What Is the Best Time of Year To Buy Car Insurance?

Trying to find ways to lower your auto insurance premiums can become a full-time hobby. If you want to save money and get the best discounts, you may try tweaking your policy’s deductibles, limits, and coverage types. You may also decide to pay in advance and take advantage of good driver and good student discounts.

couple sitting in back of carSome people even believe that by buying their car insurance at a certain time of the year, they will receive the best discounts.

There may be some slight truth to that last statement. Winter tends to bring ice, snow, and sleet to many parts of the country, and there are simply more accidents at this time of year. On the other hand, summer is a time when most people travel by car, so there are statistically more accidents during the summer on the major highways.

No matter which season you examine, the number of accidents involving your particular age group, location, and type of vehicle will have an impact on your premium prices.

It would seem, then, that spring or fall would be the best time to buy your insurance—and it could indeed save you some money on your premiums. However, you can take advantage of far greater savings by controlling some things in your life which will have a direct impact on your premium, rather than relying on uncontrollable factors such as how many accidents take place in a given period of the year.

First, your driving record is still one of the most important factors in figuring your insurance premium, and it is within your direct control. Keep speed down to avoid tickets, and drive defensively; by avoiding accidents, even small “fender benders,” you will keep your premiums at their lowest.

Another factor within your control is your credit score, a factor which is becoming ever more important than others in figuring your automobile insurance costs. While it may not seem fair to some people, the fact is that people with good credit scores tend to have superior driving records when compared to people with low credit scores.

This could be due to a variety of factors, including the fact that people with better credit tend to have better-maintained vehicles, which leads to less frequent mishaps. Whatever the cause, insurance companies have been quick to recognize and capitalize on the credit score factor when figuring premium costs, and few states have laws disallowing this practice.

If you buy automobile insurance in the spring or fall of the year, with high deductibles and low limits, and with a good credit score and good driving record, you are probably doing the best you can to lower your premiums. The difference, at this point, between buying in the spring or fall and buying in the winter or summer will probably be negligible, but it does not hurt to get quotes and make comparisons.

Many companies, such as GEICO, Allstate, State Farm, and Progressive, have online quote generators. You can try getting a quote in the winter, then another in the spring, and compare the two prices. It is likely there will be a slight difference, although whether the difference is seasonal, due to an anomalous shift in accident patterns, or due to the economic fluctuations of the industry will be impossible to say.

Most importantly, get several quotes before you buy automobile insurance from anyone. Do not assume that the company you have always used is giving you the very best discounts; talk to your agent with other quotes in hand. Many times, agents have the power to reduce your premium to match other company’s offers; if they do not, you can always change your insurance to another company and save money.

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