October 25, 2009

How Switching Auto Insurance Providers Can Save You Money

Even though it is at a pace lower than overall inflation, the cost of auto insurance is rising, adding approximately $8 to $9 to the average consumer’s annual bill, said Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute. While that may not seem like a large increase, there are documented ways to reduce your auto insurance rates so you don’t have to worry about rising costs at all.

Primarily, it is important that you research and shop for new auto insurance quotes either on the Internet or by contacting local insurance agents. First, visit your state insurance website; they often list complaint ratings against companies. There are also several websites that not only allow you to directly compare personalized auto insurance quotes from various companies, but will also connect you directly with local agencies. Experts advise that three quotes from competing companies will provide a good indication of prices you can expect to pay. Insurers want new business and will most likely try to accommodate prospective clients. Some auto insurers will even provide an early shopper’ discount to those looking into changing their auto policies before their current policy expires, assuming this initiative indicates responsible drivers – the most desirable type of clients for insurance companies.

Obviously, some companies offer better discounts than others; so ask for every type of discount available at a specific company. Inquire to see if they offer a ‘safe driver’ discount if you have a good driving record with few or no infractions or ask for a low mileage discount if you do not drive far every day or you carpool. Ask if your rate can be reduced even further if you have or will take a defensive driving or safe driving course in the future (some of these courses are offered online and can cost as little as $12). ‘All in all, good research and communication are the keys to getting the auto insurance premiums you’ve been dying to achieve amidst rising insurance costs,’ says InsuranceAgents.com.

While making any type of auto insurance switch, it is imperative that you do not allow your current auto insurance policy to lapse. This can make obtaining coverage much more difficult in the future. Also, make certain there are no fees charged by your current insurer for canceling your policy with little notice. And check with your new carrier that you are not signing on for introductory coverage rates that may change after the first year.

Regardless of how pleased you are with your auto insurance rates, it is good to shop around at least once a year to make sure the price you are paying is fair. You never know, you may be able to cut your costs even more by doing so.