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'Clunkers' bill set to become law, drivers will need new auto policy

The so-called "Cash for Clunkers" bill passed the U.S. Senate on Friday and could soon become law, as the government hopes to boost sales of new cars. Drivers who trade in their old cars under the law may be able to save on a new auto policy, insurers said.

Consumers who trade in their old gas-guzzling cars and trucks can receive cash vouchers toward the purchase of a more fuel-efficient vehicle. The vouchers are worth up to $4,500, depending on how much of an improvement the new car's mileage is over the trade-in price.

Insurance companies said drivers may be able to find a more affordable auto policy to insure their new vehicle.

Although fuel-efficient vehicles are not necessarily safer, certain features on new models can reduce injuries and provide for a lower premium.

Features such as driver, passenger and dual-side air bags, anti-lock brakes and electronic seat belts reduce the risk of injury. Anti-theft devices available on new cars can also lead to a reduced premium.

Many insurance companies provide competitive rates, so consumers should look to compare insurance quotes for various models before they make a purchase.

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