Why You Should Revisit Your Auto Insurance Policy Regularly

We all know that performing regular car maintenance is critical to having a vehicle that runs effectively and gets us where we need to go. But how often do we look at our car insurance policy? It’s true- amongst all the other things we have to get done it’s really easy to just set it and forget it, but did you know that performing regular check-ups with our auto insurance policy is just as important as maintaining the car itself? A policy that doesn’t keep up with our life changes can have a significant impact on what we’re covered for, and also how much we pay for it. Here are 5 reasons why a regular auto insurance check-up is in order.

1.) Have you made a significant life change?

Getting married, buying a house, or moving to a new state all call for a review of your policy. Married couples are statistically known to be less reckless in their driving habits, so insurers will often allow them a better rate. And perhaps in addition to wedding bells, you also hear the sound of a moving truck pulling in? We know that you probably will not think of your insurance agent first when you give out your new address, but make sure to check in with them as soon as you get to your new place. There are many options available to homeowners who bundle house and auto insurance together, so it would be worth your while to look into them. And if your new house comes along with a long commute to your job, perhaps you’d also like to add roadside assistance to your policy.

Additionally, if you’re moving to a different state, you should check with agents in your new area to see if your current insurance is available there. Then, double-check the state requirements for insurance and make sure that you have exactly what you need when you arrive. Most states only require what is known as “liability auto insurance.” This type of insurance covers damage to people, property or cars if you are at fault in an accident. While this form of insurance is cheaper, it might not provide all the coverage you would like to have. It’s best to do a comprehensive look at everything to make sure you are fully covered and that you are satisfied with your plan.

2.) Have you added a new car or driver to your household?

Having a new car to drive can be exciting, but sometimes adding a new driver can have the opposite effect. In either case, you will want to check in with your insurance company to update your policy to reflect these life changes. Perhaps you want to increase your coverage, add collision, or change the terms of your deductible in order to get a better fit for your situation.

3.) Have you added a child to your family?

While teen drivers can wreak havoc on your car insurance premiums, adding a baby to your brood can actually help lower them. It is very common to make a shift to a safer vehicle once the new addition arrives, and helps significantly to lower your insurance rate. In addition, families with young ones tend to make fewer long road trips, choosing instead to stay closer to home and therefore logging fewer miles driven throughout the year. From an insurer’s perspective, this means the potential for accidents (and subsequent claims submitted) is reduced. Less risk for them equals lower premiums for you.

4.) Maybe it’s time to review our options?

Sometimes we choose insurance based on our current perspective or financial situation. However, as time goes on, our priorities shift. Perhaps you can now afford more coverage, or maybe you need less. Has your credit score changed recently? An improved score can provide you with a much better rate. You should perform a regular assessment of what you need for mandatory coverage, what you would like for optional coverage and what you can afford to find the best plan for you at this point in your life.

5.) You want to save some money.

Let’s face it…everyone likes to get a deal. A routine check-in with your auto insurance policy will highlight where you can take advantage of savings that might relate to increased safety features on a new car, mileage or homeowner discounts, a multi-policy plan, or a student discount. Sometimes, individuals qualify for a simple renewal discount if there has not been a lapse in their policy for 12 months prior to the expiration date.
And perhaps most importantly, insurance companies routinely change their prices roughly every six months. It might feel good to shop around, but before you make a change, ask your current company to match a rate if you find a better one elsewhere. Some carriers will match it, or even offer better prices for those customers who stay loyal.

If you’ve bought auto insurance from a large, national carrier, it is common practice for agents to set the policy to auto-renew to make sure you’re covered. This is a nice feature to make sure you’re protected. However, taking the time to perform a regular, thorough review of your policy before it renews is a not only a good idea, it can have a great impact on your coverage, and your wallet.

At Gates-Cole, we are invested in each of our clients, and committed to making sure that we spend the time to get them the best coverage possible at a competitive rate. We believe in providing exceptional service to our customers through reviewing policies, assisting with claim procedures and explaining coverage options. Our team of professionals has in-depth knowledge and experience in all areas of NYS insurance, including auto, home, business, boat, motorcycle insurance.

If you would like to review your current auto policy or discuss any other type of insurance with us, we would love to talk with you. Call us today at (607) 373-4204, or (315) 725-3294.