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Can You (Really) Save on Car Insurance?

Car insurance. You hate paying for it until you need it. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually get a cheaper car insurance policy?

Car insurance. You hate paying for it until you need it. And a few months later you hate paying for it again. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually get a cheaper car insurance policy? The ads claim you can save on car insurance just by switching companies, but getting the lowest car insurance rates takes more than comparing car insurance quotes and choosing the right insurer.

To start, you need to know a little bit about the different types of auto insurance, what type you need, and what your state law requires you carry.

Look for Discounts

It’s easy to get auto insurance quotes in a few minutes online, and you should certainly do so to compare rates. (For example, try getting a quick quote online from State Farm® Insurance Company).

That said, googling some local agents and calling them up may be worthwhile. Local agents may offer “group rates” to employees of local businesses, local students, or even members of community groups. If you qualify for a group rate, find out what the discount is and how it compares to one of the rates from a large national insurer. You may qualify for other discounts on certain kinds of coverage—like a break on theft if you install a car alarm or immobilization device.


While negotiating your car insurance policy may not be as black and white as haggling for your new car, you may have some leverage, especially with smaller, more personal insurance agencies. Combining multiple policies (whether auto, home, or other property) is the easiest way to justify a better rate. Again, it’ll help to have a low quote from one of the online insurance giants in-hand.

Pick and Choose

Just because your car insurance company offers certain coverage options doesn’t mean you need them. If you have an older car that isn’t worth very much, skip the carry comprehensive damage coverage, for example.

Drive Safely, and Pay Your Bills

Clearly, the more accidents and speeding tickets you rack up, the more your insurance will cost you. But insurers are increasingly also relying upon consumer credit reports to set rates. Just one more good reason you should pay those bills on time.

Get an online quote from State Farm® Insurance Company now »

Published or updated on September 20, 2006

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.


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