Auto insurance can be one of the biggest costs of owning a car, and it’s important to shop around for car insurance so that you are buying only the coverage you really need and are getting the best rates. Many people who stick with an insurance company for several years, or those who do not shop around for car insurance, do end up paying more than the average for coverage. Here are some warning signs that you may be paying too much for auto insurance:
1. Your rates keep increasing even when you haven’t had any accidents. If you have had a clean driving record for several years but still see your rates inching up, you could be paying more than you need to. If you notice your auto insurance premium is going up every six months, you may need to consider negotiating a better rate or switching auto insurance providers.
2. You’re paying higher than the average for your area. Do some online research to find out what the average auto insurance rate is and compare it to your current rate. The Insurance Information Institute publishes statistics on rates across the country on a regular basis. If you’re paying much higher than the average, it may be time to negotiate with your insurance provider.
3. You’re paying for unnecessary coverage. If you are paying a very high deductible on an older car, or have signed up for comprehensive coverage on a car that is not leased or almost new, you may be paying too much for auto insurance. Get in touch with an insurance agent to confirm that you are getting only the coverage you really need, and consider switching plans so that you can lower your rates.
4. Competitor rates are much lower for the same type of coverage. You can shop around for a better quote to determine whether you are paying a fair price for auto insurance based on your needs. Get a quote from at least three different insurance providers so that you can see if there are any major differences in your insurance rates.
5. You’re paying a lot of convenience charges and fees. Some insurance companies impose a convenience charge and other fees when you pay online or over the phone. Others may impose a fee when you choose their installment payment plan. Make sure you’re aware of all the fees and charges you will be responsible for when selecting your payment method, and look at the payment policies of competitors to find out if you could be saving some money if you switched.