insurance

3 Simple Steps to Reshop Your Car Insurance

You may be able to get a better rate if your driving record is clean.

Step 1

Dig out your current policy to see how much you pay every six months, as well as the limits and cost of each coverage. Also have your vehicle identification number (VIN), current mileage and as much information as possible about recent claims or moving violations. You may not find a better rate if you’ve had an accident or a moving violation within the past three to five years.

Step 2

Go to CarInsurance.com and enter your information (with the same coverage your policy currently provides). In most states, you’ll get immediate quotes online from several insurers, such as Esurance, 21st Century and The Hartford. Also get quotes directly from the largest insurers: Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm. If you’d rather have an independent agent shop for you, go to TrustedChoice.com.

Step 3

At www.naic.org/cis, check the closed complaint records for your insurer and the two or three com­panies with the best quotes. Finding the complaint ratio can be a hassle, but you don’t want to risk headaches if you have a claim. As long as the ratio is close to the national median (which is 1.00), you’re good to go. Call your insurer and explain that you’ve found a better rate. If it won’t lower your premium, make the switch to the company with the lowest rates and fewest complaints.

The payoff

You can save hundreds of dollars on your premium.

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