Common Cents
Mar/Apr 2009 Issue

Get the most for your auto insurance dollar

The shaky economy has consumers searching for ways to cut costs and save money. Fortunately, there are a number of proven ways to save on auto insurance, including the following tips.

Ask for a higher deductible. Your deductible represents the amount of money you pay before your insurance policy kicks in when you have a claim. By requesting higher deductibles, you may be able to lower your costs substantially.

Before you buy a car, compare insurance costs. If you are in the market for a new car, get an insurance quote before you buy. Your premium is based in part on the vehicle’s sticker price, the cost to repair it, its safety record and the likelihood of theft, so some cars will cost less to insure. Many insurers offer discounts for features that reduce the risk of injuries or theft, such as air bags and anti-theft devices.
Reduce coverage on older cars. Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverage on older cars. It does not make sense to pay comprehensive or collision on a car worth less than $1,000 as any claim payment you receive would not substantially exceed your premiums, minus the deductible. Auto dealers and banks can tell you the worth of a car, or visit the automotive section of where you can find National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) pricing guides.

Buy your homeowners and auto coverage from the same insurer. Many insurers give discounts if you buy two or more types of insurance from them. Also, you may get a reduction if you have multiple vehicles insured with the same insurance company.

Maintain good credit. Your credit rating may affect what you pay for insurance (along with the cost and availability to finance the purchase of the car), so keep a close eye on it.

Seek out discounts. Companies offer discounts to policy holders who have not had any accidents or moving violations for a number of years. And discounts are usually offered for students who have good grades and motorists who drive a low number of miles per year.

For more information on auto insurance, call or stop by your local AAA insurance agency or visit



In a tough economy, save with AAA

Tough economic times call for savvy saving strategies, and AAA’s Show Your Card & Save® program can help members save the price of their membership and more on a wide range of products and services from sunglasses to shoes and hotel rooms to hats.

AAA has a host of retail partners that offer discounts on clothes, jewelry, books, computers and more. For instance, you can save 20 percent off your entire purchase at Reebok® and Rockport® Outlets and 10 percent off your online purchase at Target by visiting You can also receive 30 percent off complete eye wear and sunglasses at LensCrafters®, Pearle Vision®, Sears Optical® and Target Optical®.

Travelers can save hundreds on their trips with an array of AAA discounts. Save up to 20 percent on Hertz rental cars. Plus, receive the best rate at any of AAA’s lodging partners, including top hotel chains like Marriott, Hilton Renaissance and more. Simply call the lodging hotline at (866) AAA-SAVE (866-222-7283) or click on

If theme parks are in your vacation plans, save on tickets, dining and souvenirs at some of your favorite parks, including Six Flags, SeaWorld, Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and more. Buy theme park tickets and discounted movie theater tickets online at

For special spring discounts, like a CHOICE™ package discount from DIRECTV, visit


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