HARTFORD, Conn. – A study recently conducted by the Hartford Financial Services Group reveals an interesting insight into the factors consumers consider influence auto insurance rates. The survey asked 879 adults responsible for car insurance purchasing decisions to rate those factors they thought had the greatest influence on auto insurance costs. The survey also asked them to indicate what actions they had taken to get the most from their auto insurance premium payments. George Thacker, senior vice president, personal insurance marketing at the Hartford said people don’t always understand what they can do to influence their auto premium and sometimes they’re misinformed. The survey, for example, showed that 11% of the respondents said they had avoided purchasing a red or yellow car to save on insurance, when color has no bearing on rates. The survey also showed inconsistencies between belief and action – consumers don’t always follow through on what they know will help reduce their costs: * Americans believe maintaining a clean driving record has the greatest impact on saving on insurance costs, and more than 80% reported they had maintained a good driving record. * Americans rank raising the deductible as having the second biggest impact, but only about 40% actually have higher deductibles. * While a bit more than half of respondents indicated they believe that insuring homes and automobiles with the same company will significantly save them on premiums, more than three out of five use a single company to insure both. * 33% of respondents believed that reporting car safety features to their insurance company would have a great impact on their premium. But nearly three-quarters have told their insurers they have these safety devices such as anti-lock brakes, air bags and anti-theft devices. * A quarter believe eliminating collision coverage on older cars has a significant influence on their rates, but only one-third has done so. * About one in eight respondents think having teenagers take drivers’ education will have an impact, although 75% of those respondents who have teenagers say their children have taken these courses.

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