Just thought I'd reiterate a few lessons learned while they are all still fresh in my mind.
Our regular auto policy was coming due (tomorrow, actually). As I do every few years or so, I recompete our policy just to make sure I'm getting a best rate. Turns out I hadn't done this in 7 years. Yikes, it was time!
So, with my current policy in hand, I solicited quotes from 4 of the major auto insurance firms. I made a spread sheet of the coverages to make sure I was comparing equally ("apples to apples"). This is very important as none of the policies quoted compared directly. All needed "translation" to put them in directly comparable terms (the Excel spreadsheet makes it easier for me).
Also, since the last time I did this, my state has passed new laws regarding "Uninsured Motorists" versus "Underinsured Motorists" (with an optional "Enhanced Underinsured Motorist" coverage now being available ...).
It took some back and forth with agents from all 4 companies to finally get the quotes directly comparable ...
Bottom line: I switched companies because I am saving more than $400 annually.
1. Know and understand your policy
2. Know and understand your own driving history and abilities (just how much coverage do you actually need?). For example, Given my driving history and financial situation, I do not require a low deductible. I can go with a higher deductible. Makes a big difference.
3. Know what changes have been made in your state's insurance laws (i.e., UM versus EUIM -- which to choose and how it impacts your rates)
BOTTOM LINE --- REMEMBER -- LOYALTY MEANS *********NOTHING********** WHATSOEVER to an insurance company. They say it does. It doesn't. If you think it does, you need to run comparisons of your own. If you've been with a carrier for more than 5 years, make them re earn your business. Shop around and make them compete. Let them know you are comparing quotes. They may even ask to see other quotes or your current policy. That's fine. Dollars to donuts, you will save money, even if you don't switch (you may be very surprised at the discounts and savings your carrier suddenly finds you newly eligible for ...
Ok, class over. Just wanted to share what I learned --- that it pays to research and shop around.