How Often Should You Check Car Insurance Quotes?

How often should you check car insurance quotes is ultimately up to you, but your rates can change frequently. It's important to check car insurance rates on a regular basis. The longer you go without tickets and the older your car gets, the lower your rates should get. One speeding ticket can cost you an extra $45 a month. Learn how to shop for car insurance and compare auto insurance rates online here.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 22, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • The factors that go into the determination of your rate change frequently, so you should shop for insurance frequently
  • As you go longer without traffic violations or accidents, your rates should decrease
  • The economy plays a role in car insurance rates
  • As your vehicle ages, you should start paying less for insurance

How often should you check car insurance quotes? There are many factors that answer the question of  how often should you shop car insurance, and we will go over the big ones here.

Shopping for car insurance can seem like a hassle, but you may have heard that it can help you get cheap car insurance rates, too.

It is easy to get an insurance policy in place and just not think about it again until you need to file a claim.

However, shopping auto insurance rates around periodically really can save you money, and it may not be quite as stressful and time-consuming to do as you might think.

If you’re wondering how to shop for car insurance, it’s as simple as knowing your ZIP code and a few details about your car and driving habits.

The easiest way to shop around for car insurance quotes is to enter your ZIP. Compare quotes and check car insurance rates easily today.

How Often to Shop for Car Insurance Quotes

How often should you switch car insurance? Should you change car insurance every year?

Some experts recommend that you shop for new auto coverage every six or twelve months.

There are many factors affecting your car insurance premiums that are used to calculate your rate, and these factors do change fairly regularly.

Understanding these factors can help you to better understand why you should shop for new coverage every six or twelve months. Some of these factors include:

  • Your Driving History
  • Crime Rates
  • The Location of Your Home
  • The State of the Economy
  • Your Vehicle

Watch this video to learn more about what factors affect your car insurance rates.

Some factors you can control, like your driving history, but some factors like age and gender are out of your hands. Do what you can to make sure the factors you can control are good.

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Your Driving History

When is the best time to shop for car insurance? Your driving history affects your insurance rates, so if a ticket or accident drops off your record, your rates may go down.

You may have added one of these events onto your driving record in the last few months, and your current rate may reflect a rate change that is less forgiving of such events than another policy may be.

Even if your last accident or ticket occurred a few years ago, keep in mind that each insurance company calculates their rates differently. So that added time that has elapsed may be enough to trigger a lower rate through another company.

Let’s look to see just how your driving record will affect your rates.

Toyota Scion Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record
CompaniesRates with Clean RecordRates with With 1 AccidentRates with With 1 DUIRates with With 1 Speeding Violation
USAA$1,933.68$2,516.24$3,506.03$2,193.25
GEICO$2,145.96$3,192.77$4,875.87$2,645.43
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$4,330.24$3,025.74
Nationwide$2,746.18$3,396.95$4,543.20$3,113.68
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,636.80$3,186.01
Progressive$3,393.09$4,777.04$3,969.65$4,002.28
Travelers$3,447.69$4,289.74$5,741.40$4,260.80
Farmers$3,460.60$4,518.73$4,718.75$4,079.01
Allstate$3,819.90$4,987.68$6,260.73$4,483.51
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78$7,613.48$5,701.26
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Your driving record is usually the biggest factor that determines your car insurance rates. For example, one speeding ticket can cost you around an extra $45 a month.

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Crime Rates

Crime rates and statistics are constantly being updated, and this includes vehicle-related crimes.

According to the FBI, there were over 748,000 vehicle thefts in 2018.  Car insurance companies will raise rates to offset those costs.

The last time you shopped for rates, there could have been a string of car thefts or vandalism crimes that took place that affected your rates.

The fluctuating crime rate, as well as the different weight that different car insurance companies apply to this factor, will cause rate quotes to change.

The Location of Your Home

Insurance companies use the location of your for a few different reasons in calculating your rate. Crime, as noted above is one of them.

However, other location-related factors such as the average age of residents in your area and the level of traffic in your area are taken into account. If you have moved, these factors will definitely change.

Even if you have not moved, people do get older, people move in and out of the area to affect the average age of residents, and traffic patterns change, too.

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The State of the Economy

The insurance industry is a business that does take into account factors like supply and demand, inflation, and other economic factors when calculating rates.

The state of the economy is constantly changing, and this can spur rate changes in an insurance company.

Your Vehicle

Should I change car insurance when I buy a new car?

Your insurance rates will change if you buy a new car. However, even if your car is the same one you’ve been driving for a few years, your rates may need to be adjusted.

Factors that affect your car insurance rates include the value and repair costs of your car. As your model ages, these factors do tend to decrease.

Yet if you have been locked into a rate for the past few years under the same policy, you may not be taking advantage of this fact.

Faster and Easier Car Insurance Rate Shopping

Should I shop around for car insurance online?

Understanding the factors that affect insurance rates changing often can help you to realize that you may get a better rate by shopping around for new coverage today.

However, the thought of calling around from insurance company to insurance company can be intimidating, and actually making so many calls can be time-consuming.

A better way to shop for rates is to use a price comparison website. This is an online tool that allows you to enter your personal and vehicle information into a single form, and you will receive several quotes back as a result.

The forms are available to use around the clock, and they take only a few minutes to use.

With how fast and easy it is to get new insurance quotes today combined with the possibility that you could save money on your rate, it does make sense to take a few minutes today and get a few quotes for coverage.

Your insurance rate is a regular expense in your budget, and so trimming it down today equates to regular savings for months to come. Be sure to set a reminder for yourself to shop for new coverage again in a few months, too.

Simply mark it on a calendar or set an auto-reminder to complete this easy task on your phone or computer.

Learning how to shop for insurance rates is quick and easy. How often should you check car insurance quotes online? It’s so easy, you can check as often as you like. Just enter your ZIP now to start receiving quotes for your car insurance.

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Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by State