Why You Should Shop Around for Car Insurance Right Now

Why You Should Shop Around for Car Insurance Right Now

By Suelain Moy

If you haven’t shopped for auto insurance recently, you might want to spend an hour or so checking out other deals. It pays to review your policy and check what’s out there.

A new survey from insuranceQuotes.com shows that 66 percent of policyholders never or only rarely check to see if they could get the same or better coverage at a better price. The average American driver has been with the same auto insurance company for 12 years, and some have stayed with the same insurer for two to three decades, or longer.

Related: 5 Ways to Lower Your Car Insurance—Right Now

Millennials age 18 to 29 and senior citizens number among those least likely to shop around for auto insurance. At least six in 10 millennials with auto insurance assume you have to wait until your renewal date to switch insurance companies. And they’re not alone: 46 percent of Americans do not know that you can switch your auto insurance company at any time.

One of the reasons auto insurance may not be a priority for consumers? Auto pay options, while convenient, could be keeping car insurance payments and rates out of sight—and out of mind. Human nature and procrastination is another. “People think that it’s a task that might be difficult and time-consuming,” says senior analyst Laura Adams, “but it could be as simple as going to a website like insurancequotes.com, putting your information in for a free quote, and getting multiple quotes back. There’s no financial risk in looking for a new rate.”

Just spending an hour once a year to compare quotes from three different companies could potentially save you hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Related: A Quick Way to Save Big on Your Insurance

Experts suggest checking your car insurance rates the same way you would remember to change the oil in your car or swap the air filters in your home. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Ask your current insurer if there are any company discounts you might be eligible for but don’t know about, such as the good-student discount. For college and grad students who have a B-average or better (or their parents) that could result in a significant discount.
  • If you find a better deal, tell your current insurance company that you’re thinking of switching unless they can match the new offer or exceed it.
  • If your current insurer refuses to negotiate, sign up for the new policy first—and then cancel the old one. “You always want to make sure you’re covered,” says Evans. “Insurance companies do not like to see a gap in coverage, and your rates could rise.”
  • To get a wider variety of quotes, get online quotes from insurance company websites, consult with an independent agent, and look into companies that don’t use independent agents as well.

“Being married can cause your rate to decrease,” says Evan. “Marriage, getting good grades--these are all things that you have to self-report, which is why I recommend revisiting auto insurance at least once a year, as your life situation could change.”

Chart of the Day: Long Way to Go on Coronavirus Testing

Healthcare workers with ChristianaCare test people with symptoms of the coronavirus in a drive-thru in the parking lot of Chase
Jennifer Corbett
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.

After Spending $2 Billion, Air Force Bails Out on Planned Upgrades of B-2 Bombers

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber flies over the Missouri Sky after taking off from the Whiteman Air For..
© Hyungwon Kang / Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.

Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”

Big Hurdle for Sanders’ Plan to Cancel Student Debt

Chip East / REUTERS
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.  

The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”

Number of the Day: $7 Million

NY mayor cites climate stance in endorsing Obama
By The Fiscal Times Staff

That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”