Many people do not check their car insurance rates on a regular basis, but like with almost any other aspect related to financial expenditures, it is worth your time to shop around annually to see if you are still getting the best rates possible. There are many factors that come into play when a car insurance company determines your rates, and most of those aspects change over time.
As an example, many people believe that they will get the best rates by shopping for car insurance online. This is a myth. While it is true that you MAY find the best rates online, much depends on your specific and individual criteria, which is why it is important to shop around and not limit your search for a low car insurance rate to online searching.
Make sure that you are really comparing apples to apples when you are comparing car insurance quotes. For example, one policy might have a ceiling limitation of $100,000 on the personal injury aspect of the insurance, while another one has a ceiling of $250,000. If you have had any medical procedures done recently, you should realize that $100,000 will be gone in an instant and that the $250,000 coverage is much better for a few dollars more.
Don’t pay for more insurance coverage than you need. For example, if your car is paid off, you are not required to carry collision insurance. Now if your paid-off car is a late model car used regularly to commute to work, you may want to have collision insurance anyway, so that if you are in an accident, it will be covered. But if your paid-off car is an older car that might be considered “totaled” if it got a flat tire, then it clearly does not make sense to pay extra for collision insurance.
Consider the net financial gain that you might enjoy from consolidating multiple different insurance policies. Some insurance carriers have “multiple product discounts” if you have more than one policy with them. For example, consider using the same insurance company for your homeowners insurance and your car insurance. Since that is two separate insurance products from the same company, some companies will give you a 10% or more discount on both policies. But be sure to check the rates, since even with a discount, there is still no guarantee that the sum total of insurance payments will be less than having different insurance companies write the policies.
Checking damage to the carWhile I advised not thinking that online car insurance quotes are always going to be the lowest, at the same time, I do recommend checking the pricing. Assuming you are comparing apples to apples with the coverages, sometimes they can be quite aggressive with quotes. This is due to both volume and lower overhead expenses, which they are willing to pass on to the consumer. Make sure that you are comfortable with the company and find out who is backing the policy. Check the company out to make sure they are financially stable and have no outstanding Better Business Bureau complaints against them. Also, get a good idea of how to file a claim and what the process is, since they will not have a traditional brick and mortar building in your location.
It will take some time and effort, but you may find out that you will be reaping the financial benefits of not paying more for your car insurance than you need to, and over time, that will more than pay for the time you invested in your comparison shopping.