Car insurance is one of those necessary evils that every driver must endure if they want to get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, it can be extremely expensive.
When you’re already covered on a car insurance plan, you might not take the time to look for new coverage. If it’s already working, why go through the hassle of negotiating more insurance costs?
Depending on your situation, looking for new insurance may be heavily in your benefit as it can save you hundreds on annual premiums.
Some periods in life are perfect for prompting you to find new insurance, like buying a new car. You’re required to insure new vehicles immediately, but you don’t need to keep the same provider.
Let’s take a look at why you should consider looking for new coverage and what the best time for doing this is!
You Might Be Overpaying for Car Insurance
Chances are great that you are likely overpaying for auto insurance. Certain factors relate to paying more, but the average driver is overpaying. Comparing rates is very important if you live in a high traffic accident area because insurers charge more for policies. For example, Albany, Georgia car insurance and other state capitals will be more expensive than their surrounding areas. Luckily insurance companies are fiercely competing and will offer better rates to earn your business.
This means someone that doesn’t have an excess of tickets, few or no accidents, and at least 25 or older.
Your exact cost will vary by state, but the national average is around $1,450 for an annual premium. This equals out to around $120 per month.
You should look up your state and see what average car insurance premiums look like to see if you are paying too much. Several states fall above and below the national average, so this figure may not be perfect for you.
What Would Prompt You to Look?
It’s easy for something already in motion to stay in motion. If you already have a car insurance policy that you’ve accepted the price of, why would you care to look for new insurance?
Here are a few common occurrences that can prompt a change of insurance:
- Filing a Claim – Insurance companies hate when you file a claim. Some will make it almost impossible for you to file one, delaying as much as possible until you give up.
Claims are what require a provider to pay for something, which they do not want to do. If you’re particularly unlucky, a bad company will drop you altogether after just a single claim.
- Getting a Ticket – Tickets are also problematic because they paint you as a higher-risk driver. Whether the ticket is valid or not is irrelevant.
This almost always results in a higher annual premium, but it can also cause you to lose your provider.
- Accidents – Car accidents are one of the worst things that can happen to you as a driver. Not only can they cause harm to you, but they will certainly damage your vehicle.
Accidents are sure to prompt a claim, which is an insurance provider’s worst nightmare. You’ll already need to deal with any physical pain and finding a new vehicle, but hassling with your insurance can make it worse.
All of these prompts tend to revolve around one central idea; a higher rate. Unless your insurance provider increases how much you pay, you likely won’t think to look at other companies.
Browse During Life-Changing Events
Outside of prompts like filing a claim, getting a ticket, or an accident, you can also use life-changing events as a good time to look for new insurance.
This is because significantly impactful events will change your financial status. When this happens, you’ll surely want to have a lower cost for your car insurance.
These are all examples of life-altering occasions:
- Child Turning 16
- New Job
You’ll need to take another look at your car insurance policy if either of these events happens. You might be eligible for a lower rate (outside of adding a teenage driver) or in a good place to add extra coverage.
Compare If You’ve Had a Clean Record for Years
One last consideration is to get new quotes if you’ve had an excellent driving record for a few years, generally 3-5.
When this happens, most offenses will be removed from your driving record. This will make you a lower risk to insurance companies, which should mean a lower rate.
If you aren’t already receiving a lower rate thanks to your improved driving record, this is a perfect time to look around.
You’ll have the leverage to request a lower premium from your current provider or the option of signing with someone new.
A good driving record is one of the best ways to lower your monthly cost for car insurance. If it isn’t already benefiting you, then you need to find a provider that will recognize this.
If you’ve had the same car insurance provider for several years, then there’s a good chance you’re paying too much for your auto insurance without knowing it.
You aren’t likely to look for new insurance unless something physically prompts you to do so. Receiving a higher rate or being dropped altogether because of filing a claim, getting a ticket, or an accident will cause you to want new insurance.
Beyond this, you should shop around if you’ve had any major life-altering events recently or if you’ve had a clean record for the past few years.
Most people overpay for auto insurance as it is, so the best time to look for new coverage is if your rates haven’t changed since you first signed up!