Insurance isn’t the most exciting aspect of car ownership, but it is one of the most important. Not only is your policy designed to protect you from financial disaster in the event of a collision or related injury, it is required by most states if you own a vehicle. The consumer Reports recommends shopping for the best policy, not just when buying a car, but periodically to make sure you always get the best deal possible.
Through a survey of the members, the CR selects the insurance companies that offer the best service at the most competitive monthly premiums. But there are a number of factors to consider while shopping for an auto policy. For starters, it is helpful to understand the traits that insurers consider when formulating the monthly premiums, including the following factors:
Age, driving experience and driver history affect the cost of your premium. Accidents, traffic violations, or the addition of a teen driver can increase the cost of your policy, because the insurance company puts you in a higher risk category.
Type of car
In general, the higher the cost of the car, the higher its price, because car repair and replacement are expensive. High performance cars also increase the cost of insurance, due to the increased risks associated with owning a faster car.
According to Experian, a credit reporting agency, most states allow insurance companies to calculate auto premium rates based on a customer’s credit score. Insurers stress that credit history is a good indicator of the risks they will have to cash insurance claims, and they price their policies accordingly. Restrictions or credit-based insurance scores in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, and Utah, but in other states, lowering your credit score can help you get a better rate.
Local weather trends, traffic conditions and other factors that increase the likelihood of claims lead to higher rates. For example, if devastating storms in your area generate a lot of auto insurance claims, your company may apply to your state’s insurance regulator for an overall rate increase to reflect its increased exposure to risk. The customers in areas with higher collision rates are also likely to pay more.
Loyalty does not pay
A common misconception is that insurance companies reward customers for staying. Our recent survey of Consumer Reports members showed that you can save money by shopping for a better price from time to time. 23 percent of the members surveyed told us they had changed insurance companies in the past five years. Of those, 63 percent said they found a better price, and 78 percent said they were very satisfied with the new carrier.
Pricing can be another reason to shop for a new insurance company every few years. With the exception of California, Florida, Ohio and Maryland, most states allow insurance companies to participate in this controversial practice, which allows them to raise rates for reasons not related to increased liability risk. The bottom line is that if the insurance company says you are not likely to jump from ship to ship, they may raise rates just because they can, which costs you extra money.
Factor changes in life
If you get married, add a teenage driver to your policy, add or remove a car, or change your commuting distance as has happened with many people during the pandemic – ask your insurance company how much the changes will cost or provide for you, and shop other insurance policies to see which carrier can That gives you the best price. Also remember to request that your coverage be adjusted to reflect your vehicle’s consumption; Insurance companies don’t necessarily do this without asking you.
Choose a highly rated insurance company
It is important that you get a lower premium, but not all. Find a moving company that, in addition to competitive low premiums, offers fair and fast claims settlements, offers great out-of-claims customer service, helps you thoroughly review your policy, and proactively offers help and advice.
Take these steps to save more
- Keep your credit and driving record clean: Both have an impact on the price of your insurance premium. To get the best rates, you will need at least three years of clean driving. In most states, better your credit score, the lower your rates.
- Choose Your Vehicle Wisely: Premiums vary by model. When comparing models, ask your insurance company for special quotes on the different vehicle models you’re considering. Luxury and high-performance cars tend to be more expensive to insure than regular models.
- Designate the Right Driver for the Right Vehicle: Ask your insurance agent which driver drives each car in your home. Basing these matches on people’s driving records and vehicle values can save you money. Pairing a lower value car with a driver who travels longer distances, for example, may cost you less than giving that driver a higher value car.