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Changing Driving Habits Can Lead to Car Insurance Savings

Most Americans are driving less in order to save money on gas. However, decreasing the time you spend in your car can actually make you eligible for another savings opportunity, paying less for your car insurance. If you’ve cut back on your driving, it’s a good idea to contact your agent.

Consumers who are making greater use of public transportation or participating in car pools should contact their insurance company, because significantly reducing the number of miles driven each week could lower the cost of their auto insurance premiums.

Many companies offer low mileage discounts to motorists who drive fewer than 7,000 miles a year. Even though each insurance company calculates rates differently, they all consider how many miles a motorist drives because the risk of an accident increases the more time you spend behind the wheel.

However, decreasing the risk of accidents isn’t the only benefit to driving less. The money you can potentially save on premiums is significant. A motorist who drops from the average of 15,000 miles driven per year to 8,000 miles could qualify for a 5 percent premium discount. A driver who goes from 15,000 miles per year down to 5,000 could possibly receive a 15 percent discount. Keep in mind that your insurance carrier may ask for an annual odometer reading to calculate annual mileage.

The Insurance Information Institute noted some other ways drivers could save on auto insurance rates. SUV and truck owners who exchange their vehicles for a more fuel-efficient car might also reduce their auto insurance costs. Premiums are generally lower for a $30,000 mid-size sedan than for a large $60,000 SUV. Besides sticker price, an insurance company will determine the coverage rate for an individual vehicle based on factors such as the cost to repair it, its overall safety record and the likelihood that it will be stolen.

Drivers can also lower their auto insurance premiums by taking a higher deductible, maintaining good credit, and dropping unnecessary coverages. If you insure your boat, RV, or motorcycle with the same company, you may qualify for an extra discount on your auto coverage.