As car insurance rates rise, try these money-saving tips

•If you're considering switching insurers, start looking for a new policy well before your current policy comes up for renewal. Many insurers provide an "early shopping" discount of up to 12%, Belden says. The reason? Insurers view someone who looks for a new policy ahead of time "as being a responsible consumer, as opposed to someone who's in trouble with their current company," he says. But always make sure you've got your new coverage in place before you cancel your old policy.

•Don't even think about driving without insurance. Yes, auto insurance is expensive, and times are tough. But driving while uninsured will cost you a lot more in the long run. Insurers regard people who go without insurance as high-risk drivers. That means you'd pay higher premiums for insurance if you tried to buy it in the future.

•Shop around. The auto insurance industry is competitive, so get at least three quotes before you buy a policy. You can shop for quotes at websites such as www.insurance.com, www.insure.com or www.esurance.com, or by working with an independent insurance agent.

Your state insurance department can help you find out whether there have been complaints against insurers that operate in your state. For more information, go to the consumer website for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, www.insureuonline.org.

To suggest columns, e-mail: sblock@usatoday.com.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Salvager Eric Schmitt was combing through the wreckage of a convoy of Spanish ships that sank off the coast of Florida in 1715 when he discovered a missing piece from a gold Pyx.
Courtesy 1715 Fleet - Queens Jewels, LLC
Lisa Kudrow
Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library | Getty Images
PHOTO: In this April 26, 2013 photo, a large home intended for the family of Warren Jeffs is seen in Hildale, Utah.
Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune/AP
PHOTO: Zac Efron seen at BBC Radio One, April 24, 2014, in London.
Neil P. Mockford/GC Images/Getty Images