Skip to content
Home » Why it Pays to (Let Us) Shop for Auto Insurance

Why it Pays to (Let Us) Shop for Auto Insurance

  • Published
  • 5 min read
Can you fall in love with your car insurance?

If you feel you are paying too much for car insurance, you are not alone. According to the Consumer Price Index Report, the cost of car insurance is up 19% compared to 2022. That’s the biggest annual increase since 1976.

Currently, in Oregon, it costs over $600 per year for minimal coverage and about $1,450 per year for full coverage. That’s a lot, but we can count our blessings that Oregon ranks pretty low in overall auto insurance costs nationwide. Drivers in Florida and New York state can expect to pay over $4,300 per year for full coverage.

Why should I shop for new insurance?

Insurance carriers tend to thrive on customer complacency, so if you aren’t regularly shopping around for better rates, you may be paying too much. It may feel like a hassle to change carriers (and there are risks involved) but it’s worth exploring your options. Depending on the value of your vehicle, your current location, your credit score, your marital status, and your driving record, switching carriers could save you hundreds of dollars.

How often should I shop for car insurance?

Some experts recommend you reevaluate your options every six to 12 months—especially if you move, get married, or have other big life moments. You don’t have to leave your current carrier and you don’t even have to wait until your current policy runs out. Just ask your current carrier to reassess your rates. Or, have one of the Maps insurance agents do the work for you. As an independent insurance agency, we partner with multiple carriers (like Safeco, Foremost, PEMCO, Mutual of Enumclaw, and Progressive) and can offer you multiple quotes and levels of coverage to suit your needs.

Factors to Consider When Shopping

  • Cost Savings. Insurance premiums can vary significantly between providers. That’s because different insurers use different parameters to determine your premium. Obtain quotes from multiple providers so you can compare prices and find a policy that offers the coverage you need at a more affordable rate.
  • Customized Coverage. Every individual’s insurance needs are unique. When you shop around for insurance, take the time to customize your coverage to match your needs precisely. This ensures that you’re not overpaying for coverage you don’t require, and, more importantly, not leaving yourself underinsured.
  • Bundle Discounts. If you have both home and auto insurance, ask about bundle discounts for purchasing both policies from the same provider. This can result in significant savings compared to purchasing separate policies from different companies.
  • Better Customer Service. Excellent customer service is crucial when dealing with insurance companies. In times of crisis or when you need assistance with a claim, you want to work with a company that is responsive, helpful, and empathetic. When you shop around, assess the customer service reputation of various insurance providers to find one that will be there for you when you need them most.
  • Policy Features. In addition to coverage options, insurance policies often vary in terms of features. For example, some policies include benefits like roadside assistance, accident forgiveness, or identity theft protection. Ask about available features that could save you money and provide peace of mind in the process.

What are the risks of changing insurance companies?

As with any big change, there are risks involved with switching auto insurance companies—especially if you are mid-policy or have an open claim. Before you end your current policy, read the fine print, and ask pointed questions of your insurance representative about potential risks like:

  • Cancellation fees. If you are in the middle of a policy, you may have to pay cancellation fees for ending the policy early,
  • You could lose loyalty discounts. If you have been with your insurance carrier for a long time and receive discounts for being a long-time member, those discounts will likely disappear once you leave.
  • You could lose multi-policy discounts. If you have your home and auto (or other vehicle) insurance bundled and decide to switch one of those policies, you may lose the discount you received for bundling those policies together.  
  • You risk a lapse in coverage. Before you switch carriers, make sure your new policy will begin before the old policy ends. Lapses in coverage are automatic red flags to insurance companies and even short gaps in coverage can result in higher insurance rates down the line.
  • Open claims could become a hassle. If you have an open claim with your current carrier, you might want to wait before making the switch. In most cases, your new carrier won’t automatically transfer the claim and you’ll need to stay in contact with your old carrier until they complete the claim. Plus, with an accident or traffic ticket on your record, your rates will likely rise. If you cancel or switch a policy with an open claim, your rates may rise more quickly.

As a consumer, you have choices when it comes to auto insurance. Finding the best option is about safeguarding you and your family—not just saving money. If it sounds like a headache to you, put our team to work. Our overall goal is to protect your assets and keep your family safe. But we will, of course, be happy to find you better rates. Have questions? Contact the Maps Insurance department at 503.779.1349.

You are now leaving Maps Credit Union

Modal called incorrectly.