Why lowering your car insurance rate may start with a phone call

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Here are some tips that could help you cut down your insurance bill. (KTRK)

For the consumer trying to lower their monthly auto insurance rates, it can be as simple as a phone call to your agent.

"You can look at your insurance payments thinking 'That's way too much. Let me just call up my auto insurance to see if they can reduce my fees,' and they usually do," said Jillian Nel, Director of Financial Planning at Legacy Asset Management.

A few discounts you should ask about are things like being a loyal customer, being a safe driver or even taking a defensive driving course.

"People think they only have to take defensive driving if you get a ticket or in an accident. You can take defensive driving for just insurance. It's huge savings over a three year period," said Theo Franklin, a State Farm agent.

Combining your auto insurance with your renters policy or homeowners policy can also save you big on your bill, sometimes up to 20 percent.

Another way to save is knowing your coverage.

"The law requires that you have liability insurance. Your finance company may also require you have comprehensive and collision. That in a nut shell is what most people call full coverage," explained Franklin.

Now, if your vehicle is paid off, technically all you need is liability coverage.

But it's important to know your vehicle's value and to talk to your agent about uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.

As far as finding the cheapest prices for the coverage, Nerdwallet has a tool that helps you compare rates of the major agencies in your area.
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