Changing Your Driving Habits Can Save You Money

In Light of Rising Gas Prices, I.I.I. Offers Tips to Reduce the Cost of Auto Insurance

INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE
Contact: Press Offices
New York: 212-346-5500; media@iii.org
Washington, D.C.: 202-833-1580

NEW YORK, June 13, 2008 - With gasoline prices soaring across the country, cost-conscious drivers who reduce the number of miles they drive or who exchange their SUVs for smaller cars may realize another financial bonus-lower auto insurance rates, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

"Driving less not only saves money at the pump, it may also cut auto insurance costs," said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I. "Consumers who reduce their driving by taking public transportation or car pooling should contact their insurance company, since significantly reducing the number of miles driven each week could lower the cost of auto insurance."

Those who are considering exchanging their large gas guzzling SUV or truck for a more fuel-efficient car may also reduce their auto insurance costs. Premiums are generally lower for a $30,000 mid-size sedan than for a large SUV, which can cost over $60,000. In addition to the sticker price of the car itself, an insurance company will rate an individual car based on many factors including the cost to repair it, its overall safety record and likelihood that the car will be stolen.

In recent years, some insurance companies have also started to charge more on the liability portion of an auto policy for large SUVs as these vehicles are capable of inflicting significant damage to other cars and their passengers.

Before purchasing a specific car, the I.I.I. recommends that consumers consider both insurance costs and the overall safety record of the car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates cars on a variety of safety features-for more information, visit the Vehicle Ratings area of the organization's Web site.

"Auto insurance is a highly competitive business and one of one of the most effective ways to reduce insurance costs is simply to shop around," pointed out Salvatore. "Drivers should look for an insurance company that will provide a good price along with excellent service."

After several years of flat or falling auto insurance rates, the average annual cost of auto insurance rose by just $8 to $9 in 2007, which is less than one half of 1 percent, well below the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, according to the I.I.I. Drivers with safe driving records will continue to get the best rates.

Other ways in which drivers can cut their auto insurance bill include taking a higher deductible, maintaining good credit, dropping unnecessary coverages and asking their insurance company about all available discounts.

Detailed information on how to save money on auto insurance can be found in the Auto section of the I.I.I. Web site.

The I.I.I. is a nonprofit, communications organization supported by the insurance industry.

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