There’s a good chance you’ve changed jobs more times than you’ve changed your car insurance. The average American has had the same insurance company for a dozen years. Vehicle insurance is a hot commodity – everyone needs it because at least a minimum amount of coverage is required. That means consumers have a number of choices so don’t be afraid to shop around especially if something in your life has changed.
Here are five reasons to change car insurance:
- You have a new teenage driver. Not only is your stress level rising with the addition of a teen driver but so are your auto insurance rates. In fact, your insurance bill may go up by 50 percent or more. And rates vary widely among insurance companies. When your teen gets a license, it’s time to start shopping. Be sure to ask companies about discounts for good grades and safe drivers.
- You’re buying a new car. A big factor in your auto insurance rates is the make and model of your vehicle. A Honda is cheaper to insure than a Porsche, for example. (See our post on the 10 least expensive cars to insure in 2016). As you’re shopping for your new car, it just makes sense to shop for new insurance. And with online comparison tools, it’s easy to get a sense for how premiums vary from company to company.
- Poor customer service. If you’ve filed claims with your existing insurance company and found their response was slow, unprofessional and less-than-friendly, it’s time to move on. Insurance companies are in the service business and their main goal should be keep their customers happy. It’s too easy for a customer to walk away and find another insurance provider. There’s no reason to tolerate poor customer service.
- You got a speeding ticket. Insurers periodically check motor vehicle records so you might see a price hike even a few months after the ticket is paid and forgotten. But some companies are less concerned about a speeding ticket and may not raise your rates as much, so it’s worth getting a comparison. The same goes for causing a car wreck. Another company may not raise your rates as much after a recent accident.
- You made a major lifestyle change. A big life change like buying a house or getting married may also be the time to look at how bundling your insurance policies can save you money. Many companies will offer discounts if you have multiple policies, so shop for family insurance policies or add your house insurance for even greater savings.
You may think your customer loyalty will be rewarded, but that’s not always the case. Why give a good deal to a customer who plans to stay? Quite often insurance companies offer up their best deals and discounts to attract new customers instead of devoted users. If you’re a long-time customer and request a discount, make sure the company hasn’t raised your rates over the last few years before giving the discount – in that case, you’re aren’t saving anything.
It pays to compare companies, policies, and premiums so you’re not leaving money on the table. This is often where consulting with an auto insurance broker can save you money. Brokers aren’t tied to any one agency so can assist you in comparing prices to find the best deal for you and your family.