Car insurance is one of the costliest purchases that consumers hope to never use. While it’s always important to buy the right coverage, it costs a lot more to insure a brand-new car than a five-, seven-, or nine-year-old model you are replacing. Here are 10 helpful tips on how to keep your premiums in line without taking on unnecessary risks.
Do an Annual Rate Check
If you’ve been with the same insurer a long time, it might be tough to beat its rates, especially if you haven’t had any claims lately. In fact, a 2014 survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center found that only 10 percent of 19,000 ConsumerReports.org subscribers who compared premiums found that they would save money by switching insurers.
It’s easy to compare multiple insurers online, at sites such as Answer Financial, Insure.com, Insweb.com, and NetQuote. You usually won’t get an immediate quote online, but you will get email messages from agents looking for your business. Consider forming a relationship with an independent agent, who will check rates for you at a range of carriers.
Pick a Top-Rated Insurer
Saving money isn’t simply a matter of finding the lowest premium. Some insurers have lower premiums, but end up costing you more in the end by lowballing loss estimates, hassling the repair shop to cut corners, and forcing you to pay extra for original-equipment replacement parts. They might even unfairly jack up your premiums after an accident.
We surveyed 64,872 ConsumerReports.org subscribers who filed a claim between 2011 and 2014. Eighty-eight percent of them were highly satisfied with the handling of their claims. Among the highest-rated groups were USAA, Amica, and NJM, with overall satisfaction scores of 90 or higher.
By Jon Linkov
See full story at www.consumerreports.org