It’s time to renew your auto insurance when your insurance agent informs you that your premiums are going up. They explain that the cause of this is due to some rewording in the underwriting. The agent assures you that they’ll try and get you some discounts, but it’s not going to bring your premium back down to what it was originally.

Part of you just wants to go ahead and sign the new plan. The premium isn’t going up by much, and you really don’t want to expend the extra energy calling up other insurance agencies and haggling over premium rates. You’ve been with your agent for a few years now and have built up a strong rapport, you trust they’ll score you a deal if they can.

When you think about it though, is it really fair that your premiums are going up? You’ve never had a ticket in your life and the single accident you were involved in was because another driver had rear-ended you at a stoplight. So, why is the agent saying they’ll try to get you some discounts, shouldn’t they make it their number one mission?

Are You a Conscientious Consumer?

Imagine, if you will, that you’ve just visited your dentist for a routine dental cleaning. After your teeth, have been cleaned and the dentist makes their final oral exam, they inform you that you’re going to need a root canal. You get your teeth cleaned every six months. Where is this coming from?

Don’t you think you would get a second opinion from a different dentist to make sure that you weren’t being taken advantage of?

Think about all the purchases you’ve made in the last six months. Don’t you make price comparisons between Amazon and Zappos to make sure you’re getting the best online deal? Doesn’t it only make sense that you would do this with car insurance too?

Getting the Best Insurance Deal

If you want to get a fair deal on your auto insurance premiums, you need to know what numbers to punch in on the figurative auto insurance calculator. Insurance comparison sites like CoverHound have these “calculators.” All that’s required is sharing some general information about yourself, like your age and car type.

After filling in this general information, these comparison sites pull up a list of auto insurance packages at cutback rates. After selecting a handful of packages that’ll best protect your car, use them in bargaining with your current insurance agent.

Call your insurance agent and ask them about the discounts they were going to apply to your premium. If it doesn’t match the low price of one of the packages you found online, discuss it with your agent. They (though not every agent does this) might have been holding back on the discounts thinking that you wouldn’t press them on the subject, being that you have been a loyal client for a few years. If the agent refuses to lower your premium, cut ties and start fresh.

In the handful of packages that you liked, call a representative from the respective companies to learn more about what the package offers and how they can be modified to fit your needs specifically. If the packages were found to be as good as online, you can sign up for the new policy then and there. But before you do, check the business history and customer satisfaction reviews of the company on sites like A.M. Best. If customers are unhappy with the service or the insurance company isn’t doing well financially, it’s not a company to sign up with.

Always compare for better deals, you’re only helping yourself.