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4 Ways to Great Auto Insurance Deals

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By Brian O'Connell

There�s a lot more to getting the best auto insurance deals than listening to talking geckos. Knowing the ropes � especially the secret deals you can cut with insurers for your business � is all in the details.

Of course, the amount you pay in car insurance largely depends on your driving record, your credit score and where you live. According to Insurance.com, the lowest U.S. state averages can be found in Wisconsin or Iowa. The highest auto insurance rates are found in � big surprise � New Jersey.

No matter where you live, let's figure out some good ways to save money when you�re in the market for auto insurance.

Loyalty is a two-way street. Actually, when it comes your auto insurance deal, it�s a one-way street. So, if you�ve been with your auto insurer for five years, or even two or three years, see what kind of deal they�ll offer to keep your business. Test it by asking your insurer to beat the best deal you find out in the marketplace.

Ask and you shall receive. Insurers will cut all kinds of deals if you agree to play ball. For instance, if you manage your account online, or agree to pay your annual insurance debt in one payment, rather than in a series of monthly payments, you can cut 10% or more off your bill. But you have to ask.

Keep it clean. A clean payment record is just as important as a clean driving record. Any delinquencies, late payments or collections activity will show up on a special insurance credit score that insurers use to grade your payment reliability. Fair Isaacs Corp. (Stock Quote: FIC) sells the scores to insurers (but not to consumers). So treat insurance payments with the same importance as your mortgage or your credit card payments.

Local hero. If your commute to work is only a few miles, or you don�t drive long distances as a rule, ask insurers about a low mileage discount. It only stands to reason that if you drive less, you should be charged less for insurance. Chances are, the insurer will have an over/under number that, if you don�t exceed it, could earn you a discount.

These tips are just for starters. You can also benefit by not settling for the first quote you�re given, reducing your insurance on your second-car, fortifying your car with the latest safety features, and trying to keep your claims low. Oh, and it doesn�t hurt to be married � insurers like the perceived stability.

Any or all of the above tips will save you money on your auto insurance � and not a gecko in sight.

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