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More Bang For Your Buck: Pt. II - Insurance

WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - It seems everything is more expensive these days; and for many, their take home pay isn't going up at all.

Newschannel 3 is devoting the week to helping you find ways to save, from your cable bill to your grocery bill, and everything in between.

Tuesday night, we look at how you can save a few dollars--or maybe even hundreds of dollars--on auto and homeowner's insurance.

Many of us are familiar with the good student driver discount, or the multi-car discount, but there are dozens of other ways you can cut down on those bills.

Before you renew your policy, check out some of the suggestions our experts have for you--they could go a long way.

Insurance companies are constantly trying to reel in new customers with catchy commercials.

But how do you know if you're getting the best price?

You can call around from agent to agent, or you could find an independent company that represents multiple groups to do the work for you.

"We have the capability to quote all of our companies at once actually in a comparative rating system," explained Rachel Doxey, with the Ron Jackson Insurance Agency.

Doxey says with some basic information, an independent group can tell you which company can give you the best bang for your buck.

Many people bundle their Internet and TV--try bundling your insurance.

"If you bundle your home and auto together, some home companies will give you up to a 25 percent discount," Doxey said. "*Auto insurance rates will reduce as well. You could save a couple hundred dollars a year, if not more."

Belonging to a group--like an alumni association, credit union, AARP, or the Chamber of Commerce can also save you a few dollars.

"You want to buy the best coverage you can for the dollar you can afford," Doxey said.

She also suggests you consider increasing your deductible.

Being willing to pay $500 dollars on a claim, instead of $100 could save you hundreds of dollars a year on your premiums.

And if you can afford to pay your premium in full, you can typically get a discount.

Or if you need to pay monthly, try setting up an EFT--electronic funds transfer. This will allow the money to be taken directly out of your bank account so you can avoid the company's billing fee.

"Anywhere between four and eight dollars a month just to get a bill in the mail," Doxey said.

Finally, when you're considering buying a house or a new car, you might want to put a call into your insurance company.

If you're stuck between two cars, an agent can give you a better idea of how much it will cost to insure that car, and that could sway your opinion.

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