Whether it’s pricier groceries, more expensive gas, or higher utility bills, when you add up your monthly expenses, you may be struggling to make ends meet. If you’re looking for places to save, you may be trying to find cheaper car insurance.
Experts like Margo Gilman from Consumer Reports will tell you, yes, you should regularly shop around for the best car insurance rate.
“We at Consumer Reports believe that you should price shop for car insurance ideally once a year,” she said.
But, as you may know firsthand, that can be easier said than done. After all, it takes a lot of time to enter the same information repeatedly.
Enter car insurance quote comparison websites marketed as huge time and money savers. You enter all your info just once and get a bunch of quotes in a matter of minutes.
Sounds simple, but Gilman says there may be pitfalls.
“Some of these sites, while yes, will save you time, and that’s great - there are some out there that will take your personal information and sell it - so you need to be careful,” she warned.
First check to see if the quote comparison site is licensed to even sell insurance in your state and offer you real quotes. To find out, contact your state’s insurance commissioner office:
“Reading all the legalese on these pages can make your head spin, so Consumer Reports recommends you do a word search on the page. Look for terms like, ‘sell’ and ‘share,’” Gilman suggested.
Also, be prepared for lots of emails, calls and texts from the insurance companies that provided quotes. You can usually opt out, but Gilman says often the companies don’t make it easy to do so.
And finally, since not all major insurance carriers will show up on quote comparison sites, it’s a good idea to get some direct quotes from them as well.
Consumer Reports also says it’s a good idea to reevaluate your car insurance policy if you’re driving less than you used to, paid off your car, or if your children no longer live at home or drive your car. It could equal savings on your premiums.
Based on responses from its members, Consumer Reports identifies insurers that have the best customer service, coverage, and the lowest premiums. Those with the highest overall satisfaction scores are:
1. USAA Group
2. NJM Insurance Group
3. Amica Mutual Group
4. Erie Insurance Group