money on car insurance. Ask your insurance broker what special discounts your provider may offer.

Maintain Good Credit

While it may be an unfair generalization, most insurance providers view people with good credit as less of an accident risk. That’s why so many insurance providers take into consideration credit scores when calculating insurance premiums. Since a bad credit score can negatively impact the cost of insurance, make sure you keep your rating high, and check with reporting bureaus to see the current state of your credit report.

A freelance writer, Timothy Lemke has his home & auto insurance needs taken care of by the Majestic Eagle Agency.