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Pro tip: Remember to shop around for new auto insurance every year

Cheap auto insurance plans may be around the corner — but you'll have to take a detour to find them

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, and you made your decision on whether or not to move it or lose it on a new TV or laptop at a steeply marked-down price. Now, you’re likely looking ahead to  your New Year’s goals. Re-evaluating work-life balance, finances, and physical health may be high on your list.

One item that may not be: Ensuring you have the best car insurance. We know you’re probably busy, and you may have even set up “auto renewal” on your auto insurance. You shopped around years ago, found effective and cheap auto insurance, and called it a day. The automatic renewal feature gives you one less thing to do, right? 

Right, you may be missing out on the best car insurance for you for the next six months or year ahead. 

Earlier this year, a Redditor made it a point to check their auto insurance and had to do a double-take. 

“We’ve been with Geico for 11 years, and for some reason, they hiked our rates by a whopping 40% on our latest renewal[I] called in thinking it had to be a mistake since nothing had changed on our end, and the rep was like, ‘Yep, sorry. Inflation,’” the Redditor wrote.

The person shopped around and got a sweeter deal from USAA. Besides inflation, here are some other reasons you may want to check out other auto insurance before your renewal date rolls around.

close up of a black car
Image used with permission by copyright holder
  • Return to normal means a return to higher rates. Turns out, current events may be a reason for the ever-changing auto insurance rates, providing a reason to do some research before renewing. Moneygeek.com suggests shopping around at least once per year and notes that fewer cars on the road led to some auto insurance reducing rates in 2020 and 2021. With traffic inching closer to pre-pandemic levels, rates may follow suit.
  • Your finances may have changed. Inflation may be affecting car insurance companies, but it may also be impacting your wallet. PEW Research published in the spring of 2022 found that Americans listed inflation as their top worry. If you’re concerned about finances or finding that your dollars aren’t stretching as far right now, you may want to look into a cheaper auto insurance plan. There may be some parts of coverage you can skip. You may also opt for a higher-deductible plan (just beware: If you need to use your insurance, you’ll have to pay more out of pocket to hit that deductible before your company steps in to help.)
  • You’re adding drivers. Do you plan to add a teen driver to your policy this year? Shopping around is important in this case. Different plans offer different rates for newbie drivers, according to the website CreditKarma.com.

Attempting to score sweet deals on electric cars may be the big auto trend right now. Shopping around for the best car insurance every year may not save you time, but it can save you money. Other factors, such as a clean driving record, can affect your plan. Drive safely and abide by the laws for the best chances at the lowest-cost insurance plans. Make sure you’re reading the fine print of your plan. While some low-deductible plans appear like great deals at first glance, you’ll likely have to pay more out of pocket if you get into an accident. You can compare prices easily by getting quotes online or speaking with an insurance broker who can provide more insights.

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BethAnn Mayer
Beth Ann's work has appeared on healthline.com and parents.com. In her spare time, you can find her running (either marathons…
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