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When it comes to car insurance, a little research + the right questions = money in your pocket.

Rates can differ widely from company to company, so it pays to shop around. Independent insurance agents represent more than one insurance company, so they can compare multiple carriers and policies to find the one that’s right for you.

In addition to shopping around, there are other steps you can take to lower your insurance rate.

Is your policy up to date? If you’ve moved, gotten married or if it has been at least three years since your last driving violation, check with your independent insurance agent or broker. You may be eligible for a rate reduction.

Is your coverage right for your car? Owners of older or inexpensive cars should consider dropping comprehensive and collision coverages. That can often save hundreds of dollars each year.

Know before you buy. Before you buy a new car, research what it will cost to insure. Generally, smaller cars with lower horsepower are less expensive to insure.

Do you carry excess coverage? Many auto insurers give you the option to add rental coverage to your policy, which pays for a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. While conditions and costs vary from company to company, it may be unnecessary if you can find other transportation.

Raise your deductible. According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your Collision and Comprehensive costs by 15 to 20 percent. Your agent can show you how raising your deductible can lower your premium.

Do you qualify for any discounts? Ask your independent agent whether any of the carriers he or she represents offer reduced premiums for certain car features like anti-lock brakes.

Are your policies all “bundled” with the same company? This may not be best for you. Your independent agent is uniquely qualified to quote your policies with “best-in-class” carriers that offer specialized coverages and services. “Unbundling” your policies might save you a bundle!

To learn more, talk to your local independent insurance agent at

Article courtesy of Progressive Insurance. © Progressive Insurance, all rights reserved.

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