Auto insurance rates are going up – start shopping now

Wang Yan

Global Courant

Receiving a letter from your insurance company is rarely a pleasant experience. Those letters often contain unexpected and unwanted information, such as a message that your premiums are going up. If you’re the unwitting recipient of one of those rate hike letters, you may want to use this unpleasant news as an excuse to shop around for better coverage at a more affordable price.

There are many reasons auto insurance companies increase their rates, and often those rate increases have nothing to do with you personally. You can have a clean driving record and no claims history and still fall victim to a company-wide rate hike. In fact, if you are a good driver with no accident history, you have even more reason to look for a better deal. It could just be that your current auto insurance company isn’t very good at managing money and determining risk, and if that’s the case, you probably don’t want to continue working with them anyway.

Collect your information

If you do receive a letter stating that your rates will increase, read that letter carefully to determine exactly when the rate increase will take effect. Chances are your premiums won’t increase until your next period of coverage begins, so it could be a few weeks or even a few months before you start to see those higher premiums eat into your cash flow.

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Your next step should be to find a copy of your most recent insurance policy. You must have the actual policy, not just the insurance card. You need the information from the detail pages of the policy to determine your current coverage level. You should see a page listing each type of coverage you have for yourself and your vehicles, including collision and comprehensive coverage, property damage and liability, and coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers. Note the levels of each type of coverage, as well as the deductible for each type. You can use those coverage levels as you shop for a new and less expensive auto insurance policy.

Compare online

Once you’ve gathered as much information as possible about your current policy, your next step is to find a quality online auto insurance comparison tool. There are many of these tools out there and they work by letting you enter your information and then sending that data to all the auto insurers they work with. These online tools can be a great way to collect multiple quotes for the coverage you need.

After you have found a suitable online comparison tool, enter all the information of your current policy, including the coverage limits for each type of insurance coverage. Please review these listings carefully before submitting the information as an error in those coverage levels could cause the quotes you receive to be inaccurate. After you submit your information, you should receive quotes from several insurance companies and you can use that information to find the best coverage at the lowest price possible.

Auto insurance rates are going up – start shopping now

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