How to Shop for Car Insurance

Most experts advise policyholders to get alternative quotes and compare them with each other at least once a year. Many people start searching for better rates out of curiosity and are surprised to save a lot of money, even though it is normal. People find great deals everyday online and offline and a few almost never buy at full price. The same principle applies here. This post will show how to shop for auto insurance under an hour. So, you don’t need to worry that you would waste time. In a few minutes you will know where you stand exactly and can decide what to do next.

How Much Can You Save by Shopping for Car Insurance?

You may think that it is boring to look into current coverage, think about how to improve it and start checking for cheap automobile insurance quotations. That is why the following questions are common. Isn’t once checking for the best prices enough? Wouldn’t the current carrier offer the best rates at each renewal? These are great excuses not to bother with it and just let the policy renew automatically. You never know how competitive the current premium is unless you compare quotes.

Even if you find lower rates would it be worth the time you spend on it? The answer is unequivocal yes; according to one study that found the US policyholders can save on average $850 by shopping around for lower rates. It is over $70 a month? Furthermore, the average cost of auto insurance in the US is $841. That means most people can reduce premiums to half. It is not an ignorable figure for most household budgets and you don’t make any sacrifices for it since you are getting the same coverage from a different source. The only sacrifice you make is the initial time you devote to finding the cheapest vehicle insurer.

Nearly 40% of the US policyholders never shop around. Even worse, nearly 30% bought their policy after getting only 1 quote. Why on earth would you be so gullible to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars more for something you can buy half the price? 

How Long Does It Take to Get Automobile Insurance?

It may sound like too much work to check prices and switch companies. It really is not the case when you can call a broker and let him do the work for you. And it only takes an hour to get quotes online and complete automobile insurance shopping. Once you fill one proposal form online it is much easier to fill a few more. It should only take you between 5 to 8 minutes to complete each form and get an instant quote online. You just need to fill in a few details about listed drivers, coverage and car.

Switching insurance companies at renewal isn’t a problem either. The policy will expire anyway if you don’t pay. All you have to do is to set up another one to take over from the renewal date. Also, you must cancel any auto renewal payment instructions you have in place. Just make sure your new policy starts when the old one expires to avoid any gaps in cover. If the renewal isn’t due yet you will need to cancel the current one when you arrange a replacement. You may need to pay a small cancellation fee but you will get unused portion of prepaid premiums.

Is auto insurance shopping worth your time? If you are a hotshot stock broker making hundreds of thousands of dollars in a year, off course your time may be more valuable. However, many people would be happy to save $100 when they spend a few minutes. Besides, even you are so busy you can still drop an e-mail to a broker asking him to get alternative quotes again at renewal.

The same study also finds that 70% of policyholders haven’t switched in the last 4 years. The reason why people stay put isn’t because they couldn’t find better value alternatives or it takes to long to check. How can they find better deals when they don’t look for it? Only 16% of policyholders shop once a year. Make no mistake. The difference between the cheapest vehicle insurance quote and most expensive one can be 4 or 5 times.

Next time you get a high quote, don’t think it is because you have one claim in the last 3 years, a recent speeding ticket or poor credit. Probably why your car insurance is so high has very little to do with driving record but a lot to do with sticking with an expensive company.

Now we know we can save money and it doesn’t take long. So, here is how to shop for Vehicle insurance step by step;

