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Discover additional car insurance discounts

July 23, 2014

From maintenance fees to rising fuel costs, it can seem like your automotive bills will never end.

“The cost of car ownership isn't getting any cheaper these days, and gas prices are stuck above $3 a gallon,” Doug Whiteman, an insurance analyst with Bankrate, told ABC News. “It's important to get whatever discount you can.”

A hybrid automobile can garner insurance discounts.

But that doesn't mean you have to pay an arm and a leg for your auto insurance policy, as there are more discounts out there than you might expect. According to a recent report from Bankrate, you can potentially lower your insurance premium based on the technology in your car.

Three of the nation's major insurers—including Travelers—offer discounts for drivers of hybrid vehicles, which includes those that use alternative fuel sources or electricity. If you have a car with running daytime lights—which is now a common feature, according to USA Today—you can reduce your premium with four of the top 10 insurers. If you have one of these new features, you should let you insurance provider know, or you could be missing out on savings, according to Whiteman.

“You can't really count on your insurance company to know about the equipment on your car,” Whiteman told USA Today.

Discounts can vary from state to state, but here are a few other ways you can reduce your premiums with some of the top insurers in the country.

Pay close attention to your credit score

Some of the biggest savings that consumers are able to nab depend on their credit score. USA Today reported that if you pay your bills on time and manage your credit properly, it can go a long way in impacting your premiums in certain states.

“Insurance companies believe that the better your overall financial history, the less likely you are to file an insurance claim, and the more likely you are to pay your insurance premium payments,” Todd Albery, CEO of Quizzle.com, a provider of free credit reports and scores, told USA Today.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners reported that not all states allow the use of credit-based scores in determining premiums, making it crucial for you to check with your state insurance department to find out your local laws.

Not all insurers will use your credit history in the same fashion. Allstate said that it will never look at your credit score, though it will use elements from your credit history, including missed or late payments. WalletHub.com stated that Allstate seems to be the company that relies on credit data the most. WalletHub reported a 116 percent fluctuation between premiums for consumers with excellent credit vs. those with no credit for customers with Allstare. Meanwhile, State Farm seems to rely on credit data the least with a 45 percent premium fluctuation.

Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of WalletHub.com, told USA Today his company's research showed that some insurance premiums could be slashed by an average of 65 percent for someone with an excellent credit history, compared with a person with no credit history.

Check all your options

Not all discounts will be advertised, though certain rebates can be found by doing a little homework, according to Whiteman. He said some insurers will post additional information about discounts in blog posts or question-and-answer sections on their sites.

“It's a really good idea on a regular basis to review your car insurance policy, maybe at renewal time,” Whiteman said. “Some companies better at advertising discounts than others. In some case you have to talk to someone on the phone.”

Whiteman said some carriers offer discounts for young drivers attending school at least 100 miles from home, while other carriers might offer discounts for new parents or those who own a home.