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Connecticut BBB Offers Tips to Lower Auto Insurance Cost

Connecticut Better Business Bureau says you may be able to save money on automobile insurance premiums and deductibles while still maintaining needed coverage.

Simple Checklist Helps you Make Sure you Have Required Coverage

Wallingford, CT – September 17, 2012 – 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 bbb.org, by calling 203-269-2700.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tamara September 18, 2012 at 10:36 AM
Make sure you seek the guidance of your local, trusted independent insurance agent to ensure you're properly protected!
David Rivero September 18, 2012 at 11:15 AM
We were paying 2400 per year with Geico for 2 cars. We made a switch to Amica with the same coverage for 1200 per year. What I have noticed is that when you first sign up with a new agency the rate is low, but over time it starts to creep up. Geico was clearly ripping us off. So, it is probaly a good idea to switch every 5 years or so to keep these company's in check.
Jim G. September 18, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Insurance companies vary as to their preferred customer base. You have to find one that has optimized its rates and service for your group - old, young, good driver, high-risk driver, etc. First, ignore the ads. Most companies that advertise extensively are looking for a particular customer base and you may not be it. Second, shop around - unless you're really satisfied with your provider, shop around every year. Third, call one or more independent insurance brokers for a range of quotes; they can locate little-known companies that have excellent rates for your group. And fourth, consider more than just rates. Exceptional service, added services and things like a truly local agent or claims bureau may be worth a few more dollars a year.
Jon September 18, 2012 at 02:26 PM
David, your savings could have been that much with other companies as well. Your "situation" could be quite differnet toady that allowed your rates to come in much lower. That also could change in 5 years and come even lower or higher. It seems that while you were with Geico your rate was set some time ago and went up from there. I bet if you went and got a quote from Geico, today, the rates would have come as low as with Amica. As Tamara mentioned, it is a valuable asset to use a "local, trusted independent insurance agent". They have access to many differnet companies and have the knowledge to make sure that you are properly covered.

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