Tracking programs can trim your car insurance costs

Consumer Reports says beware over-insuring an old vehicle

Drivers continue to feel the pain of high car insurance costs. As premiums rise faster than inflation, Consumer Reports says there are some ways to trim those premiums.

First, raise your deductible and cancel coverage you don’t need. A $1,000 deductible compared to $500 might sound like a lot, but it could reduce your premium by more than 10%.

And if your car is older, consider canceling collision and comprehensive altogether, because you could end up paying more than you would get back in repair or replacement costs.

If your car’s current value is low, you probably don’t need to be paying for these extra coverages.

Consider tracking. Programs like State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save Connected Car and Progressive’s Snapshot use technology to track your driving habits.

Many drivers will get a discount right out of the gate, but there’s something to keep in mind.

“You’re looking at a privacy trade-off. So if you’re willing to give up some of these details about where you’re going and how you’re driving, how often you’re driving, then you might see some benefit. But if you don’t want the insurer riding shotgun with you, then you might say no to some of these programs,” said Consumer Reports’ Kaveh Waddle.

Even if you don’t want to get tracked, being a safe driver will still reap rewards. Even one driving violation or insurance claim can quickly raise your rates.

And if you don’t think you’re getting a good deal with your current auto insurer, shop around. Two auto insurers have consistently landed in the top tier of Consumer Reports’ ratings: Amica Mutual Group and USAA Group.

Consumer Reports also reminds car owners that in general, the more expensive the car, the higher the premium because expensive cars cost more to repair and replace, so be sure to keep that in mind when buying your next car.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.