Do more with less: Shop around for a new auto insurance policy


A new auto insurance policy can save you money and maintain your lifestyle

Quick notes:

  • There are lots of sources for referrals to a potential new auto insurance agency with a better policy

  • Do the groundwork to research likely agencies and policies

  • Once you’ve got a shortlist, compare each of them based on the same specific criteria

If you’re looking to squeeze more out of your paycheck, one of the things you can do is to pay less for what you buy. If you work it right, these kinds of change won’t affect your lifestyle. You’re still enjoying a great product; it just isn’t costing you as much.

This principle works especially well when it comes to auto insurance because it’s a realm where the pricing and benefits can vary widely from policy to policy.  Every few years, it makes sense to shop around to see what kinds of policies are being offered. Ideally, you want to either pay less for the same level of coverage or get more value from what you’re currently paying.

How to shop around for leads on a new insurance agent and policy

Sure, shopping around for car insurance is time-consuming, but it seems easy enough. In the interest of being thorough, here’s a quick checklist of all of the places that you can look for leads on new insurance policies:

  • Family members that you trust
  • Business colleagues that you are close to
  • Personal finance professionals that you use such as accountants, lawyers or financial planners
  • Online searches
  • Recommendations from an area insurance trade group
  • A member of your local chamber of commerce or networking group

Once you’ve identified a list of possible candidates, it is a good idea to look into how they do business. As you receive references for a specific agency, ask the referer why they’re giving their recommendation. Also, take the time to look into what an agency’s/policy’s online reviews look like or research them through a third-party certification agency such as the Better Business Bureau.

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Each of these actions can give you a better sense of whether the agency is reputable and if they’re a good fit for how you like to work. This research should also help you pare your more extensive list down to a handful of candidates that you’d like to explore further. How many companies should you add to your shortlist? Three to five is a good number to aim for.

Consider these specifics

As you’re comparing insurance, there are a few key things that you’ll want to keep an eye out for. Firstly, you’ll want to understand the coverage requirements for your state so that you know you’re meeting them. You’ll have to see if they require coverage for bodily injury, property damage, personal injury protection, and coverage for damages by an uninsured motorist.

Take the time to do the proper groundwork before you shop for a new insurance policy. The investment in time is worth it

In most states, some of these requirements can change based on the age and assessed value of your car and the age of the driver. Lastly, you’ll probably find that your pricing will vary based on past claims and the motorist’s driving record.

Once you’re clear on what coverage areas you need to look at, compare the overall costs for your deductible and the coverage limits regarding how much will be covered if you have a problem. You’ll also want to look for some extras that can save you quite a bit. Things like windshield repair (does the policy cover this and, if so, will you be charged your deductible if you need to replace your windshield?) and roadside assistance. You’ll also want to look at the amount of liability insurance that you’ll have.

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