Switching Auto Insurance: Should You Do It?

Recently, a friend was attempting to park his car in the garage when he misjudged proximity to the entryway and almost completely removed his side-view mirror from the car. It was a minor accident that incurred, what he said, was around $700 worth of damage. Having been with his insurance company for several years — and driving with a relatively clean record for 25 years — he wasn’t prepared for the increase in premiums that awaited him.

“I’ve gone more than 10 years without a single accident,” he argued. “I’ve paid in more than it would take to fix the damage. Should I just swallow this?”

It’s hard to debate whether the price increase was justified when not knowing the specifics on a) how much of a price increase it was, and b) not knowing all the specifics of his driving record. However, the situation did shine light on an interesting dynamic.

When, if ever, is the right time to switch auto insurance, and how should you go about it? Here are a few tips to help guide you.


Firstly, Examine The Relationship.

The first thing that an insurance customer should do when faced with a situation similar to that above, is examine the relationship he or she has with the insurer. In doing so, you should look at the premiums you’ve paid in — not your memories of them, but the premiums themselves — to see if you can reconcile the current rates with your driving history and any pending claims.

In my friend’s case, he was convinced that he’d paid in significantly more money than what the repair would cost. If that’s the situation you’re in, then you might consider speaking with the company itself and asking them to explain the size of the increase. It’s okay to argue your case, but try to have an open mind.


Secondly, Get Multiple Quotes.

Ultimately, if you and your insurer cannot reconcile the changes to your policy, then you may want to hit the web and obtain multiple quotes to see where you would stand with the competition. HometownQuotes can connect you with several pricing options instantly, and we suggest you consider it. After all, it can lead to you getting a better deal on your insurance needs, or at least give you ammunition for arguing your case as to why your new rates deserve a second look from the existing provider.


Finally, Weigh Your Options.

As you pursue this course of action, keep in mind your approach. You want to make sure that you’re comparing both prices and coverages. Also, don’t overlook how often a company ups its rates. For this information, you can check with your state’s insurance department to see whether there is anything abnormal. Since insurers have to clear across-the-board rate increases with the state, there shouldn’t be anything too out-of-the-ordinary, but it never hurts to be informed, especially when you’re transitioning all your coverages to a new provider.

Last but not least, consider whether it’s in your best interests to file a claim in the first place. For relatively inexpensive fixes, it could be in your best interests to pay out-of-pocket and save filing a claim for a potentially more expensive accident down the road. In my friend’s case, he could pay the $700 out-of-pocket throughout the year and keep the accident from affecting his record over the long haul.


In Summary

There are many factors at play when considering a change from your current car insurance company. Ultimately, you are in the best position to make that decision because you have the firsthand knowledge to your specific situation. However, if you feel there is something to be gained, then we recommend getting multiple quotes and comparing the pros and cons. It will only take a few moments, but the peace of mind is something that could last for years to come.

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