Drive less, save more on insurance

Angela Cowan and her husband were fed up with fuel prices, so they decided to make some drastic changes.

"He located a job closer to my job so that we could still work in the same vicinity of each other, and then just carpool together,' said Cowan.

Cowan estimates she is now driving half as much.

"It's like 28 miles one way to get to work now, versus him driving the extra 30 miles," said Cowan.

"How much you drive is a crucial factor in how much you get charged for auto insurance," said Travis Plunkett, Consumer Federation of America. "If people drive fewer miles, they get into fewer accidents. It's that simple."

In addition, fewer miles could steer toward serious savings.

"Our estimate is that people who are cutting back in major ways should be able to save between 10 and 15 percent on their auto insurance premiums," said Plunkett.

The key to the savings is to drop into a lower mileage bracket than you were previously. One way to do that would be to start taking public transportation to work and simply drive for pleasure on the weekends.

"Most companies look at whether you drive fewer than 10,000 miles a year or more than 10,000 miles per year. So, if you're cutting back, and it takes you down below that 10,000 mile limit, you likely could save some money," said Plunkett.

The drop does not happen automatically. You must let your insurance company know that you are driving less.

"Place an immediate call to your insurer or your agent and offer to document it if they wish," said Plunkett.

Cowan already has plans for all the extra money she and her family are saving.

"We can do extra things with our family as far as going out to eat, taking vacations to visit family and things like that," said Cowan.

Several insurance companies are starting to offer even deeper discounts to drivers who have monitoring devices installed on their vehicles. The insurer would then know where, when and how far you are driving your car. However, you will save even more on insurance premiums.


- Get more L.A. breaking news, weather, traffic and sports
- Have a news tip? Send your tips, video, or pictures

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.