13 Life Events That Mean It’s Time to Shop for Car Insurance
Remember playing the Game of Life as a kid? As you moved around the board, you got and lost jobs, got married, bought a house and added little peg children to your plastic car — all while your bank account grew and shrank. The same is true for real life and car insurance!
Any time you experience a major change, it’s smart to compare auto insurance quotes to see if your available rates change significantly. And if they do, then get yourself a new policy and save!
Buying a new car? Get a shiny new auto insurance policy to match.
Typically, you’ll pay more for car insurance when you buy a new (or newer) car. That’s because the vehicle is likely worth more than your old one, and will be more expensive to repair or replace if you get into an accident. There are exceptions, of course: If you’re trading your Mustang for a minivan, your rates might go down. You also may need additional coverage, such as gap insurance that pays off your loan in case your car is totaled in an accident or stolen.
Tip: Make sure you compare auto insurance quotes before you complete your purchase at the dealer. You’ll need to have insurance for your new vehicle before you can drive it off the lot.
Moving? You need to get car insurance quotes.
Moving is one of life’s most stressful events, and the thought of adding even one more task might be a big nope. But when you need a break from the boxes and bubble wrap, take five minutes to check your car insurance quotes. You could see savings if your commute is shorter or your new ZIP code is considered to be lower-risk than your old one.
If you’re moving to a new state, then you definitely need to shop around! Your old insurance may not even cover you in the new state — and because rates vary so dramatically from state to state, it becomes even more important to grab the best deal you can.
Getting married? Add “shop for car insurance” to your honey-do list.
Congratulations to you lovebirds! After you get married and get back from the honeymoon, it’s time for financial housekeeping — and that means updating your auto insurance. The good news: You’ll probably see some nice savings, because most insurers give discounts to married drivers. You can also get a sweet multi-car discount if you combine your policies. The bad news: If your spouse has a spotty driving record or bad credit, you might see your rates rise. Even so, comparing rates is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose!
Getting divorced? Time to split up your car insurance, too.
When you’re sorting out all the financial decisions that come along with divorce, don’t forget about your auto insurance. You’ll need to get your own policy, which may mean losing the marriage discount — but you’ll be a lot happier without your ex’s name on the policy.
A few notes: If you and your ex are still living together, you may need to stay on the same policy (or on each other’s policies) until one of you moves out. And you can’t just cut your ex from the policy without his or her permission, because driving uninsured could land them in big trouble. Instead, get your own policy, and be sure to compare quotes so you don’t end up overpaying.
Expecting a baby? Changing your car insurance can put more money in your diaper budget.
Having a baby, whether it’s your first or your fifth, won’t change how much you pay for auto insurance. However, it’s still a great reason to compare quotes! That’s because your family finances will likely get tighter and finding cheaper auto insurance premiums can give you some breathing room.
When you have a few minutes (say, during a late-night feeding), visit Compare.com and compare personalized auto quotes. On average, our users save $720 a year on their policy – that’s a lot of diapers!
Teen turning 16? Fasten your seatbelts and start searching for cheaper car insurance.
One minute, your little one is racing Hot Wheels on the floor… the next, she’s grabbing your car keys and heading out the door. Because teen drivers are inexperienced and have the highest risk of crashes, their car insurance is going to be expensive.
However, some insurers do offer affordable teen insurance and good-student discounts. Adding a teen driver to your policy is probably going to be cheaper than buying your teen his or her own insurance.
Buying your first home? Cheaper insurance could be a nice housewarming gift.
Becoming a homeowner may come with an unexpected perk: cheaper car insurance rates! Many insurers give discounts to anyone who owns their house or condo. Not only that, but bundling auto and home insurance can get you an even bigger discount — up to 25% from many major insurance companies.
Earning a degree? Your diploma could earn you a discount.
Auto insurers associate advanced degrees with lower-risk driving. So if you’re getting your bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD (wow!), you should compare insurance quotes to see who will give you the best deal.
Getting a new job? One perk could be lower insurance rates.
Not many people realize that your job can affect how much you pay for auto insurance, because certain occupations are associated with being a lower-risk driver. Many insurers offer discounts to teachers, police officers, firefighters, military service members, and people whose work requires an advanced degree, such as doctors, other healthcare providers, and lawyers.
If you’re changing employers but staying in the same general field, your new job probably won’t affect your car insurance rates. But if your new commute to your new job is shorter, or if you’re working from home, then you should compare quotes from traditional insurers and pay-per-mile auto insurance companies.
Retiring? Treat yourself to cheaper insurance.
Goodbye, commute. Hello, freedom! Retirement is an excellent time to re-examine all your finances, including what you pay for insurance. You have the potential to see big savings if you’re in that 55- to 65-year-old age group. And if you’re now a low-mileage driver (less than 10,000 miles per year), you may qualify for cheap pay-per-mile insurance.
Paying off your credit card, student loan or other debt?
Well done you! All that scrimping and saving is about to pay off in another big way: with car insurance savings. Many insurers use credit history as a factor when they’re setting car insurance rates (although this practice is prohibited in some states).
A Consumer Reports investigation a few years back found that in some cases, bad credit increases insurance rates more than a DUI. That’s not fair! Once you’ve improved your credit, shop around for insurance to see how much you can save.
Dealing with a traffic violation or a collision?
It’s pretty much a given that a traffic ticket or an at-fault accident will raise your insurance rates, unless you have accident forgiveness on your current policy. However, you don’t have to simply accept whatever rate bump you receive. Certain companies specialize in insuring people with less-than-perfect driving records, so they may offer you a cheaper rate than your current insurer.
Has it been three years since your last ticket? Celebrate with cheaper car insurance!
A ticket anniversary isn’t the most exciting occasion, but it can be a good reminder to shop around for auto insurance. Most tickets and violations drop off your driving record after three years, which means you fall into a lower-risk category for insurance.
The look-back period varies by state and offense. A DUI can stay on your record for 5 years, 10 years or even longer. But even then, it’s worth looking to see which insurance company can give you the best rates.
If you’ve experienced any of these major life events recently, then you should use Compare.com to see how much you could be saving! It’s fast, it’s free, and our customers save an average of $720 a year on their car insurance.