It breaks our heart to know that most people consider insurance a necessary evil and only want to “deal” with it when they absolutely have to. But is this approach a good idea? Probably not. Insurance is likely one of the biggest items in a household budget and should receive equal attention as such.
The more active you are with your insurance, the better off you’ll be. Not only will you realize the direct benefit of lower overall insurance premiums, but you may very well get a better understanding of your coverage, which could certainly help you out at claim time (why do insurance companies deny claims?).
So, if your answer to “when you shop your insurance” is NEVER, you may want to read our list of the top 10 times you should shop your insurance rate.
When It’s Best to Shop That Rate
1. Every Two Years – Insurers adjust their premiums regularly. Sometimes more than once per year. What you thought was the best deal around two years ago may not be so great today. At least get a few online quotes to see if you are still in the ballpark.
2. During Car or Home Purchase – You’re going to have to contact your insurance agent anyways. May as well ask if they can review your coverage to see if there are any new discounts you qualify for (discount double check). Also grab a few quotes to see if you should switch to another insurer. Of course, if you have a captive agent, you will be severely limited in with your options…go independent to snag the best deal.
3. Teen Driver Added – You knew it was coming and you knew it was going to be expensive (cost of teen car insurance). Your current insurer may loathe the newly licensed driver. This is a great time to shop around. The difference could be hundreds of dollars!
4. After a Ticket, Accident or Claim – Your current insurer may have been the best bet when your driving record and insurance claims history was spotless. But after a ticket or an accident your premium may skyrocket. There are insurers who specialize in insuring those of us with MVR and C.L.U.E. activity that are a little more “forgiving.”
5. Home Refinance – You spent a few hours working on your new mortgage loan to save some money. Why not spend a few minutes online obtaining home insurance quotes to save even more?
6. Credit Score Change – This is a great time to shop your insurance. Some insurers prefer perfect credit and others don’t even look at it. If you have great credit you should be rewarded with cheaper insurance. You may want to obtain quotes from non-credit scored insurers if your credit is less than perfect.
7. Age Milestones – While it may be a myth that your auto insurance automatically drops at age 22 or 25, it is always a good idea to get premium quotes from other insurers who may have lower rates for more mature drivers.
8. Off to College – If you are a college student or a parent of a college student, you may be able to save a few dollars by getting quotes for an individual who drives less or not at all while on campus.
9. Significant Home Improvements – Not only does your insurer need to know if your home has been updated (which may increase its overall replacement cost), but this is also a good time to shop your coverage and premium…you’re already on the phone with them!
10. Getting Married? – You’re going to have to combine your auto insurance anyway. Might as well shop. Also, you are likely acquiring quite a bit more “personal property,” which will need to be added to the form of additional coverage on your homeowners or renters policy in the form of increased contents coverage.
Think of this tidbit as a bonus to our list. The biggest and most well known insurers are those who have the largest advertising budget. They collectively spend billions of dollars (your insurance premium) each year meticulously crafting an image to relay to the public.
If everything you believe about your current “chain” insurer is what you’ve been told by their marketing department and celebrity endorsers on television, it may be in your best interest to shop your premium with an independent insurance agent who represents insurers that don’t spend your money on attracting new clients. The savings could be significant.
How many times have you racked your brain to find extra money in the budget for life’s necessities? Shopping your insurance with an independent insurance agent may very well save you hundreds of dollars for the same or BETTER coverage. It’s FREE money.
Read more: 10 ways to lower your car insurance premium.