Turn on the television and within 30 minutes you will probably see at least one advertisement for automobile insurance. Each of them promises better protection, better service, and faster claims service. With automobile insurance mandatory in most states, you know you have to buy it. Sorting through the advertising jargon to discover what is the best deal for you is time-consuming and confusing. Here are five quick tips you can use to save money and protect yourself in case you are in a wreck.

  1. Determine how much coverage you need. Many states do not require full coverage insurance if the vehicle does not have a lien. Full coverage covers your vehicle from any damage. Collision insurance only covers you when you have a wreck. If you have an older car that is mostly used as a backup, you may want to see what type of coverage you have and purchase a cheaper option.

  2. Shop around. It’s easy to get caught up in flashy television ads with cute spokespeople and funny taglines. But if you simply sign up for the company with the best commercial, you may miss some savings offered by a local insurance agent. Get updated quotes and check in with your agent from time-to-time to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

  3. Compare apples to apples. An agent tells you he can offer you coverage for $50 less a month. That sounds great but does it include all of the benefits you have with your current policy? You may find a cheaper policy but it might not have all the amenities you need, like a rental car in case of a wreck. Your deductible may also be higher with the “cheaper” policy. Be sure you’re comparing things equally or understand the differences in the offers.

  4. Check for discounts and money-saving programs. Many insurers offer discounts for owners who only drive their vehicle 10,000 miles or less in the course of a year. Ask about safe driver programs that give you money back if you go without a wreck for a designated time period. For parents with teen drivers, ask about a discount for driver’s education classes. You may also save money by bundling your auto insurance with other products such as your home insurance.

You’ll likely find extra cash every month in your pocket by taking advantage of these savings tips on your car insurance!