AUTO INSURANCE


Reshop Your Insurance in 2012

Reshop auto coverage whenever you have a life change -- say, when you move, get married or divorced, add a teenage driver, or buy a new car. Auto insurers have different underwriting sweet spots. The company that offers the best deal for a couple, for example, may not offer the best rate when you add a teenage driver.

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Raising your deductibles can lower your premiums and keep you from filing small claims that could cost you a claims-free discount. For example, boosting your deductible from $200 to $500 can reduce your collision and comprehensive auto insurance premiums by 15% to 30%; raising it to $1,000 can save you 40% or more.

Don’t overlook discounts, either. Each insurer is different, but tell the company if your teenager maintains a B average in high school or college, moves away for college without the car, or takes a defensive-driving course. Also let the insurer know if you switch jobs and have a shorter commute, or you retire and no longer commute at all. To get price quotes for auto insurance, go to www.insweb.com or www.insurance.com, or go to insurers’ Web sites, such as www.allstate.com, www.statefarm.com, www.progressive.com and www.geico.com. And you can find an independent agent at www.iiaba.net.

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Boost your home insurance deductible from $500 to $1,000 and you could reduce your premiums by up to 25%. Take advantage of discounts: Let your home insurer know if you install an alarm system or an automatic backup generator, or if you add storm-proof shutters or make other weather-related renovations. Those could trim your premiums by 5% to 10% each. And don’t overlook the price break -- typically 10% on each policy -- if you have auto and homeowners policies with the same insurer.

Life insurance rates have plummeted over the past decade, and you may now find a lower-cost policy even if you’re older. Ten years ago, it wasn’t unusual for a 40-year-old man to pay $670 per year for a $500,000 20-year term-insurance policy. Today, at age 50, he could buy a ten-year term policy for just $485, if he’s healthy. You can get term insurance rates from dozens of companies at www.accuquote.com and www.lifequotes.com.

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