Connecticut Better Business Bureau says you may be able to save money on automobile insurance premiums and deductibles while still maintaining needed coverage.
“Insurance policies have many variables,” notes Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti. “It is possible for consumers to bring down the cost of their automobile insurance by reviewing their policies, changing some options and making insurance-friendly decisions when they purchase their next vehicle.”
The insurance industry has become extremely competitive in recent years and offers consumers a variety of coverage options at different prices. Consumers can save money on these options by comparison shopping. Aside from referrals from friends, the Connecticut Insurance Department provides a list of qualified companies and agents.
The main types of coverage for legal costs, expenses and claims include:
Bodily injury liability – If your car injures or kills someone.
Property damage liability - If your car damages someone’s property.
Medical payments or personal injury protection - If you or others riding in your car are injured
Collision protection - This covers repairs to your car caused by collision with another vehicle or other object, regardless of who was responsible.
Comprehensive physical damage - Damage to your car resulting from theft, fire, hail, vandalism or a variety of other causes.
Uninsured or under-insured motorist - Pays for costs related to injuries or property damage to you or passengers caused by an uninsured, under-insured or hit-and-run driver.
Consumers can save money by increasing their deductible or doing away with collision or comprehensive coverage on older cars. Other things to consider:
•Buy cars with low “profile” or low maintenance costs. Cars that are expensive to repair often are favorite targets for thieves, as well as some popular recent models.
•Consider your mileage. If you don’t drive much or don’t use your vehicle for work you may be able to save.
•Automatic seat belt or airbag discounts.
•Anti-lock brake discounts.
•Discounts for other reasons, such as an accident-free record for three years or longer, drivers’ age, driver training, anti-theft devices, students’ grades or having more than one car insured with the company.
Note that specialty coverage, such as towing or car rental reimbursement may add to your costs.
Although it is easy to simply renew an existing policy, it’s wise to check with other insurers from time to time to determine whether your insurer’s rates are reasonable. Ask your insurance company if you can save money by getting policies for your home or other coverage along with your car insurance. However, make sure the costs for those policies are reasonable as well.
More information on buying insurance is available from the BBB website, the Insurance Information Institute, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners or the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Before you do business with any company, check its BBB Business Review at http://www.bbb.org, by calling 203-269-2700.