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State survey, booklet offer insurance help

A new state survey could help Oregon drivers save money on auto insurance.

An Oregon Insurance Division survey found that rates offered by major insurance companies varied widely. For instance, the six-month premium for a typical Medford family with a male teenage driver ranged from $264 to $984.

Officials say the range of prices revealed shows the value of shopping around for insurance.

The survey asked 27 companies to provide rate quotes for typical drivers in various Oregon cities.

The results have been collected in a free booklet, Consumer Guide to Auto Insurance. The guide also includes tips on saving money on auto insurance, consumer rights and filing an insurance claim.

To get a copy of the booklet, write to: Publications, Oregon Insurance Division, 350 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301-3883. The booklet is also available on the division's Web site:

The site was one of 15 state insurance cites given an A in the Consumer Federation of America's recent review.

We have worked to make our site consumer-friendly and we will continue our ongoing efforts to improve it, says Charles Nicoloff, acting administrator for the division.

The site includes rankings of insurance companies based on the number of consumer complaints and information on grievances filed by health insurers.