Everyone is always looking for ways to increase their savings and decrease their bills. One of the ways to trim the fat out of your budget is by decreasing your automobile insurance payments. You can trim hundreds of dollars annually from your premiums by following these 5 simple tips.

1. Increase your deductible.

One of the easiest ways to save money on your auto policy is to increase your deductible. Raise your deductible to $1,000. Pay for any minor damage out of pocket. Increasing your deductible can save you as much as 25%. You don’t want to call your insurance company for small claims that are under $1,000 anyway because they will raise your rates.

2. Change your coverage.

Are you riding around in the same jalopy that you have had for the last 10 years? If so, you may want to consider dropping your comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is vital for newer automobiles but is often a luxury for older ones. You may find that you are carrying more coverage than your car is actually worth. Liability coverage will protect you in the event of and accident and save you money on premium payments.

3. Improve your credit score.

It may not make sense to you but insurance companies use your credit score to help determine your rates. Studies have shown that individuals with bad credit are more likely to file a claim than individuals with better credit scores. Your insurance risk score relies heavily upon your credit score. Surprisingly, your credit score matters more to insurance companies than your actual driving record does.

4. Shop around.

We all have a tendency to become creatures of habit. Once we find an insurance company, we will just stay there year after year. Laziness may be costing you money. Your insurance company may be taking you for granted. Be sure to check rates with other insurance carriers. You may find that you can score a better deal with a competitor.

5. Switch occupations.

It may seem a little extreme to switch occupations to lower your insurance rates but if you are considering a career change, now may be the time. Did you know that your occupation has an affect on your insurance payments? Students, engineers, teachers and scientists pay lower rates. Insurance companies look at individuals with low risk professions as lower risk drivers.