Mortgage/rent, groceries, savings, insurance... these are the non-negotiable expenses in someone's monthly budget. And let's face it, most of us aren't exactly thrilled to shell out a portion of our hard-earned money for insurance -- especially car insurance.

The fact of the matter is, many of us pay our car insurance premiums diligently every month -- and never actually have to use it. We don't get into any major accidents -- and small scuffs from taking a curb too close simply aren't worth filing a claim for.

This may come as a surprise, but as an insurance company, we 're on your side, and want you to get a good deal on car insurance! Here are five tips to help you win big when it comes to car insurance:

1. Bundle, Bundle, Bundle

As you know by now, you save money when you buy multiple policies with an agency. Bundling homeowner's, life and car insurance policies can typically save you anywhere from 10-15%.

2. Raise Your Deductible

Did you know that increasing your deductible from $500 to $1000 could save you as much as 20%? That's $200 off a $1,000/year policy. Usually, it's better for your wallet to pocket the savings from a higher deductible and just pay a little more out of pocket in the event of an accident.

3. Ask for Discounts

Did you know many insurance companies offer discounts for good grades? Special rates for teachers, active military or medical personnel? Savings for going a certain amount of time without any tickets? Ask your agent what kinds of deals they offer -- you may be surprised by what you qualify for!

4. Drive Less

It's basic statistics here, but obviously, the less time you spend on the road, the less likely you are to get into an accident. Plus, less driving means less wear and tear on your car. Insurance companies recognize this, and some even give low mileage discounts! If you log less than 10,000 miles annually, you may qualify for this kind of discount.

5. Be a Good Driver

Remember how you drove for your driving test? Let's get back to that: stopping at stop signs, not running "rello" lights, not weaving erratically on the highway and never texting while driving.

If you think you're a good driver, ask your insurance company about a plug-in diagnostic for your car. This device fits below the dashboard and analyzes your driving habits, looking for things such as making complete stops and driving the speed limit. If you "pass" the test, you get a discount on your policy.

So give your insurance agent a call today to talk about ways you can save!

Source: Consumer Reports.

Photo Credits: 1. Calculate Car Costs by Pictures of Money | 2. Group of teenagers and a teacher using a laptop together by Maria Belhassan | 3. 20100321 Car Accident 004 by John

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