The Best Time to Buy Car Insurance
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The Fiscal Times
January 30, 2014

Depending on the time of year you purchase car insurance, the rates can vary by as much as 50 percent in some states, according to a new report by InsuranceQuotes.com.

Nationally, the cheapest time to buy car insurance is in December, when the national median cost of a new full-coverage auto policy for a 35-year-old single male with a $500 deductible (and a clean driving record) costs 8 percent less than it does in March, the most expensive month.

Related:  Here’s An Easy Way to Cut Your Car Insurance Payments

“All of this illustrates why it’s so important for consumers to regularly shop for car insurance,” said Laura Adams, a senior analyst with InsuranceQuotes.com. “You won’t know you’re getting a good deal unless you compare at least three different quotes.”

Location matters a lot, however. While December is the cheapest month nationally, it’s actually the most expensive month in 11 states. Hawaii’s 47.9 percent variance led the nation, followed by Wyoming (39.7 percent), Washington, D.C. (35.3 percent), and Maryland (34.8 percent).

The study found the smallest differences in rates in South Dakota (1.9 percent), Arkansas (3.7 percent), Utah (4.4 percent), and Iowa (4.9 percent).

The average cost of car insurance is $762 per year, according to Bankrate.com. In addition to shopping around and purchasing your policy at the right time of year for where you live, you may be able to reduce your premiums by bundling your home and auto policy with the same insurer, increasing your deductible, or switching to a pay-as-you-drive policy.

If your higher rates are due to points on your license, consider signing up for a defensive driving class that could reduce the points more quickly.

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Life + Money Editor Beth Braverman covers all things personal finance. Formerly a senior reporter and social media editor at MONEY magazine, she’s also held gigs as a newspaper reporter and trade magazine editor.