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  • Writer's pictureDoron Yaniv

Are you Receiving the Best Auto Insurance Rates? Do You Even Know?

To verify if you are receiving the very best deal on car and homeowner insurance consider shopping for a new rate every year. You do not need to wait until you receive a renewal notice from your present carrier to begin shopping for a new policy. The sooner you start your search, the more time you will have to compare prices. You can always cancel your existing coverage before it expires if you find a better policy. When you do so, your insurance company will typically refund the unused portion of your premium, however, some insurance companies might charge you an administrative fee.

Why should I shop around for car insurance?

Shopping is essential because the car insurance industry is competitive — the carrier who gave you the best rate last year may not do so today. The only way you will know is to shop for new quotes. Insurance companies regularly adjust their prices. That is why there is a good chance you may find a more competitive rate with another insurance company.

We advise people to do an annual policy checkup, both their home and auto coverage. As different programs come to fruition, new discounts can pop up.

One should expect that car insurance rates increase on average about 2 to 3 percent throughout the U.S. Anything higher than that shop around for car and home insurance.

The benefits of shopping for car insurance

Even though you may not always find a better deal, shopping is the only way to be sure you are not missing out on savings.

According to Experian, when you get insurance quotes, credit report inquiries from insurance companies will not affect your credit history. They are treated as a “soft inquiry,” like requests from you for a personal credit score.

1. It could save you money.

The J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Insurance Shopping StudySM found that drivers who switched auto policies had an average premium of savings of $356 (a slight drop from $388 in 2016).

When you shop for car insurance, you gain confidence that you are getting good value for your insurance dollar.

2. It helps ensure you are not taken for granted. Keep in mind that there is no loyalty anymore! If you think you are being rewarded by the insurance company by staying with them for many years- Think again.

In 2015, the Consumer Federation of America warned that policyholders who keep the same policy year after year are more likely to be charged higher rates than if they periodically changed carriers. This terminology is called “Price Optimization.”

It is another reason to keep an eye on your policy, even if you think you are happy with it. Put money back in your pocket and not the insurance companies.

3. It may improve your understanding of auto insurance.

Each time you shop for insurance, you are improving your knowledge of the insurance industry, and the coverages companies offer. By shopping for insurance, it can make it easier for you to spot opportunities to reduce costs.

For example, you may decide you can accept a higher auto insurance deductible, the amount you must pay out of pocket before your expenses begin to be paid under your policy’s terms. A higher deductible typically will reduce your rates. The amount of savings varies widely depending on a variety of factors, including the make and model of your car. It is imperative to try to choose a deductible you can afford to pay if you must file a claim.

4. It can reduce the cost of insuring teen drivers.

When you add a teen driver to your family policy, shopping becomes essential, since teens often cause auto insurance rates to soar.

Ask about the different types of discount insurers will offer for a teen driver.

For example, many insurers will reduce rates for teens if they agree to take a safe-driver training course, and they maintain a “B” average at school.

Tips for shopping for auto insurance

When shopping for car insurance, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of finding a better policy.

Check your credit history. California, Massachusetts and Hawaii do not allow the use of credit histories as a factor for setting car insurance rates. However, if you live in a state that does allow using credit history, check your credit reports before you shop, and dispute any errors to help make sure your information accurately reflects your creditworthiness. Investigating error complaints can take up to 45 days, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Make sure you have no Major Moving Violations like speeding in a School Zone or DUI’s, and many Claims. If you have any of these issues, wait for them to drop off the Motor Vehicle Report and Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (C.L.U.E)

Try shopping online. One easy way to shop for insurance is online. There are numerous websites that allow you to compare rates and policy features, including All in One Insurance Group. Make sure you have gathered some basic information about your vehicle before you begin, such as your car’s mileage reading and the vehicle identification number (VIN).

Bottom line

Comparing auto policies can result in lower rates. However, make sure that if you purchase a new policy, you are not sacrificing coverage to save some cash.

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