Whether it's your car, business, home, or rented condo, you know you have to carry insurance to protect these high-value items. Insurance can take a bite out of your monthly budget, and you're always on the lookout for insurance deals and ways to save money. One of the best ways to save money is to find a lower rate. However, shopping for a lower rate takes time and doesn't always yield results.
It seems easier to let your current policy renew at the end of the period. Most insurance companies offer automatic renewal for customer convenience. In some cases, you might not know the exact date of the policy renewal. So how often and when are the best time to do some insurance rate comparison shopping. Here are a few things to consider when looking for the best insurance deals.
Two Weeks Before the Policy Renewal Date
You probably have it set up so that your insurance policies automatically renews at the end of the period. This can save you a lot of time and hassle, and it also ensures that you never find yourself without coverage. It can also encourage a little laziness in the bargain-hunting side of insurance.
Mark your calendar or set up an event to compare insurance rates around two weeks before your current policy expires. This gives you time to provide any additional paperwork if you find another company with a better rate. You want one company to pick up at the exact time that the other stops it coverage. A lag between the two policies can be dangerous.
Improved Credit Score
No one is perfect, and it only takes one bad decision to damage your credit score. Some insurance companies and policies look at your credit score as part of determining the amount you pay for a policy. If you improve your score by 100 or more points, it's a good time to look at rates and possible discounts.
When the economy is good, people buy new cars, homes, boats, and motorcycles — all of which require insurance policies. More new clients and policies sold can help lower the rate of your policy. If the economy is at a high, it's a good idea to contact your insurance company and ask for a discount or lower rate, and also to check with additional companies for a better price.
Major Life Change
Anytime you experience a major life change, it's beneficial to check your current insurance coverage. It might be that you need additional coverage or that you can find a lower price. Major life changes include:
- Buying a new home
- The birth of a child
- Moving to a new city
- Teenager reaches driving age
- Taking a new job
- Renting your first apartment
- Buying your first boat or motorcycle
All of these events may leave you vulnerable without the correct insurance policy for your lifestyle. You might even find lower rates and insurance deals for policies due to a life change, such as marriage or the birth of a child.
Extended Period Without a Ticket or Accident
Have you gone a couple of years without a speeding ticket or moving violation? Has it been a long time since you were involved in an accident or needed to file a claim against your homeowner's insurance? Well, now is the time to do some comparison shopping.
It's a good idea to start with your current company. You can contact them, point out your excellent record, and ask for a discount or some other form of compensation. If you had a couple of tickets on your record when you bought the original policy, you probably paid a higher rate. With a new history of safe driving, you should qualify for a lower rate.
Start by Consulting Your Current Insurance Agent
Do you ever feel like the insurance industry has its own language? Your insurance agent is ready to help. When comparing insurance policy, it's a good idea to start by consulting your current agent. In many cases, an agent represents more than one company, so your agent can help you get multiple quotes for your owner's insurance, umbrella insurance, car insurance, and so much more.
Your agent can explain possible discounts and the latest benefits of policies. They can also help you spot any areas where you need additional benefits.