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The High-IQ Car Insurance Discount





You pay less on car insurance if you have a clean driving record, drive a sensible and safe car, and are well past your teen years. That only makes sense.

But there are some other ways to save, too. The thousands of dollars you just spent on a high-tech collision avoidance system won't get you a discount -- but being a Tri-Delt just might.

Insurers offer scores of extra discounts, some of which have nothing to do with your age, your car or the fact that you've avoided speeding tickets. The opportunities to save vary by company and state. Keep your eyes open for surprising deals, but don't lose sight of the bottom line.

"Discounts sound good, but you have to look at the bigger picture of how much the total premium is going to be," says CarInsurance.com consumer analyst Penny Gusner.

You might qualify for a 10 percent discount at one company, but actually save more by going with an insurer that offers coverage at an even lower base price. Also, some insurers that offer multiple discounts cap the total percentage you can save, Gusner says. And you should look closely at the coverage itself to make sure it provides what you need. (See "7 gotchas of cheap car insurance.")

Bearing all that in mind, here are six weird ways to save. (Be sure to check out CarInsurance.com's guide to car insurance discounts, too.)

Get engaged

Married couples generally have lower car insurance rates than single people, as long as they're good drivers. But Country Financial offers a discount of up to 30 percent even before the lovebirds get to the altar.

You can qualify if you're engaged to be married within the next 12 months and you're between ages 21 and 29.  You can still get the discount even if your other half doesn't have Country Financial insurance. The discount, available in 16 states where the insurer does business, is designed to reflect the lower risk of loss from someone who goes from being single to engaged, Country Financial spokesperson Jeff Muniz says.

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