Don’t rest on your rate
The rate that you pay for car insurance is not a fixed rate. It is based on factors that can change over time, which means that your car insurance can also change over time. That’s why it’s a good idea to get into the habit of car insurance shopping coverage once or twice a year. This is especially important if you’re inadvertently paying more than you need to for insurance coverage, or your policy doesn’t provide the level of coverage you now need.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best times to evaluate your auto insurance and see if you’re getting the best deal for your needs.
When you buy a new car
A common myth is that it’s always more expensive to insure than an older car. But because there are other factors that can affect your rates, this isn’t always true. Some factors that can affect your insurance rate include: the make and model, especially if it’s a car that’s more commonly stolen; the car’s safety features; and the cost of repairing or replacing the car’s components.
You have to make sure that you have an insurance policy on your car, but keep in mind you do have a grace period of up to 30 days (depending on your insurance policy) to inform your insurance provider that you’ve bought a new car. During this time, you can shop for policies before you buy and make sure that you’re getting the best deal.
When your family situation changes
If you get married, this can affect your insurance rates (generally being married lowers rates). Adding your spouse to your policy can increase or decrease your payments, depending on their driving record. Even if your spouse doesn’t own a car and rarely drives, it might be worth it to add them to your policy to lower your rates.
If your teenager starts driving, adding them to your policy can increase rates substantially because teens are statistically less safe drivers. However, you can take advantage of discounts for teens if their GPA is 3.0 or higher; if they take a defensive driving course; if they’re away from home for school and aren’t driving as often.
When the amount you drive changes
The amount that you drive your car can affect your car insurance. In certain states, driving fewer miles per year can lower your premiums significantly, and vice versa. For example, in California, if you increase the miles you drive in a year from 5,000 to 10,000 you can see your insurance premiums increase by 17%.
But, if you’ve changed parts of your routine that results in you driving less, check with your insurance provider to see if you’re eligible for a lower rate. These changes can include working from home if you previously had a long commute, if you relocated to a home much closer to your office, or if you moved to a more walkable area so you don’t drive as often.
When your premiums go up
If your premiums increase and there have been no changes to your driving record, you may want to check to see if you’re getting the best coverage for your money. This is a good time to go car insurance shopping to compare your current insurance provider with others to see if you can find a competitive rate.
When You Move
If you move, that can change your premiums. As we’ve mentioned before, insurance rates are location-dependent (like, again, how California offers lower rates if you drive less, but North Carolina doesn’t). Even a move within one state (or one city!) can make a difference.
The times we’ve mentioned above are all great times to review your insurance coverage, but you don’t have to wait for one of these events. As we get ready to tackle our holiday shopping and our budgets for the new year, now is a great time to take a look around and what the best option is for your car insurance coverage. There are even Black Friday deals for auto insurance. Yup, really.
And don’t forget, regardless of your car insurance, you have the right to request Hollingsworth Auto for any collision repair you may need.