Consumer Reports: Tips to pay less for car insurance

If you've got a car, chances are your car insurance eats up a chunk of your budget; especially for families with multiple drivers, people with poor credit and drivers with imperfect track records.

Consumer Reports says there are plenty of ways to cut your premiums and still get coverage you can count on.

Start by picking a top rated insurer.

"Don't be short-sighted, Consumer Reports money editor Tobie Stanger said. “It's not just about getting the lowest premium. You want to make sure you get a company that's going to pay your claim, in a reasonable amount of time - and gives you good service."

Then, be sure to set the right deductible. A higher deductible reduces your monthly premium, but you'll pay more out of pocket if you have a claim.

If you're a driver with low risk behaviors, you can lower rates by asking about discounts for things like:
• Drivers who don't use their car for long commutes
• Students with good grades
• Teen drivers who take driver-training
• Mature drivers who take a defensive driving course.

Having a good credit score can also save you a few bucks.

Also, consider bundling your policies. Buying auto and home insurance from the same company could lead to a hefty discount.

People often think that by staying with the same insurance company for many years, they'll get a loyalty discount; but it isn't always true.

Consumer Reports suggests shopping around often; you may find some significant savings. For ratings of various companies, check out ConsumerReports.org