Q: My car insurance has doubled over the past few years. The company says the state has allowed it to raise the rate. I’m fed up with the high cost of insurance. Where can I find information to help me choose a new carrier?
—Via the Internet
A: As with any other consumer good or service, it’s a good idea to shop around when contemplating a new insurance carrier. To get free, competitive quotes, check out online services at www.insweb.com or www.insure one.com. The forms take about 15 minutes to complete, and it’ll be well worth the effort if you save hundreds of dollars in the process. When you use these sites, you may not get instant quotes. Some companies may contact you directly via a sales representative.
As you enlist competitive quotes, Edmunds.com, a consumer automotive site, advises you to take note of the following:
Keep coverage rates the same so that the old and new information are comparable.
Locate an 800 number for answers to questions not found online.
Ask about the company’s payment policy.
Find out what discounts pertain to you.
Prior to making a final decision, contact your state’s department of insurance to get the consumer complaint ratio and ask local auto body shops for recommendations. Before you drop your current coverage, call your insurance carrier for details because you don’t want to have any lapses in your coverage.