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DAYS TO SAVE - Save Money Insuring Your Vehicle on Car Insurance Day!

Feb 1st is Car Insurance day! What better time to take a close look at the coverage for your vehicle? Are you paying too much? Do you have more coverage than you need? THE SCHOOL BELL with Linda Bell has some tips to how to make smart decisions when insuring your car.

Man driving a Car


Figure out what kind of coverage you need. Minimum insurance requirements vary from state to state. The Insurance Information Institute says nearly every state requires car owners to carry body injury liability and property damage liability. Consider getting collision and comprehensive coverage if you want to repair or replace your car after an accident.


Review your car insurance policy every year to see if the coverage still meets your needs. Life changing events should prompt you to evaluate coverage even sooner. Have you moved? Got married? Purchased a car? A few years ago, my husband and I bought a car. We were good customers a particular insurance company for several years and assumed they would offer us a good deal for the additional car. After getting a quote from them, we did the smart thing and priced policies at other companies. After evaluating several quotes, we switched to another provider. For the same exact coverage, we ended up saving $500!


A study by auto insurance comparison website The Zebra found that who and where you are and what and how you drive plays a significant role in how much you pay for auto insurance. Based on various factors, The Zebra says you could pay as little as $560 or more than $36,900 annually for car insurance. That’s nearly a 6500% difference! So what's a consumer to do? Get at least three price quotes from different insurers. Websites such as NerdWallet allow you to compare quotes. Look at consumer reviews to help you make a decision. Your goal should be to buy the cheapest insurance and still receive adequate coverage and service.


Deductibles are what you pay before your insurance policy kicks in. Paying a higher deductible can lower your costs substantially. The Insurance Information Institute (III) says increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 can reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage costs by 15% to 30%. The III says raising your deductible to $1,000 can save you 40% more.


Your lifestyle, driving habits and policy management preferences can help lower your auto insurance. says bundling your home and auto insurance could save you as much as $500 depending where you live. Insurers also offer discounts that lower your risk: protection devices such as anti-lock brakes, alarms and airbags; defensive driving courses and a good credit record. Allstate's Drivewise program offers a 3% discount for signing up and 15% back after your first 50 trips and every six months thereafter for safe driving. Are you a student driver? State Farm says you can save up to 25% if you get good grades. The savings last after you graduate from college, until you turn 25. If you belong to one of the 800 groups on Geico's member and employee discounts page, you could qualify for a premium deduction.


If you have an older vehicle, it may not be worth carrying collision coverage. However, if you have a more expensive car or one that is relatively new, it may make sense to keep collision coverage. Check Kelley Blue Book to determine the value of your car. KBB says if your annual comprehensive/collision insurance premiums are more than 10% of the current value of your car, consider dropping the coverage. KBB says consumers file claims an average of every 11 years, so there's a good chance any claim payment you might receive down the road could be less than the comprehensive/collision premiums you paid.

The School Bell has rung! Class dismissed!

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