You Should Always Compare Car Insurance Rates Every Renewal Period

I assumed that my old car insurance company, USAA, would always have the best car insurance rates.

I really liked the company. They had always treated me well so I wasn’t actively looking for a new car insurance company.

I had compared car insurance rates many years ago when I was single and once again when I began living with my wife, Tori.

However, I very rarely compared rates. I certainly didn’t compare the rates every six months, or each renewal period.

The few times I did compare rates, USAA did come out cheapest, but I never did a detailed search.

What Caused Me To Check For Lower Car Insurance Rates

When you’re completely happy with your car insurance company, very few people go rate shopping on a regular basis.

However, when I got married to Tori I called USAA to see how much my rate would go down. I was excited because I know getting married should have resulted in a pretty big rate drop for a young male.

Unfortunately, when they gave me my new rate I wasn’t at all impressed in the small decrease in premium I had received. I talked to the representative to make sure all of the proper discounts were being applied. They assured me they were.

I asked if there was any way my rate could be lowered while keeping my coverage the same. Sadly, they said I had the best rate they could offer me.

That greatly disappointed me and started me down the road of getting car insurance quotes from many different insurance companies. What I found out shocked me.

Other Car Insurance Companies Had Much Better Rates

Despite my 10 year loyalty to USAA, many other car insurance companies had better rates than USAA. Progressive, Geico, State Farm and a couple other companies all had better rates for the same exact coverage USAA had provided me.

Needless to say, I’m glad I shopped around after we got married.

While price is important, it isn’t the only thing I look for when choosing car insurance. I looked at the different companies, their customer service ratings and their financial strength ratings.

Had the rates only been a few dollars different over 6 months then I probably wouldn’t have changed. Unfortunately, the difference was much larger. Eventually I decided to go with Geico as my new car insurance company.

Geico came in at 20% less than my USAA car insurance, easily beating the 15% or more in as little as 15 minutes they quote in their commercials.

I gave USAA one last chance before I made the switch. I called them up and compared the Geico quote to the USAA policy I had and they said that Geico had them beat.

Even USAA was shocked.

USAA was very helpful and gave me a list of questions to ask Geico to make sure I wasn’t getting a teaser rate that would disappear after the first policy period.

I asked all of the questions and Geico assured me the rate they quoted was not a teaser rate. While my rates have increased quite a bit since the original quote, so have the competitors.

I’ll definitely be getting car insurance quotes at each renewal period now, even from USAA. Hopefully they can win me back one day soon.

Do you shop for new car insurance quotes every renewal period? Have you ever saved a lot of money like I did by switching car insurance companies?

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. Last time I compared rates I found a few companies that had rates lower than Allstate. When I called Allstate to talk to my agent, he told me to sign up to receive statements online which saved about 10%. That took care of the problem.

  2. We switched car insurance companies right after we were married, too – I think that’s a key time to check. I’ve checked around twice in the last three years and found each time that our current company was still the best. I haven’t been checking recently, though, as we’ve benched one of our cars and have needed to add it back onto our policy twice for just 1 day each time to move it. I don’t want to switch to a new company and then have to explain why we’re trying to insure an unregistered car down the road… Our company advised us on how to handle the benching so I’d like to stick with it through that period.

  3. I routinely shop my insurance every few years. When I tell them my current rate, and company they usually tell me they cannot beat it.

  4. We are thinking about switching providers because we are paying such a high premium. It seems like it’s getting more expensive every year!

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