The agent continued, “as an insider, I can tell you there are some simple tricks, including a new independent website, that drivers need to try immediately to break the cycle of throwing away their hard-earned money.” The agent added, “but the insurance companies do not want to let the cat out of the bag.”
Here are the “simple tricks” the agent disclosed:
Drive Under 50 Miles Per Day
Insurance companies set rates based on a driver’s annual mileage. Generally, the more miles you drive, the higher your rate. And these days, many are spending significantly less time traveling and commuting because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, according to the agent, “an obscenely high number of auto insurance policies are still priced at the higher annual mileage of pre-pandemic driving habits.”
In other words, many people are paying a higher rate, one that is based on miles they no longer drive. You should make sure that your current policy reflects your actual mileage. It turns out that rates can drop significantly if you drive less than 50 miles per day.
Sync Your Record and Policy
Insurance companies have no problem raising rates when drivers get tickets or accidents. However, the agent revealed that insurers “drag their feet and are not obligated to lower rates once driving violations are off [your] record.”
For this reason, it is important to first obtain a copy of your driving record from your state, and then check your policy. If your policy still has your driving violations factored in, then it is probably time to switch.
The same scenario can be true for drivers who had a DUI. Though DUIs are with you longer than a ticket or accident, once off your rate should drop substantially. As with the above, make sure your policy aligns with what is currently on your driving record.
Similarly, drivers who at one point had a gap in coverage should also be on alert for potentially missing out on lower rates. Many insurers charge more to cover an uninsured driver. Yet, after a year of continuous coverage, the higher rate is no longer warranted. If the gap in your coverage was closed 12 months ago or longer and you have yet to see a rate decrease, now is a good time to switch.
Make Sure Your Insurer Specializes in Your Driver Type
It is important that your driver type matches with your insurance company’s specialty, otherwise you are setting yourself up to pay unnecessarily high rates.
If you have a bad driving record, are uninsured, or are a new or teen driver, you can avoid overpaying by going with a company that specializes in what are known as “non-standard drivers.” The inverse is also true. If you have a good driving record, credit score, and coverage history, then make sure you go with an insurer that specializes in “standard drivers.” If there is a mismatch, expect to pay more.
You can use this website to find insurers that match your driver type.
You Are Not Locked into Your Current Policy
Some drivers know they are overpaying but think they must wait until their policy expires to switch to a new one. Do not do that.
It turns out drivers are never locked into their current policy. They can switch to another company any time. If you paid in advanced, your current insurer should refund you for the unused amount of your term.
According to the agent, “insurers love customers who think they are locked into their policy term. Combined with auto renew, people end up almost perpetually overpaying because they have trouble timing a deadline that simply does not exist.”
Avoid getting stuck in this cycle by switching companies today.
Shop Around Often
Per the agent, “loyalty tends to benefit insurers, not drivers.” It turns out that rates change often for new customers, so it is a good idea to shop around every three months.