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4 cheap-cable-TV tricks that work for car insurance

One of the great things about getting older is that I get blunter by the day. As the saying goes, if you don’t ask for what you want, the answer is always no.

So when a monthly expense is creeping up, I find the best thing to do is tackle it head on. Just call the provider and ask: “I’m trying to cut costs … how can you help?”

When it comes to cable, tricks for saving include things like downgrading your package and bundling services. I’m getting a basic set of channels for free because they’re bundled with Internet.

And these little tricks can just as easily apply to car insurance. Here are four.

Ask about new savings—or switch. Some things that change over time (like credit score or marriage status) can get you new car insurance discounts or lower your rate. Progressive will help you pinpoint new savings opportunities.

Another option is to quote with a new company. New Progressive customers could save $497* on average—just by switching to us.

Change how you pay. Best-case scenario: You pay in full for your six-month auto policy. That gets you a nice discount and you avoid installment fees. This is what I do; and then I just divide that amount into six and enter it into my budget spreadsheet (yes, I have one).

Next best: Having payments automatically withdrawn from your checking account. This gets you a discount, too.

Choosing to stop your paper bills helps cut costs, too.

Pare down your plan. It’s sort of like dropping from the premium package down to a more basic one.

By agreeing to pay more out of pocket when you have an insurance claim (your deductible), you drop what you pay to maintain coverage. Even raising your deductibles from $200 to $500 could save you up to 30 percent on collision and comprehensive coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Just make sure you can afford to pay that amount out of pocket if you have a comprehensive or collision claim.

You could also drop comprehensive and collision altogether—there are situations in which you don’t need them.

Bundle. Finally, combining another policy or two with your auto policy (especially if it’s home insurance) means you pay less for all two, or three, or four. When you bundle your home and auto through Progressive, you can save up to 8 percent on your Auto policy and another 10 percent on your Home policy.

Soon, we’ll be trading cheap car insurance tricks just as often as we do cable tricks … right?

*National average annual savings by new customers who saved with Progressive in 2013.