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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Shop Around to Save on Car Insurance

LAS CRUCES -- High car insurance premiums can be a problem for many families, even tempting them to stop or cut down on their coverage. Shopping around and knowing what discounts to look for can help people save money, said a consumer education specialist with New Mexico State University.


"Researching different auto insurance companies takes time, but it can help you find the best deal for you and your family," said Susan Wright with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service.

One way to save money on auto insurance is to purchase a policy with a higher deductible, or the amount the policy holder pays before insurance covers the claim, Wright said. For example, paying the first $500 of a claim instead of $250 can reduce monthly premiums.

Another idea is to remove collision and comprehensive coverage on older cars that have so little value that they are not worth repairing.

"You'll end up paying more in monthly premiums on cars worth $1,000 or less than you would ever collect in a claim," Wright said. "Consider dropping all insurance but liability."

Some states offer discounts for cars with safety features like security systems, air bags, anti-lock brakes and automatic seat belts, she said.

Insurance is more expensive for young drivers, but parents may be able to reduce rates by having teenagers take driver's education classes, Wright said.

"If you're planning to buy an automobile, check insurance rates beforehand," she advised. "Factors such as frequency of auto theft and repair expenses on certain models can play a role in determining insurance rates."