For many people, shopping for car insurance is about as much fun as getting a tooth extraction. However, it does pay to check the current rates of a few different car insurance companies about once per year. This will help you to know if you are buying your car insurance at the best possible rate for the most coverage. Before making the leap to a new car insurer, you may want to consider a few things. If you share these with your current carrier, it might affect your rates. Changing companies will guarantee that your rates reflect your current situation.
Your credit score may have changed.
Improvements in your credit score can lower your car insurance rates with some companies. If your credit rating has declined, your rates may go up. By staying with your current insurance company, these changes will not likely be reflected in your car insurance costs. After improvements in your credit scores, you may want to shop again for insurance. If the reverse has happened, staying with the same company is probably the best bet.
Check your driving history.
Have you had an accident claim in the last three to five years? Some car insurance companies do not penalize their customers if they have only one accident claim. A new company will factor this into your rates. However, sometimes your current car insurance company will penalize you for an accident that was not your fault if they had to pay a claim. For example, a hit-and-run might affect your collision insurance because your company has to pay for the damage to your car. However, car insurance companies frequently do not count this type of accident against you when buying a new policy.
When was your last speeding ticket?
When it comes to car insurance, every moving violation that nets you a ticket counts against your insurance costs. It takes about five years for these tickets to wash out of the system. Whether you received the ticket last week or three years ago, it still will be reflected through higher insurance rates. Changing companies after a moving violation can be a major mistake unless your current carrier has dropped you.
Have your driving habits changed?
Consider how many miles you drive each year. If you have increased or decreased the number of miles, it can impact your car insurance rates. Before looking for a new policy, you should let your current insurance company know if the number of miles has dropped dramatically. Unless you are angry with the company, they deserve a chance to compete if you are shopping for better car insurance rates. Other changes also need to be noted. You may have changed where you park your car at work or at home. Parking in a garage helps save insurance dollars. You may work or live in a better neighborhood. Any change like this can come into play when you switch car insurance companies.
How long will it be until you change cars?
If you are planning to switch cars in the near future, it is a good idea to wait to change insurance companies until after the switch is made. In fact, you may find it wise to shop for insurance at the same time you purchase the different car. Depending n the type of car, you may want to know how much it will cost to insure it before you commit to the purchase. Some cars cost a lot more to insure than others. Various insurance companies have different cars that they rate up or down. You might already be with a company that rates your new car relatively low. If you switch companies first, it could cost you.