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Insurance Savings

Managing auto and homeowners insurance could save you big trouble

By Mika Highsmith - bio | email

Posted by Kate Oatis

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTOL) - It's really true, after all: No news is good news.

When Angela Jones walked out of her house after having been awakened by her son, she saw the limb that he'd told her had fallen on her car.

If she'd had insurance, this wouldn't have blossomed into a big problem. But as Jones knew, "the insurance wasn't there."

Jones had canceled her auto policy a month before the accident, a decision she'd made to keep her head above water financially.

"At the time, it was pay the insurance or pay to live," Jones explained.

As a result, Jones is rather hugely in debt; the $100 she saved is now costing her $14,000 in damage.

This situation could have been prevented, said Ben Brown from Brooks Insurance, who shared some tips on how to find affordable insurance.

Brown says, first of all, improve your driving habits because "the better your driving record the better your rates will be."

Brown also says people should look at grouping auto policies with homeowners or renters insurance.

Comparing insurance rates and making sure your credit rating is good are two additional actions to take.

And, if you drive an older vehicle, drop collision or comprehensive coverage, Brown said, but keep liability.

Also check into low mileage discounts.

"If you used to drive 15 miles on your way to work and your new job only require 3 miles each way, that could change your rating," Brown said.

Increasing deductibles could also positively affect the cost of insurance. If Jones had increased hers from $500 to $1,000, the money saved could have helped her purchase affordable insurance.

Brooks also had some tips for folks interested in homeowners insurance: Make sure your home is equipped with special safety features like an alarm system, dead bolts and smoke detectors; make sure you have circuit breakers rather than a fuse box; and make sure the furnace and hot water heater are updated and maintained.

Copyright 2009 WTOL. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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