Car insurance too high? Shop around

USAA, Amica get high marks for overall satisfaction in CR survey

SAN ANTONIO – If you renew your auto insurance year after year without shopping around, you may be paying more than you have to.

Nationally, premiums have shot up about 23% in the past eight years. But there is good news. A Consumer Reports survey found that switching carriers can save you money. It also found only about one in five people actually made a switch in the past five years.

“No big surprise,” said CR’s Tobie Stanger. “Our survey found when people switch carriers that price was a big factor. Eighty percent of those who switched got better rates.”

If you’re ready to shop around, CR found some insurers do a better job at attracting and retaining customers. When it comes to overall satisfaction, only two national companies landed in the top tier of their ratings. Those are USAA and Amica.

USAA primarily serves military families. To get Amica’s best rates, you may need a clean driving record and a good credit report.

Even if you don’t switch, you can still get some savings by asking for a lower rate if your car is older or your mileage is low. Ask your insurer about available discounts you may be qualified for such as student discounts.

Bottom line, reviewing your auto insurance once a year can pay off.

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