What to Know Before Switching Your Car Insurance

Shopping for car insurance? Being prepared can help you save.

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(StatePoint) The pandemic has impacted nearly every industry and aspect of our lives, including automotive production and driving habits.

Last year, the average new car price reached a record high largely due to a global automotive microchip shortage. Unfortunately, prices aren’t the only thing on the rise. Reckless driving has also skyrocketed, with more than 30,000 U.S. traffic fatalities in the first nine months of 2021.

These effects are likely to influence insurance companies’ auto policy premiums. Drivers concerned about rising costs might want to shop around for a new policy. Before making the switch, here are a few things to consider:

1. You can change providers at any time. If your insurance isn’t satisfying your needs, you’re free to switch carriers whenever you’d like. However, it’s important to keep in mind that some insurance companies charge a cancellation fee and require a formal cancellation letter with 30-days’ notice. Check your policy for these clauses before making a move.

2. Not all auto policies are created equal. Big on road trips? Find an insurer that offers reimbursement for travel expenses should you find yourself stranded far from home. Got furry friends? Look for a policy that helps cover vet treatment costs if your pet is hurt in a car accident. Have a tendency to misplace items? Choose a company that reimburses the cost of locksmith services in case you lock your keys inside your vehicle. Some companies, like Erie Insurance, offer these extra protections as part of their standard auto policy at no additional cost. Erie Insurance policies are offered for a full year term, while some insurers only provide six-month policies.

3. Major life changes can help you save. If you’ve recently gotten married or purchased a home, you may qualify for a lower rate. Couples and homeowners typically pay less for car insurance, though it depends on your carrier. Be sure to indicate these changes when shopping around to guarantee the lowest price.

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4. Save with a multi-policy discount. Did you know bundling your homeowners and auto policies with one company may save you money? Many insurance companies offer multi-policy discounts. Before you decide to look elsewhere -- check with your insurer to see if you can bundle and save.

5. Keeping continuous coverage can help you get a lower rate. Not only does driving without auto insurance put you at risk of fines, tickets or even license suspensions, it can also cause your rates to increase. If you choose to change providers, align the timing so there are no gaps between policies.

Insurance shopping can be overwhelming, but keeping these factors in mind will help you both save and determine which policy best addresses your needs.

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