Lower your insurance costs with Kiplinger's tips

Kiplinger.com, the website of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, recently published a round-up of ways you can lower your insurance costs. While some are spot-on, others could actually cost you more under certain circumstances. Here's a look at their advice. We've spotlighted five solid tips as well as a couple of additional ones that come with caveats.

Shop around. This is good advice for any type of insurance. If you've had the same policy for years, see if another insurer can match or beat the cost. If you've incurred any new expenses (such as adding a teenage driver or an inground pool), definitely shop around. While you've got that policy out, take a look and see if it still meets your needs. You might discover that you were over-insured.

Ask for discounts. For car insurance in particular, this is a biggie. If you drive fewer than 7,500 miles a year, carpool or are willing to take a defensive driving course, you might be able to net a lower rate. Also, tell Junior to keep his grades up; students who get Bs or better are often eligible for a discount.