Why You Should Shop Around For New Car Insurance
Let's say you LOVE your car insurance company. They have been great about taking care of you, their rates are fair, and they have a great reputation. It's a good idea to stick with them, but don't get too comfy. There are so many options available to car owners, and they have to compete for your business. You should by no means stick with your insurance company unless they provide you with what you're looking for. If rates have climbed, filing a claim is a hassle, or they just have lousy customer service, it's time to move on.
Look for New Rates Every Year
Car insurance is a must-have, and you can't even drive without it in most states. Most folks go years without changing policies, but smart shoppers know that rates change all the time. If you want the best rate, you have to keep looking on a regular basis. There are big companies like Allstate, State Farm, and Geico, but there are also plenty of smaller fish that might provide better rates and better service. You can even find car insurance locally.
You may even find companies that are willing to match advertised rates, so you can leverage that when you're shopping. You can use companies like Progressive, Jerry, and The Zebra to comparison shop car insurance companies side-by-side, thereby taking the hassle out of going from company to company to get quotes. You should look at least once a year, if not more, and it doesn't affect your credit rating when you do so.
Look for Important Variables to Reduce Your Rate
When you shop around for auto insurance, look at the options to state your annual driving mileage so that your rate is accurate. Most companies do this in order to give you the right rate, but there are even companies that will give you rebates based on COVID-19 when you didn't drive your car much at all and your mileage and risk are much lower, as a result. Many car owners didn't even bother to look into this and wasted hundreds of dollars over the course of the past couple of years.
These are important variables that can affect how much you pay each month, so be mindful of them. While some of these COVID-19 policy exceptions may have expired due to the fact that the pandemic has waned over the past eight months or so, some companies will take into account the fact that you still have not returned to your normal driving habits because you're still not back to a regular schedule.
Look for Good Deals All the Time
You look for sales on clothes, appliance, and many other consumer goods throughout the year, so why not car insurance? Of course, you won't see “car insurance sale” on the internet anytime soon, but you really should look for great deals more than once a year. Think about how much you can save over the course of just one year if your premiums are $50 lower every month? That's $600 that could be invested, put towards your kid's college fund, or pay for a couple of weeks of groceries.
You don't have to do it every month, but put it on your calendar to search every six months. If there's a discounted rate, do research on the company's reputation on Reddit, Google Reviews, or Facebook. It should provide a good snapshot of how the company treats its customers, how it handles claims, and how good rates are. Don't hesitate to call to talk to a rep if you have questions. It could be the best few minutes you've spent in a long time.