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In 2009, Saving Money Outweighs the Battle of the Bulge for New Year’s Resolutions


Survey says more than 80 percent of people are resolving to save money due to the economy, but many overlook shopping for car insurance as a way to save big bucks.

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio . — It’s resolution season. And in today’s unstable economy, people are resolving to trim more than just their waistlines; they plan to trim their budgets. According to a recent survey by leading car insurer, Progressive, more people are resolving to save money in 2009 than in 2008. In fact, those surveyed chose “save money” over other perennial resolutions like losing weight, quitting smoking, or getting a new job.

So how are people planning to keep that resolution? By doing typical things like cutting unnecessary costs and controlling household finances. More than 80 percent plan to eliminate nonessential items such as dining out, movies, and vacations, while nearly half (47 percent) will clip coupons.

“When trying to save money, people sometimes forget about things they might consider to be ’fixed’ costs, like car insurance. Few realize just how much they could save by shopping around and comparing rates,” said Rick Crawley, insurance expert for Progressive. “One in four people surveyed mistakenly believe that all car insurers charge the same rates when, in fact, people who switched to Progressive in the summer of 2007 reported saving over $350 on their annual premium.”

There are other ways to save money that also have “green” benefits, which men lead women in, according to the survey: they’re more likely to take public transportation (14 percent versus 8 percent), carpool (14 percent versus 11 percent), or drive a more fuel-efficient car (16 percent versus 9 percent).

But no matter how they’re getting around, car insurance is a necessary expense for many and an easy place to start saving. In addition to shopping around, Progressive offers these tips to help people manage their car insurance costs in the New Year:

Make sure your policy is up to date. If you’ve moved, gotten married, or bought a home, check with your insurance company — you may be eligible for lower rates.

Raise your deductibles. According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductibles to $500 could reduce your Collision and Comprehensive costs by 15 to 30 percent.

Research before you buy. Before you buy a new car, research what it will cost to insure. Generally, smaller cars with lower horsepower are less expensive to cover.

Check coverages. Owners of older or inexpensive cars could consider dropping Comprehensive and Collision coverages. Doing that can save hundreds of dollars each year.

Check for available discounts. You might also be eligible for discounts if you pay in full, are a loyal customer, sign up for paperless billing, list another car on your policy, and more.


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