Five Ways to Lower Your Oregon Car Insurance Premium

1. Your Credit Rating Influences Car Insurance Rates

In all states except California and Georgia, an individual's credit rating is a key factor that affects auto insurance rates. Auto insurance companies look at your credit history because they believe there is a correlation between good credit and good driving habits. Pay all of your bills on time so that your credit score is strong, and get copies of your credit report to correct any inaccurate derogatory points. Also, if your identity is stolen, notify your auto insurance agent as soon as you can.

2. Raise Your Deductible, Lower Your Premium

You can save hundreds of dollars by simply raising your deductible. The deductible is what you pay in an accident before your insurance starts to pay. Instead of carrying a 100/300 liability policy -- that is $100,000 of coverage per person/$300,000 per accident -- you can decrease this coverage to 50/100 ($50,000 per person/$100,000 maximum. Always make sure, however, to carry the state required minimums for legal operation of your motor vehicle.

3. Drive an Older Small Engined Car

Insurance rates are based upon how much the car is worth and how fast it can go, so driving a old, small engined car can lower your insurance rates substantially. Also, 4 wheel drive vehicles tend to have higher insurance rates than vehicles without four wheel drive. And, in some states, you can choose to eliminate collision insurance from your policy if your car is worth less than $3,000.

4. Young Drivers Have Higher Insurance Rates - Lower Them with Good Grades

New drivers -- particularly teenage males -- have higher insurance rates. However, students with good grades of a B or higher tend to get premium breaks. If you are a teen, it is much cheaper to stay on Mom and Dad's insurance policy as long as you can. Being a secondary driver is much cheaper than being a young primary driver. Also, if you have a young driver in the household, a four wheel drive vehicle in some states has a higher premium than a sports car.

5. Take a Driving Course

While many people just take a driving course when they want to get a speeding ticket excused, many insurance companies will give a 10% or more discount to people who take the course every year. Check with your insurance provider to see if they recommend an advanced driving course which teaches how to react in emergency situations. Advanced driving classes take place on a track, and, while they may cost several hundred dollars, you get experience for emergencies in a controlled environment. Not only do they give you more confidence should an emergency arise, they are much more fun than just watching a video.