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5 Tips to Help You Save Money on Car Insurance

The following Consumer Reports press release has useful tips to help you save money on car insurance.

Consumer Reports Survey: More Than 28,000 Claim Filers Rate 22 Popular Car Insurance Companies

NJM Insurance Group, USAA Group, Amica Mutual Group, and Auto-Owners Insurance Group of Companies among the best.

YONKERS, N.Y., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Dealing with a car insurance claim can be a hassle, especially after an accident when consumers really need good customer service and a fast response. A Consumer Reports’ reader survey revealed 86 percent of readers who filed were highly satisfied with the handling of their claims among 22 insurance companies. The article can be found on

Consumer Reports car insurance survey reader scores for claims-related problems and timely payment are based on the experiences of 28,241 respondents who filed claims that were settled or rejected from January 2006 to June 2009. The score reflects overall satisfaction with claims handling. A score of 100 would mean all readers were completely satisfied; 80, very satisfied, on average; 60, fairly well satisfied.

Availability for some insurers is limited by region or policyholder eligibility rules. All 22 rated companies scored well with an 81 or higher, but some did better than others. Among the highest-rated were NJM Insurance Group (New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company), USAA Group, Amica Mutual Group, and Auto-Owners Insurance Group of Companies, with overall satisfaction scores of 92 or higher. Customers for all four companies had relatively few problems with their claims.

Overall consumers indicated that 25 percent of claims took more than two weeks for payment to be received.

Saving on car insurance is not only a matter of finding the lowest premium, there are number of issues to consider. To help consumers find the right policy at the right coverage for the best price, Consumer Reports October issue has more than 10 tips to help you save money on car insurance. Here are few highlights:

  • Do an annual rate check. Check rates from other insurers annually to make sure you’re getting the best deal. But if you’ve been with the same insurer for a long time, it might be tough to beat its rates. That’s one reason shopping around didn’t pay off for our survey respondents: More than 60 percent have been with the same carrier for 10 or more years.
  • Report reduced mileage. A major cost component in auto insurance is miles driven per year. The average is about 12,000. But if you’ve changed jobs and commute fewer miles, the lower mileage might translate into lower premiums. A new job that’s only 6 miles closer than your old one could reduce your annual commuting miles by 3,000 and cut your annual premium by $50. Let your insurer know if you’ve retired or lost your job; your reduced driving could cut 5 to 10 percent off your premiums.
  • Choose your car wisely. Insurance premiums will vary by auto model. When comparing models, ask your car dealer to show you the “Relative Collision Insurance Cost Information Booklet,” produced annually by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Highway Loss Data Institute also posts data on collision, bodily injury and property-damage liability, and other types of losses by vehicle model. Or ask your insurer for premium quotes on the different models under consideration.
  • Set the deductible right. A higher deductible reduces your premium because you pay more out of pocket if you have a claim. Hiking your deductible from $200 to $500 can cut your premium on collision by 15 to 30 percent. Go to $1,000 and you could save 40 percent. If you have a good driving record and haven’t had an at-fault accident in years, if ever, opting for a higher deductible on collision might be a good bet. Just make sure you can afford to pay it if your luck runs out
  • Manage teenage-driver risk. Teenage drivers have higher accident rates, so adding a teenager to your policy can hike your costs by 50 to 100 percent. Immaturity and lack of driving experience help make motor-vehicle crashes the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers. You can protect your child and cut your rates, by making him or her take a driving course before getting a license. Consider having your teenager wait until age 18 or 19 to get a license, instead of the usual 16 in most states or as young as 14 in some. Inform your insurer if the child isn’t licensed or is away at college without a car.

More money saving tips and the full results on how all the 22 car insurance companies stacked up, in Consumer Reports‘ survey are available in the October issue on newsstands September 7 and online at


The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is published by Consumers Union, an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves.  We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®,® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumers Union will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.

SOURCE Consumer Reports

Remember, understanding the policy you purchase is your responsibility. We encourage you to ask your insurance agent or representative specific questions about your coverage, including:

  • Is rental car coverage included? If not, how much will it cost to add it, and what is the coverage amount. ( Full Coverage insurance normally does NOT include coverage for a rental car if you are in accident and need something to drive. )
  • How do I know if I am purchasing the right coverages for me?
  • Will this policy pay for original equipment parts ( parts made by the manufacturer of your vehicle ) in the event I’m in an accident? ( Most policies only cover “like kind and quality” parts which are recycled, used, salvaged, reconditioned or parts not made by your vehicle manufactuer. )

Feel free to call us first whenever you have a car related question – we’re here to help.

Happy Motoring,


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