3 ways to drive down your car insurance

drive_down_insurance.top.jpg By Ismat Sarah Mangla, writer


(MONEY Magazine) -- Fed up with the rising costs of driving your car? Here are tips to lower how much you pay for car insurance.

1. Get a new kind of plan

The scoop: You install a device in your car that monitors how much you drive, plus your acceleration and braking habits.

The fewer miles (and the more safely) you drive, the lower your premium and your gas consumption -- no small matter these days.

Pay-as-you-drive plans are available from large insurers such as GMAC and Progressive in 35 states and counting.

Do this: Call your insurer or visit your state insurance regulator's website to see whether you can apply.

Your savings: Up to 30% if you drive less than 15,000 miles a year.

2. Raise your credit score

The scoop: Most insurers now use a credit-based score to set rates for new customers.

"People with higher scores tend to make fewer and smaller claims," says Steven Weisbart, chief economist at the Insurance Information Institute. But if your score goes up, your insurer won't automatically lower your rate.

Do this: Once you've upped your credit score (see cnnmoney.com/creditscore for tips), call your insurer and ask it to lower your premium.

Your savings: A driver with a top score could pay a couple hundred dollars less a year than one with a so-so score, according to comparison site Insweb.com.

3. Call the other guys

The scoop: The average car insurance premium has risen 5% in the past two years. But there's lots of variation in how much different insurers will charge a given driver, says Weisbart.

Do this: Check quotes online or call an independent agent (find one at iiaba.net).

Your savings: Up to 35%. A 45-year-old male driver, for example, could save as much as $460 a year by swapping insurers, according to Insweb.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.36%4.24%
15 yr fixed3.39%3.26%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.27%
30 yr refi4.34%4.22%
15 yr refi3.38%3.24%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 11:44pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 58.94 0.00 0.00%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.00 0.00%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.19 -0.02 -0.09%
Micron Technology In... 23.91 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Apr 17

Sections

General Mills has scrapped a controversial change to its fine print that some read as eliminating customers' right to sue the company. More

Obamacare sign ups hit 8 million, though final enrollment remains to be seen. More

Office for iPad move is a symbolic victory for Nadella's Microsoft, but the company is still weighed down by many of the same old issues. More

Schwinn, Trek and Cannondale are all iconic American bicycle brands. But none of them are made in the United States. More

As Detroit moves closer to reaching a bankruptcy deal, retired civilian workers are poised to be left worse off than firemen and police officers. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.