by: Mark Goldberg

Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “There’s too much month at the end of the paycheck.” I know I’ve felt that way. Let’s face it, the economy has been tough on all of us. After paying for rent, health care, cable, cell phone and groceries it seems as if there’s nothing left. I know my wife and I struggle to stretch the budget each month.

Well, there is a bit of good news; the cost you pay for auto insurance is actually taking less of a bite out of your paycheck than it did 20 years ago. That’s what the Insurance Research Council found in their latest study on the Trends in Auto Insurance Affordability. Boiled down, the IRC concluded that about 1.6 percent of our income is now spent to pay for auto insurance in the U.S., down from 1.9 percent in the 1990s. Depending on where you live, the ratio of what you make versus what you spend for auto insurance varies. Louisiana and Florida residents pay the most while those who live in North Dakota and Iowa pay the least.

The study found that no matter where you live, your auto insurance is taking a smaller percentage of your money than a lot of other services.

For comparison, during the same 20 year period we’ve seen a 100 percent jump in the cost of health care and the chunk we pay for rent or mortgages increased about 12 percent.

And then there are our cell phones; almost a quarter of us admit we now spend more each month for our service than we spend on food. You can’t eat data but I guess it’s more important than a good steak. Every time the cell phone bill comes to our house we hold our breath hoping our daughter didn’t put us over the gigabyte limit on our data plan.

Back to auto insurance, these are ways you can reduce the cost even more:

  • Install security devices
  • Park in a secure area or garage
  • Take a defensive driving course
  • Ask about good driver/good student discounts
  • Clean up your credit
  • Take a higher deductible
  • Get a policy review to make sure you are getting the best value that matches your lifestyle and needs

California Casualty can help you explore other ways to save on your auto insurance. Call one of our advisors today for a policy review or quote; they can also explain special benefits you might qualify for at 1.800.800.9410 or visit

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