The renewal bill from the insurance company arrives, and lo and behold it's a lot higher than last year's.
There are many reasons it may have increased, and it may be time to shop for a different insurance company. An independent insurance agent represents multiple insurance companies and programs so can shop for a better rate if the company you are currently with goes up. Hemphill Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agent serving Fort Worth and North Texas since 1998.
If your renewal premium went up it may pay to take a few minutes to talk to your current agent to see if there is anything that can be done. If you current agent can't get the rate lower, it may be time to shop elsewhere. Below are a few reasons why your renewal may have gone up, and what you might do about it. If any of them apply to your situation, talk to your current agent and the agents you are getting quotes with.
Did you add a new vehicle recently?
Insurance companies use a variety of rating factors in order to establish the premium they charge you including charges specific to the year make and model of your automobile or truck. The insurance company that was cheaper when you had your old car, may not be the cheapest for your new vehicle. If your current carrier surcharges the model of vehicle you added, it's time to check other insurance companies.
Did you have a accident, ticket, or insurance claim recently?
Most insurers will raise your rate if they pay a claim, and the increase can be substantial. Ask your current agent if he represents another insurance company who won't surcharge your rate as much. The insurance company that had the best rate when you had no tickets or accidents is sometimes not going to be the cheapest if you have an accident. If your current agent does not have a better rate, it may pay to shop with another agent.
Did you add a young driver onto the policy recently?
Policies are rated based on the age and experience of the drivers. If you added a youthful driver to the policy recently, your rate may have gone way up. Insurance companies do not surcharge youthful drivers the same, however. Additionally, some insurance companies offer discounts to help get that high rate down on youthful operators. Ask your agent if your youthful operator qualifies for any of these discounts or statuses.
Good Student Discount - for young drivers attending school full-time that maintain good grades
Driver Training Discount - for young drivers who complete an approved driver training course
Occasional Operator Status - for young drivers who are not the primary operator of any vehicle.
Permit Rating - for young drivers who are not yet licensed but have their learners permit
Distant Student Status - for students away from home that only use the covered vehicles occasionally.
Did you move?
Auto insurance rates are based in part on where you live. Some insurance companies even have different rates among zip codes within the same town or county. The insurance company that offered you the lowest rate when you lived on the north side of town, may not have the lowest rate if you've moved to the south side. If you have moved recently to another town or another zip code, it may pay to shop.
Finally, the high rate may have nothing to do with you individually. it could be that your insurance company simply raised its rates due to claims or market experience. There are plenty of other insurance companies out there. Just because your current insurance company raised its rates doesn't mean that another insurance company won't offer you the same or a lower rate than you had. Most agents and companies offer free quotes. Take a few minutes and see if you can't find a lower rate. Not all policies are the same however, so make sure you understand what coverage you have and what coverage is being offered, and make sure you deal with an agent you can trust.