Most people are not taking a close enough look at their car insurance often, if at all. They may glance at it on renewal and call to ask why their rate has gone up, but they don’t often take the time to look over the policy for accuracy. While it only takes a few minutes to review your policy, it can save you hundreds or even thousands.
Reviewing Your Policy
When you get the renewal paperwork in the mail for your car insurance policy is the perfect time to sit down and look over the information contained in it, but you can review at any time during the policy term.
You can review your policy at home or with your insurance professional. The purpose of the review is to catch anything that might have changed in the past year, anything that is inaccurate, or any discounts that might be missing. The review is an opportunity not only to find ways to possibly save money, but also to ensure that all of the coverage you need is in place so there are no gaps or problems when you need it.
What to Look For on Your Review
When reviewing your policy, the first thing to do is to check if your rate has gone up, if you are reviewing on renewal. If so, check for an explanation of the increase. If you can’t find one, call the insurance company to find out why the rate has gone up.
The next thing to check is to make sure your cars are listed and described accurately, and that the correct drivers are rated on those cars. The primary driver of the car should be the person who drives it most frequently. You should also check the commuting status listed on the car. IF you have a car you drive infrequently, it should be rated for pleasure use and not for commuting use. This can make a big difference in the rate. The correct number of commuting miles on each vehicle can make a difference as well.
Check all of your discounts and make sure that they are all in place as they should be. Ask your insurance company for a list of the available discounts so that you can compare it to your policy and see what you qualify for.
Finally, you should verify that you have all of the coverage you need on your policy and that you are not paying for any coverage you don’t need.
Look for Money-Saving Methods
As you review, check for areas where you could be saving money. If you are paying for full coverage on a vehicle that is older and not worth much money, you might want to consider dropping some of the extra coverage, especially if you don’t drive it much. Be sure you talk to an expert and understand the potential consequences of doing this before you make the change.
Ask your insurance company what might change if you raise your deductible, since it’s the easiest way to drop your premiums quickly and easily. Make sure that any tickets or accidents that should be coming off your record are no longer being counted against you. Bear in mind that these usually come off on renewal, not on the actual date of the conviction, since insurance companies don’t start charging until the first renewal after the incident.
Shopping Around for Rates
When you review your policy is a good time to shop around and compare car insurance quotes. Once you’re sure that everything on your policy is accurate and you are paying the lowest rate you can get from your car insurance company, take a few extra minutes to request some quotes from other insurance companies to see what they can offer you.
Online quoting makes it easy to get several quotes quickly and to make sure that you are getting the best rate. Having just reviewed your current policy, you can make sure that you are being quoted accurately using the information on the existing policy. You may also want to get some quotes with higher coverage to find out if you can get better coverage for less or the same amount of money.
The time it takes to review your policy is well worth it when you consider how much you could be over-paying if you don’t take the time. Keeping up on your insurance allows you to be aware of what your coverage is at all times and to be confident that you are paying the best possible rate for that coverage. It keeps your policies accurate and lets you know when it’s time to shop around. Make a yearly habit of doing a review, and you will always be on top of your insurance needs and rates.