Receiving a letter in the mail from your insurance company is seldom a pleasant experience. Those letters often come with some unexpected, and unwanted information, such as a notice that your premiums are going up. If you are the unwitting recipient of one of those rate hike letters, you might want to use this unpleasant news as an excuse to shop for better coverage at a more affordable price.
The reasons that auto insurance companies raise their rates are many, and often those rate hikes have nothing to do with you personally. You could have a clean driving record and no history of claims and still fall victim to a company-wide rate hike. If you are in fact a good driver with no claims history, you have even more reason to shop around for the a better deal. It could simply be that your current car insurance company is not very good at managing money and determining risk, and if that is the case you probably do not want to continue working with them anyway.
Gather Your Information
If you do receive a letter stating that your rates are going up, read that letter carefully to determine exactly when that rate hike takes effect. Chances are your premiums will not go up until your next coverage period begins, so you might have a few weeks, or even a few months, before you start seeing those higher premiums eat into your cash flow.
Your next step should be to find a copy of your most recent insurance policy. You need to have the actual policy, not just the insurance card. That is because you will need the information from the detail pages of the insurance policy to determine your current level of coverage. You should see a page that lists each type of coverage you have on yourself and your vehicles, including collision and comprehensive coverage, property damage and liability and coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers. Note the levels of each type of coverage, as well as the deductible level for each one. You can use those coverage levels as you shop for a new, and more affordable, car insurance policy.
Once you have gathered as much information as you can about your current policy, your next step is to find a quality online car insurance comparison tool. There are many of these tools available, and they work by letting you enter your information and then sending that data to all the car insurers they work with. These online tools can be an excellent way to gather multiple quotes for the coverage you need.
After you have found a suitable online comparison tool, enter all the information from your current policy, including the coverage limits for each type of insurance protection. Review those entries carefully before you submit the information, since an error in those coverage levels could cause the quotes you receive to be inaccurate. After you submit your information, you should begin to receive quotes from various insurance companies, and you can use that information to find the best coverage at the lowest possible price.
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