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Getting the Most Mileage from Auto Insurance

When buying car insurance, it's important to strike the right balance between saving money and get the right amount of coverage to protect yourself. Finding that balance will depend on your driving record, your coverage needs and how good you are at doing a little research.

Here are five tips to get you started:

1. Shop around: The price of coverage you'll get varies greatly from provider to provider, sometimes by hundreds of dollars or more. The reason for the variation lies in differences among the rating systems used to price your policy. Different systems weigh the relative impact of factors such as your age, marital status and driving history. While a history of reckless driving will likely boost your premiums across the board, the rise won't be equal among each provider.

Start your search at's Insurance Center to find quotes from industry leaders, such as Allstate (ALL - Get Report), Progressive (PGR - Get Report) and Nationwide (NFS). By getting as many rate quotes as possible, you'll increase your chances of getting the best coverage at the best price.

2. Adjust your coverage levels: The minimum requirement for insurance coverage varies from state to state. Check this list to see what your state requires. For coverage components such as personal liability, you can't lower your coverage below the minimum limit, but you may want to consider raising it higher in order to protect your personal assets if there's ever a claim against you. Alternatively, by raising the deductible on the collision and comprehensive components of your policy, you can lower your premium since you're agreeing to take on more of the costs should an accident occur.
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