Many vehicle owners in Atlanta see auto insurance as a necessary evil. The arrival of your auto insurance bill does not have to signal your financial ruin, however. There are plenty of ways to reduce your bill and still get the level of coverage you need. Here are four tips:

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1.  Go Higher on Your Deductibles. Unless you are just incredibly prone to car accidents, you can probably afford to raise your deductible. Some people never have to file a claim in their lives, so why should they pay extra to reduce a deductible they’ll never face?

Of course, the higher your deductible, the more you’ll have to pay out of pocket if you ever do file a claim, so it’s important that you create a fund specifically for your Atlanta auto insurance deductible. One good strategy is to find out the difference in premiums between a higher and lower deductible, and then make a payment to yourself for that amount every month until you’ve saved the amount you’d need.

2.  Get the longest-term policy available, and pay it all up front. Policies that allow you to pay by the month or in some other installment plan will typically charge you an extra fee for the convenience. However, if you pay a six-month policy up front, you’re only paying for the cost of the policy itself. If you’re not sure that you can do it, just divide the total auto insurance premium by six and then make the payment to your own savings account every month. Then, when the full premium is due, all you’ll have to do is transfer the funds to your checking account and make the payment. You’re still doing the same basic thing—you’re just avoiding the extra fees in the process!

3.  Consolidate your insurance. If you have a life insurance policy with one company, a homeowner’s insurance policy with another, and your Atlanta auto insurance with yet another, you’re just making things more complicated…and more expensive…for yourself. Consider moving all of your policies to one company. Most insurance companies will offer some type of discount for multiple policies. Even if they don’t, however, at least you’re not writing checks to every other insurance company in Atlanta!

4.  Get rid of coverage that you don’t need. Towing and car rentals are two major offenders here. Learn how to deal with common car emergencies to reduce the likelihood you’ll ever need a tow. It’s really not difficult to learn to change a tire, and knowing how to do so will save you both time and money over waiting on a tow truck to respond to your call. Also, more often than not, your car rental coverage is really more hassle than it’s worth. If you have more than one vehicle, chances are that you’ll be able to make do until your car is out of the shop. Of course, if you only have one car, this may be an entirely different situation. Assess your needs and go from there.