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Severe weather and the uninsured driving up rates. Tips to slash premiums.

Cars damaged in storms

Auto insurance rates are up twenty percent since 2011, which is an all time high. The average premium is about $1,400 according to an online website.

Driver Ben Wirt admits it's been awhile since he's shopped around, probably ten years.

Alyssa Connolly with an independent online insurance search engine site, explains insurance companies can change the way they price multiple times a year so you should compare rates every six months to a year. "On average you can see hundreds of dollars saved," advises Connolly.

Other ways to save:

*Raise your deductibles- just be sure you can afford them if your vehicle is damaged.

*Bundle auto and home insurance.

*Get your credit score up.

*Avoid having any gaps in your coverage.

Insurance companies see a statistical correlation between people who have good credit making fewer claims. A better credit score, can save you up to 17 percent. Married couples may also get a break.

Driving up rates in our state, a lot of bad weather and uninsured drivers which are estimated at one in five drivers.

Here is a rundown of the average auto insurance premiums compiled by The Zebra which is an online search engine site:

Birmingham metro area: $1,432

Alabama: $1,358 (25th most expensive state in the U.S.)

U.S.: $1,427

According to the site these Birmingham metro area zip codes pay the most for car insurance:

1. Birmingham 35208 $1,598

2. Birmingham 35218 $1,593

3. Birmingham 35254 $1,592

4. Birmingham 35204 $1,591

5. Bessemer 35020 $1,590

6. Birmingham 35211 $1,587

7. Tarrant 35217 $1,584

8. Fairfield 35064 $1,579

9. Midfield 35228 $1,578

10. Birmingham 35207 $1,577

Drivers in these zip codes pay the least:

1. Thorsby 35171 $1,298

2. Centreville 35042 $1,300

3. Maplesville 36750 $1,305

4. Randolph 36792 $1,308

5. Brierfield 35035 $1,309

6. Steele 35987 $1,311

7. Clanton 35045 $1,312

8. Reform 35481 $1,317

9. Clanton 35046 $1,318

10. Odenville 35120 $1,321


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