According to a January 2017 survey, 39 percent of U.S. policyholders have never shopped for better auto insurance rates. As a result, many customers simply renew their policy year after year, potentially missing out on savings. In an April 2016 study published by AAA, insurance rates increased by 9.2 percent. A survey distributed in 2016 calculated that 21% of the respondents haven't changed insurers in 6 to 10 years, while 8% haven't changed companies in over 20 years. However, insurance experts believe that people should shop around for car insurance rates every 6 to 12 months to get cheap car insurance.
You might prefer your current carrier but still wonder if you're missing out on savings and ask yourself, "Should I stay with my car insurance company?"
The short and simple answer is: if you like the service you're getting and you're satisfied with your premiums, then it may make sense to stay with your carrier. The more complicated answer? You might be missing out on significant savings on your monthly bill. There's multiple reasons why you might consider switching carriers, or at the very least, comparing rates with other carriers (and asking your current carrier if they can match that rate). Let's look at a handful of scenarios that might make it worth your while to shop around.
Your carrier doesn't offer the products/policies you're looking for
Not all carriers are the same, and not all offer the same products:
- Some carriers offer accident forgiveness insurance.
- Many carriers offer multiple products like home insurance and renters, life insurance, which offer bundling opportunities.
- Some carriers offer gap insurance, which covers the difference between the actual cash value of your vehicle and what you owe on a loan if your car is deemed a total loss.
- Some carriers are willing to insure a car with a salvage title, while others will not.
- Types of car insurance discounts vary by insurer.
You get the point. Insurance companies have a broad range of products and policies they can offer. Use this to your advantage.
A change in lifestyle
If you've had a change in your lifestyle, that could result in lowered premium. Did you have a change in credit score? Unless you live in Hawaii, Massachusetts, or California, your credit score is likely factored into your rates. Do you have a college student on your policy? If you're moving, your carrier might be expensive in your new neighborhood. Not every rate is the same across the board for every carrier in every city. Additionally, if you're moving to a new state, your carrier might not offer a policy in the state you're moving to (be sure to consider that, as well). Did you have multiple cars on your policy but you're now down to one car? Did you make modifications to your vehicle? Not all modifications are covered, so check with your current carrier and look for carriers that do cover your modifications.
Your premiums increased
It's worth comparing car insurance regularly to see if you're getting a good deal.
If you were in an accident or got a speeding ticket, your carrier might raise your rates. A different company might be able to beat those rates.