  1. Before you start the search you need to know what protection to get. Read the post if you need help in determining the levels. It isn’t just about finding the cheapest policy but also making sure that you have sufficient coverage so that you are not left high and dry when you have a claim. Most companies would pay a legitimate claim sooner or later. But you need to have the coverage for the loss suffered before you can claim. One of the first things you should do is to make sure you have sufficient liability because especially injury claims can be high even in a moderate accident. Usually, the limit of own losses is the value of the automobile. However, there is no limit to the possible amount of liability.
  2. Have the details handy to avoid keep getting up and looking for something. Find the current schedule, driver license and registration document. Get a phone and beverage. And, of course, turn on the laptop. The best way to carry out this task is in the comfort of home.
  3. Start with getting online quotes thorough a comparison website like this one. Enter your zip code above and our platform will take you to the cheapest companies in seconds. You can get direct insurance quotes from each one of them in 5 minutes. All of these quotes are accurate and cheapest you can get from each one. So, you should be able to get enough and buy in less than 1 hour.
  4. Compare them for price, reliability of the carrier and coverage. Check for any special conditions or enforcements and check for payment options if you need to pay by installments. Remember that it needs to meet personal circumstances and be inline with preferences. For example, quite a few people prefer to pay little bit more if a more reputable carrier could insure them.
  5. Don’t hesitate to call any of them for clarification or further advice. It is fine if you just want to run through the options and coverage once more with an agent on the phone before buying. Sometimes a good agent can point you in the right direction. But you should watch out for the ones who will see this as an opportunity for up-selling. The beauty of vehicle insurance shopping online is that there is nobody nagging you. It is totally up to you which way you take the search. You can also call a broker in the area and see what they can find for you. If you start the search early you will not be pressured to make a quick decision.

Always remember that you are on the driving seat here. You can buy a policy online and be done with it. You can decide to sleep on it before making a decision or contact more places another day. All the while remember that if you can save $800 in couple of hours of work you would be making $400 an hour. That is money well earned and can be spent on something nice. But don’t be disappointed because you saved only $100. This means that you had low rates to start with and you have been spending only fair amounts.

Why Do You Need to Shop for Auto Insurance Often?

We are made to believe that being a good loyal customer will always pay. This notion and laziness may make you pay higher premiums. There are several studies that show customers who regularly compare prices save more money than loyal customers. Now, we will answer why is it important to check for alternatives every so often?

   1. You May Need to Switch to Take Advantage of New Discounts
Underwriters work hard to come up with new and attractive policies. Furthermore, they constantly check for different factors that affect rates. So, often different coverage combinations and discounts are introduced to the market. Today, financial positions and credit score may be more important to some underwriters than having an accident in record. For example, if you see large car insurance premium increase after an accident you would do well by searching for one who care less about the past accident and place more importance on what is the chance of you making another claim based on who you are. Quite a few of them try to predict the chance of any future troubles rather than just doubling premium for a past accident.

   2. They May Be Raising Rates due to Recent Difficulties
Do you think that they will set the rates once and do nothing about it for a while? Each has an actuary department filled with hundreds of smart people trying to work out how they can make more profits. Slight changes in financial environment, competition in the market, statistical increase in risks or operational losses suffered by them require adjustments on rates. That in turn requires shopping for auto insurance often. Think about other hundred companies that are doing the same? By the time next renewal comes you have a whole new set of rates in the market. If you are not getting new quotations you will be oblivious to those changes. Why do you think most of them only sell 6 month coverage? It is because they are aware of the risks and therefore don’t want to be tied down for 1 year. If you don’t take our words take their words that a lot changes in 6 months.

   3. Shop for Automobile Insurance when Circumstances Changes
Maybe it is coming up to three years since you had that speeding ticket and points on driving license. They will drop off record by next renewal. Or it is coming to three years since you had last had an accident. Many companies are not going to consider that one accident after 3 years when calculating premiums. Is the current carrier one of them? You may have changed address, job, car and marital status since. These are only few of the things that can affect premiums.

You shouldn’t actually wait until renewal to get new quotes when you have big changes in circumstances like moving into first home, getting married, changing the car or job. You will have to inform them of the changes and they will have to recalculate the premium anyway. So, why not look around a little before agreeing to new terms with the existing firm?

   4. Changes in External Factors Can Make Switching Beneficial
Even there is no change in your life, maybe vandalism increased in the zip code, the company suffered large losses or state laws changed. These are the external factors that can affect rates.

Whichever expert or adviser you choose, they will all say the same thing if they are looking at it objectively. You should try to find better rates ideally at least once a year, if not at each renewal. You shouldn’t let them have their way with you and charge as they like.