With three cars, a motorcycle and three drivers -- including a teenager -- in the family, Teresa and Tim Frazier could invoke any number of choice words to describe their auto-insurance premiums. Mrs. Frazier prefers one
that can actually be printed: "Expensive."

The financial burden became particularly painful when son Cory, 18, got his driver's license. That milestone boosted the Westerville family's insurance costs to $350 a month. "I think that's what pushed us over the edge,"
Mrs. Frazier said. "We knew we had to look around."

Local independent insurance agent Marie Trudeau determined that she could cut the Fraziers' premiums by moving the family's policy to another company, getting Cory a good-student discount and eliminating collision
coverage on the car he drives. "If you've got a teenage driver, you're better off getting an older car that you don't want to get full coverage on," the agent said. "Just get liability."

Mary Bonelli, spokeswoman for the Ohio Insurance Institute, said that when it comes to collision and comprehensive coverage, she has this rule of thumb: "If your car isn't worth more than 10 times the cost of the
coverage, then it's worth considering dropping that coverage."

Here are other money-saving suggestions from the insurance institute, an industry trade group:

* Shop around. Besides getting rate quotes, ask agents about their claims-handling practices and the stability of the companies they represent.
* Raise your deductibles. Increasing a $250 deductible to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive premiums by 15 percent to 30 percent.
* Choose the right car. Premiums are usually higher for luxury, sport and four-wheel-drive models because of repair costs and a greater chance of theft.
* Seek discounts. Many agents will give you a break for insuring more than one vehicle or carrying other policies -- homeowners insurance, for example -- with their companies.
* Avoid filing excessive claims. Claims occur, on average, every 11 or 12 years, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The more claims you file, the more likely your premiums are to rise.

Another good resource for those looking to cut costs is the Ohio Department of Insurance, which offers an auto insurance toolkit. Call 1-800-686-1526 or visit www.ohioinsurance.gov/ConsumServ/AutoToolkit .htm.

Mrs. Frazier remembers her response when Trudeau outlined potential savings totaling $1,900 a year: "Where do I sign?"

"We were very, very happy," Frazier said. The agent said she was, too. "I wish I could do that every time." Before long, she'll get another chance with the Fraziers: Their daughter, Brooklyn, just turned 14.