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 DES PLAINES, Ill., March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- It pays to be just as smart a buyer for car insurance as for the car itself.
 Consumers could save as much as 20 percent or more by knowing what to look for and the right questions to ask, says Lowell Beck, president of the National Association of Independent Insurers. NAII represents more than 560 property and casualty insurance companies nationwide.
 Some helpful tips offered by Beck:
 -- Shop around. The insurance business is intensely competitive, with more than 1,400 companies offering car insurance. One company's rates can be anywhere from $240 to $300 lower than some other company. Yet, studies show that the vast majority of consumers go to just one company or agent.
 -- Be sure to ask about all discounts available to drivers. Some could be: safe driving (no at-fault accidents in the last three to five years); multicar or homeowner/car insurance package; a student with good grades; completing drivers education or defensive driving courses.
 -- Discounts also often are offered for certain equipment on your car, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices.
 -- Ask about a higher deductible. Raising the deductible from $100 to $500 for collision coverage or from $50 to $250 for comprehensive could cut the premiums for those coverages by half in some instances. Bear in mind, however, that you will be paying out that money if you should happen to have an accident.
 -- Don't include optional coverage for medical payments if you already have good health insurance through your job.
 -- Don't insure an older car for collision damage if the cost to you would exceed the value of the car.
 -- Before buying a car, consult your insurance agent about the premiums on different cars. Certain models cost much more to insure than others because they are more expensive to replace and repair. Some also are more likely targets for thieves.
 -- Know which insurance coverages are mandatory and which are optional. Don't choose optional coverage that isn't appropriate for your particular situation.
 In all cases, it is wise to discuss all of these points thoroughly with several different agents or insurance company representatives to be sure you get the best buy.
 -0- 3/30/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Bradford of NAII, 708-297-7800/

CO: National Association of Independent Insurers ST: Illinois IN: AUT SU:

SM -- NYAFNS1 -- 0812 03/30/93 07:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 30, 1993

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