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How Often You Should Shop For Car Insurance


Jun 21, 2023 #car, #insurance, #Shop

If you haven’t thought about how much you’re paying for car insurance in a while, you probably should. 

With car insurance costing on average a little more than $2,000 per year (according to data from Bankrate), getting coverage for your vehicle can put a big dent in your finances. To get the best coverage for the least amount of money, you need to know when you should start shopping for a new car insurance policy and what life events could change what you pay.

How often should I shop for car insurance?

Since most car insurance policies last either six or 12 months, it’s smart to re-evaluate your coverage when your current policy is set to expire.

While it’s undoubtedly easier to just renew your current policy, putting effort into some comparison shopping can save you a bundle in lower premiums. To get started, gather some important information such as the details on your car’s make, model, and VIN number, as well as your personal information. Then, get quotes from several insurers, making sure that the coverage amounts and deductibles are consistent. Using an aggregator site can also be helpful to get multiple quotes at once. 

CNBC Select has compared dozens of car insurance companies and several stand out as the best. Our top choices include Geico for its superior financial strength and high customer satisfaction ratings and Nationwide for its wide availability and low average premiums for full coverage. 

Geico Auto Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

  • Policy highlights

    Geico coverage and services are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and there are 16 different types of discounts available. In addition to the standard coverage options, Geico offers various optional add-ons, such as emergency roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and mechanical breakdown insurance.

Nationwide Auto Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

  • Policy highlights

    Nationwide offers near-nationwide availability and personalized services, such as On Your Side® Review, a free annual insurance evaluation to ensure you are adequately protected and are taking advantage of any discounts available to you.

Shop for car insurance when your circumstances change

When your life changes, your insurance should, too. A few common scenarios that should cause you to reevaluate your car insurance policy include

State Farm Auto Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

  • Policy highlights

    State farm is one of the largest auto insurers based on market share and has an excellent reputation for customer satisfaction. It offers 13 discounts, including ones for safe driving and young drivers.

  • Purchasing a new vehicle: Getting the keys to a new (or new-to-you) car should send you shopping for car insurance coverage. Different insurance companies may evaluate the same vehicle and come to different conclusions on pricing, so you’ll want to double-check that the insurance coverage you have is still the best for your new ride. 
  • Getting in an accident. Being involved in an accident where you’re found at fault can send your insurance rate up by about 42%. Shopping around could help you mitigate the financial damage from such a steep increase. 
  • Improving your credit score. If you’ve been working on increasing your credit score, it could pay off when it comes to your auto insurance premium. In many (but not all) states, insurance companies can consider your credit score when pricing your policy, and people with higher credit scores often receive lower rates. 

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Bottom line

Shopping around at least once a year for car insurance can lower one of the biggest expenses of being a driver. Comparing quotes after a life event such as moving or adding a new driver to your policy can help you make sure you’re still getting the best deal.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.


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