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An insurance policy is just a promise that the company who issued it will offer you help and indemnity in the event of a loss. However, while many promises are free, automobile insurance is not. Furthermore, many states require you to have it to even drive your car on the public roads and many loan companies require insurance before you drive off the lot with a financed car.  Whether you pay a lot or a little, there are some ways you can reduce your car insurance bills even more.

Pay it in full. Most insurance companies offer you two options for payments: monthly installments or paying the policy in one lump sum. If you choose to make monthly payments, the company adds a convenience fee to each payment that can range from one to five dollars. Over the years, those fees add up. Consider paying in full each policy period to avoid unnecessary charges. If that’s not possible, ask your insurance company about automatic payments from your checking account because they often waive the fees if you sign up.

Invest in your safety. Many insurance companies also offer discounts for safety features on your car. Anti-lock brakes, multiple air bags and other safety equipment can lower your bills. If you also take a driver improvement or safety class approved by your company, you can see a substantial discount. Be prepared to show verification of these things if the company requests it.

Go to liability only coverage when you can. Liability coverage is coverage for damage you and your car cause to other people or property. If your state requires automobile insurance, this is the coverage it’s looking for you to carry. Physical damage coverage covers your car in the event of claim and is generally only required if you have a loan on the car. Once your car gets old enough that the cost of insuring it for physical damage outweighs its value, it’s time to drop to liability only, bringing your policy cost down with it.

Stop switching insurance companies every year. Although it’s possible to change insurance companies as much as you’d like, you should think twice before you do. Most companies offer some sort of discount for long term customers. If you can’t stay with your company, just make sure your switch doesn’t cause any gaps in your coverage. If you have continuous insurance, you often qualify for a discount when you switch to your new insurer.

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