You're probably paying too much for car insurance.
Most consumers stay with the same company year after year, often concluding that steep discounts they get for their loyalty or not having any speeding tickets or accidents means they won’t find better pricing elsewhere. That’s usually untrue. Although you might be getting a price break from your current company, its competitors will also likely happily offer low prices to lure you away.
Our analysis of auto insurance rates in seven metro areas found that most drivers will save $500 or more a year by making a better auto insurance choice. Many will save $1,500 or more.
To make sure you're not paying too much for your policy, you'll have to shop around. Although it’s a bit of a pain to shop for auto insurance, most consumers would agree that spending a few hours to save $500, $1,000, or more every year is worth the effort. Note that you don’t have to wait until your current policy term expires to take advantage of the savings you’d get from a switch. If you change companies, your old insurance company will refund the unused share of your premium. You also don’t have to forsake good service for a better rate: We found that some highly rated companies offer low rates.
If you live in one of the seven metro areas served by Checkbook, check our auto insurance comparison tool to see how companies stack up for price and quality.
You want to buy enough coverage to protect yourself—but not so much that you’re wasting money. We advise on that, too. The highlights:
- Maintain the highest deductible amount with which you’re comfortable.
- Be vigilant that your coverage doesn’t lapse.
- Consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage when your car’s value drops below $3,000.
- Carefully consider the extras. Some optional coverages aren’t worth much, but companies charge a lot for them.
- For repairs, insist on using a repair shop you trust. Click here to visit our section on auto body repairs .