When Should I Buy Car Insurance?

There is no right or wrong time to buy car insurance. While car insurance rates will fluctuate month to month and state to state, you will not be able to save with a “March Madness” sale or an “End of the Month Stock take Deal.” Unfortunately car insurance doesn’t work this way. The best time to buy car insurance is when you have a little bit of time to shop around and compare what’s out there.

Annual Car Insurance Rates

On average, national car insurance rates have been on the decline. From 2009 to today there has been a steady decline in the national average with an almost $300 difference[1]. When you look back at the rate trends on a monthly basis, it would appear that September, October and November offer the cheapest car insurance rates; however, this may change and there is no real way to predict this.

Most people will purchase their car insurance policy on an annual basis which means it will come time to renew your policy at the same time each year. While it can be tempting to simply reinsure your same old premium year after year, this is often a mistake. Because there is no pressure from your current provider to shape up, many will offer you whatever premium they think you will pay. When you are buying and comparing car insurance, or reinsuring your policy, it is important to check car insurance quotes at least once a year.

Best Time to Buy Car Insurance

Choose a time of the year when you are less stressed and have little going on in terms of bills, payments, etc. If you have kids, then the beginning of summer or the start of the school year may be too hectic. This also holds true for the beginning of the New Year and around Christmas. Also, consider when your big bills are due – most people will have a rates bill due twice a year as well as other expenses throughout the year. Choose a time to buy car insurance when you are not stretched for cash. That way you can base your selection on more than just the cheapest price. While finding a good deal is important, it is also critical that you are buying adequate coverage for your needs. And, in some instances, this means choosing the higher premium.

Give yourself some time before your current registration is due. If you pay your annual car insurance in January, then start looking for quotes in December when the registration first comes in the mail. It doesn’t take long to compare car insurance and see what offers are out there. You may be surprised at the various offers your get.

However, there is chances that if you are making the switch to a new provider that your current provider may try to sway you by counter-offering a better premium. They may add on a ‘loyalty’ discount so that you continue to renew with them. This can be extremely frustrating (where was the discount before you considered the switch?). It is up to you whether you take the deal or whether you make the switch. What this means is that there may be a bit of back and forth.

When it comes time to buy car insurance or renew your policy, schedule a few minutes at night to look over your options (preferably not the day before your current premium is due or a day before you have a big road trip planned). It only takes a few minutes to browse through your options and see the various costs and quotes on offer.

[1] http://www.carinsurance.com/Average-Premiums.aspx 03/03/2011

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