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8 Tips to Help You Shop for Auto Insurance

Toy car, magnifying glass, calculator, pen and notebook.

Should you shop for auto insurance regularly? If so, how often? Which factors should you pay incredibly close attention to? Where can you save the most money? 

These are just a few of the critical questions I’ll help you answer in this brief article.

1. Shopping Around Could Save You Tons

When it comes to homeowner’s insurance, I recommend you shop around at least every other renewal. 

Related: 8 Tips to Help You Shop for Homeowner’s Insurance

However, it can be a good idea to shop for auto insurance at each of your renewals, whether annual or every six months. Why? Because according to a NerdWallet study, depending on your insurer and where you live, “an average driver could save $859 per year — more than $70 a month — by shopping around for the best rates.” 

For the least amount of headache, reach out to your IHS Insurance Group representative, and we’ll get the ball rolling for you.

2. Learning About Customer Feedback is Critical

After we present some of your best options and whittle the list down, you’ll want to search online to learn what current policyholders say. After all, if you frequently encounter similar complaints, this could be a good indication you might experience the same after handing over your hard-earned money. 

Of course, your IHS agent has a wealth of knowledge about each of the carriers we represent, so be sure to ask as many questions as you like! 

IHS Pro Tip: In addition to search engines and the professionals at IHS, sites like the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot can be great resources when learning about auto insurance carrier customer reputations. 

3. Carefully Reviewing Vehicle Details

When obtaining quotes, you’ll want to closely review that all information for each vehicle is accurate, especially the VIN. In fact, I’ve seen several hundred-dollar differences in annual rates for cars simply because one VIN letter was entered incorrectly. 

Furthermore, you’ll want to ensure that usage (e.g., commuting, pleasure) and annual miles are accurate.

4. Paying Close Attention to Drivers

After verifying vehicle information, move on to drivers. Make sure that each driver is appropriately assigned to the vehicle they drive most. For example, you probably don’t want your 16-year old driver inadvertently assigned to the Corvette on your policy, which could drastically increase what you pay. 

You’ll also want to ensure that any activity (accidents, violations) is assigned to the correct operators and that you’re not being charged for any activity you shouldn’t (e.g., a ticket for which you took a defensive driving course).

5. Maximizing Your Discounts

Along these same lines, taking a defensive driving course could save you money on your auto insurance premium, even if you don’t have any activity. 

Home and auto combo discounts will be the most significant, although you can potentially take advantage of other minor discounts that can add up, including: 

  • Good student (under the age of 24 and enrolled at least part-time in school, with a 3.0 GPA or better) 
  • Driver training 
  • Safe driver (no activity within three to five years) 
  • Affinity (professional organizations you belong to) 
  • Military 
  • Vehicle safety features: seat belts, airbags, ABS brakes (usually automatically pulled from the VIN, but sometimes mistakes are made, as outlined above)
  • Anti-theft features (automatically locking doors, alarms, tracking devices, etc.) 

Related: Are You Missing Out on These Top Auto Insurance Discounts? 

You can also achieve minor auto policy savings by signing up for auto-pay and paperless billing, as well as if you pay your premium in full (versus monthly installments).

6. Reviewing Your Deductibles

Depending on your carrier, you can typically choose comprehensive and collision deductibles for your vehicles ranging between $0 and $2,500.  

Related: Do You Need Collision Coverage on Your Auto Insurance Policy? 

There’s an inverse relationship between your deductibles and premium—the lower your deductibles, the more you’ll pay for auto insurance. However, you’ll also have to pay less out of your pocket if you’re involved in an accident. 

Conversely, higher deductibles will lower your premium and increase out-of-pocket expenses if you need to file a claim. 

 IHS Pro Tip: If you’re looking to achieve the most value for your money, changing collision deductibles will have a much more significant premium impact than comprehensive. 

7. Familiarizing Yourself with Your Insurance Score

Your credit score is a number that ranges between 300 and 850. It’s calculated using a combination of factors, including the number of credit accounts you have open, your total debt load, how it compares to your income, and your repayment history, to name just a few. 

While your insurance score takes your credit score in to account, it also looks at factors like accidents and other claims within the past five years, where your vehicle is garaged, and its make, model, and age. 

Related: How Can You Learn More About Insurance Score? 

While you have less control over your insurance score (IS) than your credit score, the lower your IS, the higher your auto insurance rates will be, all else being equal.

8. Independent vs. Captive Agents: Who’s Better?

It’s undoubtedly true that each driver has their own needs and preferences, so there isn’t a single insurance carrier that will work for everyone.  

This is just one reason why independent agencies like IHS can offer an advantage when shopping for automobile coverage. Instead of calling around to different carriers directly, we can use our decades of combined experience to shop our select companies for the price and coverage combination that works for you and your family. 

Related: 3 Reasons Why You Should Choose an Independent Medicare Insurance Agent or Broker  

Do You Have Additional Questions About Shopping for Auto Insurance? 

Shopping for insurance isn’t difficult, but it can be a pain. Don’t let this stop you from potentially saving hundreds by, though! The professional staff at IHS Insurance Group are here to help. 

Need a FREE Quote? Or do you have questions about shopping for auto insurance? We have three convenient ways to reach us:  

  1. If you prefer to talk to a licensed agent directly, please call (866) 480 5063.     
  2. If you prefer to fill out a quick form and have an agent get back with you at your convenience, use the GET A FREE QUOTE.     
  3. Lastly, for those that want an immediate quote, please click HERE.  

We look forward to speaking with you today!

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