There's no getting around the fact that you need auto insurance. However, that doesn't mean you have to pay an arm and a leg for it. Unfortunately, many shoppers tend to pick the first auto insurance provider that sends them a quote, not realizing that other providers may offer better rates for the same or better coverage.
Instead of settling on the first quote you see, you're better off comparing quotes from multiple providers. There are plenty of good reasons why you should shop around if you want the best possible insurance rates.
1. Rates Can Vary Among Providers
It's not just your driving history or zip code that can have a tremendous impact on your auto insurance rates. Each auto insurance provider has its own unique pricing formula it uses to calculate rates. Some providers may also take certain socioeconomic factors into account that others may choose to ignore, such as employment status and education level.
When these factors are applied along with insurers' pricing formulas, each insurer can have drastically different rates. So it makes sense to get a quote from each insurance provider and compare for the best possible rates.
2. Available Discounts Can Also Differ
Another reason to shop around for auto insurance is that discounts among insurers can also vary. Some auto insurance providers offer lucrative discounts that might not be available from others. For instance, one possible candidate may offer an affiliate discount through your employer, school or another organization you're a member of. Others may offer discounts for paying your entire premium up-front.
Again, these discounts can vary among auto insurance providers. If you want to lower your premiums by maximizing the number of discounts you qualify for, it pays to shop around among multiple providers.
3. Being Loyal to One Provider Could Be Costly
Once you've found an auto insurance provider with good rates and coverage options, there's a good chance you'll keep your coverage for years on end. But circumstances can change as time moves on and the ideal coverage you found years ago might not be the best for you and your family now.
While some auto insurance providers reward their customers for sticking with them through generous discounts and incentives, others may not be so generous -- or offer a loyalty discount at all. Auto insurance premiums can also increase on an annual basis, leaving you with coverage that's more expensive than when you first signed up.