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Real Money: How to Save on Auto, Home Insurance

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-10_df6659d668.jpgABC News (ATLANTA) -- Paul and Sue Rodman of Atlanta are parents to three energetic boys. The oldest, Nicholas, is on the verge of getting his driver’s license, which will cost the family an estimated extra $700 a year in insurance payments on top of the $2,323 they are already paying annually for auto and home insurance.

Paul Rodman has been with his insurance company since he was 16, so he’s been covered by the same insurer for over 30 years.  According to consumer expert Clark Howard, that doesn’t count for much.

“The insurers in many cases -- this is going to stun you -- penalize you if you become a hyper-loyal person,” Howard said. “Because they know you’re so loyal to them and you’re so adverse to change, they’re going to push rates up on you,” said Howard.

That means those rates will keep going up if you don’t shop around.  Howard suggests finding out what other providers are charging and to compare quotes.

Websites including Bankrate.com help users compare auto and home insurance prices by entering your information.

When the Rodmans tried the website out, they found that the lowest insurance rate was $918.80 and the highest was $1,817.

Tip 1: Avoid rising rates. To avoid rising rates, Howard says shop around every three years for better insurance rates.

Tip 2: Never make small claims. Making a small claim stays on record for three to five years and raises rates by at least 10 percent.

Tip 3: Raise deductibles. Howard suggests instead of making a small claim, raise the deductibles to about $1,000 for a car and $5,000 for a home.

Tip 4: Ask for deductions.  For example, 16-year-old Nicholas Rodman could save 30 percent by taking a driving class and getting good grades. And the Rodman’s could save an additional 30 percent by installing a GPS device, offered by many insurers. It monitors speed and grants rewards for safe driving.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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