“I recently shopped around for car insurance and got a great new rate. I saved more than $500 by switching. Now I want to keep it. What should I do?”
That’s a question we hear a lot. If you want to make sure you don’t see a rate increase when you renew your coverage, you’re going to have to be careful. Auto insurance rates go up and down like the tide. Follow these tips to avoid any surprises come renewal time.
1. Shut up and drive.
This may seem obvious but the worst thing you can do is to have an at-fault accident. And studies have shown that a driver using a cell phone is more likely to be in an accident than a drunk driver. So be careful, and stay off your phone.
2. Don’t get a ticket.
No big surprise here, but insurance companies don’t like drivers with points on their license. Drive defensively, stay alert, don’t drive too fast and don’t drive too close.
3. Watch your credit.
Research has shown that drivers with good credit or a high credit score are less likely to file a claim. On the flip side, drivers with low credit scores are more likely to take risks and more likely file claims. So most auto insurance companies use a customer’s credit history or credit score when underwriting your policy every time you renew.
4. Pay your bill on time.
If they check your credit score to determine your auto insurance rate, I bet they’re going to check to see if you pay them on time.
5. Choose your car carefully.
If you’re getting a new car choose a similar model or call your insurance company and ask if it will cost more to insure. As a quick common sense guide, if it costs more to purchase it usually costs more to insure.
Whatever happens at renewal time, don’t assume you’re getting the best rate. To be sure you’re getting the price and quality you deserve, you should get at least three quotes from three different companies every time you renew.