There are lots of reasons to switch your auto insurance carrier. More on that in a few paragraphs.
But, unless you work at a major insurance carrier and a deep, deep discount is an employee perk, there’s absolutely no reason why you should keep the same carrier for year after year.
Let’s repeat that. Not only don’t you need to keep the same insurance carrier, you really shouldn’t. Why? Because you could be leaving literally hundreds of dollars on the table.
It used to be that an insurance company would reward you for your loyalty with great rates and better features on you policy at no extra cost. But those days are gone. Any insurance company — yours or another one — is always running computer programs to maximize their profitability and lower their risk whether you’ve been with them for 10 years or this is your first time talking to them.
Knowing that, every time a policy anniversary gets close, it’s time to reach out to your independent insurance agent to find you the best deal.
So, let’s talk about the specific reasons you should be shopping for a better deal on better coverage.
When is it time to comparison-shop your auto insurance in Georgia?
According to Bankrate.com, you can change your auto insurance company at any time, certain events might mean it’s time to start looking for a new carrier, or at least to get quotes from other insurers to see if you are getting the best deal and best coverage to meet your needs. You may want to consider switching insurance companies if you are:
Heading into a life change: This includes a marriage, a divorce, or a new job, to name a few. Big changes in your life should ring that bell that says it’s time to shop for insurance.
Approaching your policy’s renewal date: As we said, if you’re paying attention to your bills, you should see this coming weeks or months before it arrives. Put a reminder in your phone’s calendar for a month before your renewal date. Just be sure that you’ve set it up so you are canceling your old policy on the same day that the new one takes effect. Doing it this way assures there will be minimal overlap of coverage and no chance of a dangerous lapse of coverage.
Expecting an increase in premiums: This is related to the previous point. When you are approaching your renewal, your existing company will likely prepare a quote for you to keep your coverage going forward. And if they haven’t yet provided that, ask for it. Either way, this is an excellent time to comparison shop.
Moving to a new ZIP code, city, or state: Your city, state, and even your ZIP code will impact your car insurance premium. If you are moving, it may be a good time to consider a new car insurance company to at least see if rates are more competitive in that area.
Adding a driver or car: Do you have a new driver in the house? Does a marriage or a divorce change who needs to be covered, and when? Again, this is not a time to simply let your coverage ride. It’s time to comparison shop.
Reviewing your options: If you’re happy with your company and premium, there’s really no need to shop for new auto insurance. If you are curious though, there’s no harm in getting quotes. You may discover that another company offers much lower rates or offers policy features that your current carrier doesn’t. Simply getting quotes doesn’t have any adverse effects and doesn’t lock you into a purchase agreement.
When is it a bad time to comparison-shop your auto insurance in Georgia?
Bankrate puts it this way: “While switching carriers can have its advantages, there are also times when changing auto insurance providers may not be a good idea. If you have just filed a claim, for example, you likely will not be able to change carriers. If the claim has not been settled and paid, your new car insurance company may not have the opportunity to correctly rate your policy. This could cause a large increase in your new policy premium at renewal, a retroactive charge to account for the increased risk that the new company did not know about, or even a cancellation for misrepresentation if you did not tell your new carrier about the outstanding claim.”
But what about consistency? What about loyalty? What if you love how your carrier has handled a previous claim?
While there’s no guarantee that your insurance company will continue to take care of you the same way they have previously, there is something to be said for a gut instinct that you’ve found the one insurance company that is right for you. Even so, there’s no obligation when you kick the tires on the competition.
And if you’re worried that you’ll spend more time researching competing deals than you’ll save overall, remember that you’re not the one doing the legwork. In most cases, you’ll be working with an independent agent who has no employer-employee relationship with individual insurance carriers. The independent agent’s job is to make you happy. Usually, that means finding you the best coverage at the best price.
And if you feel like you’re contributing to the end of loyalty between insurance carriers and their customers, that ship sailed long ago. If you leave for a better deal on better coverage at another carrier, there will be no tears shed. It’s nothing personal. It’s just business.
You owe it to yourself and your family to see how much you can save. After all, you’re paying for a product that you hope you never actually use.
Here’s one more way Georgia drivers are saving money on their auto insurance.
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