If you're shopping for auto insurance, don't assume that low-mileage...

If you're shopping for auto insurance, don't assume that low-mileage driving automatically translates into low premiums. Credit: Getty Images / iStock / Ruslan Dashinsky

If you thought you were being smart by being mindful about how many miles you drive to save on insurance, you might instead be wasting your time.

According to new research from the Consumer Federation of America, the largest auto insurers typically don’t reward low-mileage drivers by lowering their premium, even though insurance research indicates that how much you drive is among the most important factors in predicting accidents.

Just because you drive less doesn’t mean you’ll pay less. Scratch that strategy. Look elsewhere to get discounts.

  • Try telematics

“Some insurers do have a plug-in that monitors your driving for typically 90 days. Often you get a 5 percent discount regardless, with a max savings of 25-30 percent. They’ll look at things like how much you drive, how fast you accelerate and break, and how much driving you do during high-risk times,” says Andrew Rosen, a certified financial planner with Diversified, LLC, in Wilmington, Delaware.

  • Load up on safety features

When you’re shopping for a new car, remember safety. “Newer cars offer a huge variety of safety features — lane departure, back up cameras, blind spot monitoring. Most carriers offer discounts for these extra features,” says Travis Biggert, chief sales officer for HUB International Mid America in Tulsa.

  • Raise your deductible

“If you raise it to $1000 from $200, you may save around 40 percent on premiums. Make sure though, that you have the money to pay your deductible stashed, just in case,” says Alex Lauderdale, transportation analyst at EducatedDriver.org.

  • Speak up

Says Rosen, “Ask your carrier for a rerate. Most people don’t realize their costs go up every year or two. Call your carrier and ask for a rerate. More times than not you’ll get the newest discounts and save a bunch of money.”

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