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NINE WAYS TO LOWER YOUR AUTO INSURANCE COSTS

     You may not realize it, but the insurance rates you pay

for your car can vary dramatically depending on the insurance

company, agent or broker you choose, the coverage you request

and the kind of car you drive. Listed below are a number of

things you can do right now to lower your insurance costs.

1.   COMPARISON SHOP.

     Prices for the same coverage can vary by hundreds of

dollars, so it pays to shop around. Ask your friends, check the

yellow pages or call your state insurance department (phone

numbers are on back page). You can also check consumer guides,

insurance agents or companies. This will give you an idea of

price ranges and tell you which companies or agents have the

lowest prices. But don't shop price alone.

     The insurer you select should offer both fair prices and

excellent service. Quality personal service may cost a bit

more, but provides added conveniences, so talk to a number of

insurers to get a feeling for the quality of their service. Ask

them what they would do to lower your costs. Check the

financial ratings of the companies too. Then, when you've

narrowed the field to three insurers, get price quotes.

2.   ASK FOR HIGHER DEDUCTIBLES.

     Deductibles represent the amount of money you pay before

you make a claim. By requesting higher deductibles on collision

and comprehensive (fire and theft) coverage, you can lower your

costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible

from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision cost by 15% to

30%.

3.   DROP COLLISION AND/OR COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGES ON OLDER

CARS.

     It may not be cost-effective to have collision or

comprehensive coverage on cars worth less than $1000 because

any claim you make would not substantially exceed annual cost

and deductible amounts. Auto dealers and banks can tell you the

worth of cars.

4.   ELIMINATE DUPLICATE MEDICAL COVERAGES.

     If you have adequate health insurance, you may be paying

for duplicate medical coverage in your auto policy. In some

states, eliminating this coverage could lower your personal

injury protection (PIP) cost by up to 40%.

5.   BUY A "LOW PROFILE" CAR.

     Before you buy a new or used car, check into insurance

costs. Cars that are expensive to repair, or that are favorite

targets for thieves, have much higher insurance costs. Write to

the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 1005 North Glebe

Road, Arlington, VA 22201 and ask for the Highway Loss Data

Chart.

6.   CONSIDER AREA INSURANCE COST IF YOU ARE MAKING A MOVE.

     Costs tend to be lowest in rural communities and highest

in center cities where there is more traffic congestion.

7.   TAKE ADVANTAGE Of LOW MILEAGE DISCOUNTS.

     Some companies offer discounts to motorists who drive

fewer than a predetermined number of miles a year.

8.   FIND OUT ABOUT AUTOMATIC SEAT BELT OR AIR BAG DISCOUNTS.

     You may be able to take advantage of discounts on some

coverage if you have automatic seat belts and/or air bags.

9.   INQUIRE ABOUT OTHER DISCOUNTS.

     Some insurers offer discounts for more than one car, no

accidents in three years, drivers over 50 years of age, driver

training courses, anti-theft devices, anti-lock brakes and good

grades for students. See the following page for a guide to

these and other discounts.

INQUIRE ABOUT DISCOUNTS FOR:

                        COMPANY A    COMPANY B    COMPANY C

$500 deductible          _______      _______      _______

$1,000 deductible        _______      _______      _______

More than 1 car          _______      _______      _______

No Accidents

  in 3 Years             _______      _______      _______

No Moving Violations

  in 3 Years             _______      _______      _______

Drivers Over 50 Years

  of Age                 _______      _______      _______

Driver Training Course   _______      _______      _______

Anti-Theft Device        _______      _______      _______

Low Annual Mileage       _______      _______      _______

Automatic Seat Belt      _______      _______      _______

Air Bag                  _______      _______      _______

Anti-Lock Brakes         _______      _______      _______

Good Grades for

  Students               _______      _______      _______

Auto and Homeowners

  Coverage with the

  Same Company           _______      _______      _______

College Students

  Away From Home

  Without a Car          _______      _______      _______

OTHER DISCOUNTS:

_______________          _______      _______      _______

_______________          _______      _______      _______

_______________          _______      _______      _______

_______________          _______      _______      _______

YOU CAN REACH YOUR STATE INSURANCE DEPARTMENT AT:

AL:  205-269-3550

AK:  907-465-2515

AS:  684-633-4116

AZ:  602-255-5400

AR:  501-686-2900

CA:  800-927-4357

CO:  303-894-7499

CT:  203-297-3800

DE:  800-282-8611

DC:  202-727-8002

FL:  800-342-2762

GA:  404-656-2056

GU:  671-477-5144

HI:  800-468-4644

ID:  208-334-2250

IL:  217-782-4515

IN:  800-622-4461

IA:  515-281-5705

KS:  800-432-2484

KY:  502-564-3630

LA:  504-342-5900

ME:  207-582-8707

MD:  800-492-6116

MA:  617-727-3357

MI:  517-373-9273

MN:  800-652-9747

MS:  601-359-3569

MO:  314-751-2640

MT:  800-332-6148

NE:  402-471-2201

NV:  800-992-0900

NH:  800-852-3416

NJ:  609-292-5363

NM:  505-827-4500

NY:  212-602-0203

NC:  800-662-7777

ND:  800-247-0560

OH:  800-686-1526

OK:  405-521-2828

OR:  503-378-4271

PA:  717-787-5173

PR:  809-722-8686

RI:  401-277-2223

SC:  803-737-6117

SD:  605-773-3563

TN:  800-342-4029

TX:  512-463-6464

UT:  801-530-6400

VT:  802-828-3301

VI:  809-774-2991

VA:  800-552-7945

WA:  800-562-6900

WV:  800-642-9004

WI:  800-236-8517

WY:  307-777-7401

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL THE NATIONAL INSURANCE

CONSUMER HELPLINE (NICH) AT 1-800-942-4242

 

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