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Survey: 39% never shop for a better rate on auto insurance

Americans, especially with the internet, have become masters of the art of the deal. They price shop like nobody’s business, except, it seems, when it comes to auto insurance.

A recent study from insuranceQuotes.com found that 39 percent of Americans never shop for a better rate on their auto insurance. Nearly half of those polled weren’t even aware they could switch insurers at any time and that they didn’t have to wait until the policy renewal date.

Talk about a missed opportunity. “Rates for the same auto policy vary from insurer to insurer because each evaluates you a little differently,” says Laura Adams, a senior insurance analyst with insuranceQuotes.com.

Don’t set it and forget it. Not only should you review your car insurance annually, but whenever you move, because car insurance rates are linked to your home address. “The insurer that was cheapest at your old house may not be the cheapest at your new one,” says Dan Green, founder of financial educational website Growella.com.

When you change jobs rethink your insurance. Where your car sits all day and the length of your commute help determine your premium.

Improve your credit. Insurers consider credit scores. Bad credit can actually increase your rate more than an accident. “If your credit isn’t where you want it to be, improve it and shop again to find a better rate,” says Andrew Rose, CEO of Compare.com.

Stay abreast of discounts. Says Mildred Ayala, vice president of private client services at HUB International Northeast in Woodbury, “Be aware of possible discounts some companies may offer, like for air bags or electronic homing devices.”

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