Everyone wants to save money on their car insurance. Did you know one of the best ways to save is by getting more quotes periodically? That’s right, the best way to find cheap auto insurance in your area is by comparing quotes more often.
Twice a year, or every six to twelve months, is the ideal time to check your car insurance quotes, especially if that is when your current coverage expires. You never know when you’re going to qualify for a new discount or special rate. Checking twice a year lets you know that you’re always getting the best price for your car insurance. That will help your budget and keep you out of debt.
Evaluate Your Current Coverage
You can’t start comparing plans until you know exactly which plan or policy you already have in place. Check what areas you wish to improve, like price or coverage, and which areas you might trade for a lower price. Don’t forget the point of comparing quotes is not necessarily to switch policies or companies but to find the best deal around. This could be the rate you already have, but it is worth checking at least a couple of times a year.
What do you need to know? Before you go shopping, gather your information, and get ready to compare. Here’s a list of some things to have nearby when you start evaluating your current coverage and comparing quotes:
- License information.
- Address or zip code.
- Current policy coverage.
- Current policy price.
- Driving record.
- New information.
New information can be anything from an additional driver or vehicle on your policy to a defensive driving course, good grades, or military status. Be aware of the common discounts you may qualify for when comparing quotes. Here are just a few:
- Clean driving record.
- Good grades.
- Student and military discounts.
- Low mileage.
- Newer or safer car.
Get at least three other quotes in addition to your current coverage. These should be free and easily available online through several brokers and the company’s website as well. Don’t forget to check with local agencies that might not have as strong an online presence but may be able to offer deeper discounts for local drivers.
Armed with your information, make a comparison for some of the big companies like USAA, Geico, or State Farm, and some of the local agencies with which you might do business. You may check the same providers a couple of times a year or switch it up and compare some at the beginning of the year and others at the middle. Don’t forget to compare your current coverage with the offerings of the quotes you are getting. You don’t want to lessen your coverage unless that is part of your financial plan. Always make sure the plans you’re comparing are similar or the same as far as coverage options. Compare more than just price.
Get Free Quotes
If you’re going to be checking your coverage options up to twice a year, you should probably create some sort of record for the quotes you’re getting. Some things to look for and/or keep track of are:
- Are the company’s rates going up or down?
- Do they offer new discounts for which I’m eligible?
- Are their fares dynamic or static?
- Who is representing me?
- How is their customer service?
It could help to read new reviews of each company and also to study their policies. You may want a company with more hands-on support, or you may prefer the big box company approach. Keep a record of whom you speak with and how the conversation goes. If the company’s rates are fluid and get lower over time, they are worth looking into again. If you see coverage options that don’t really work for you, perhaps you can skip them during the next comparison.
Other Ways to Save
There are a few other ways to save in the meantime between checking quotes. Circumstances can change in a year. You might have other options for saving money on your car insurance that you should investigate. Some options you might consider:
- Get rid of a vehicle: If you decide to sell or trade a vehicle, you can take it off your car insurance, thereby saving you money on your premium. Even deciding to take a car off the road can be beneficial in saving some money. Just be sure you don’t need the vehicle before you remove it from your insurance.
- Get a higher deductible: If you have money saved for car repairs or accidental damage, this might be an option for you. By increasing your deductible, you can lower your monthly premium. Just be sure you can cover the deductible in the event of an accident.
- Improve your driving record and credit score: These are easily gained discounts on your car insurance. While your driving record and credit score may not change as often as you wish to check quotes, keeping an eye on your timeline is a good idea for saving money in the long run.
- Take a defensive driving course: Sometimes, these classes can get a violation removed from your record, but taking a defensive driving course can also lower your car insurance premium. Be sure to check with your insurance company or any companies you are considering to make sure this discount is available before you enroll.
- Bundle your insurance policies: If you have more than one vehicle to insure or health or life insurance to bundle, you can save money by using the same insurance company.
Whether you’re bundling your existing plans or starting a new policy for your teen driver, there’s a good chance you may be eligible for new discounts as often as every six months. Checking your car insurance quotes twice a year will ensure you’re getting the best deal available, and looking around doesn’t hurt your current rate. Keep in mind you may already be getting the best deal but shopping around for new quotes is part of being a responsible policy owner.