RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Many homeowners and drivers are turning to ABC11 after seeing increases in their rates for insurance due to several reasons including inflation, higher construction and car part replacement costs, and a rate hike in North Carolina that took effect June 1. However, one ABC11 viewer found a way to save hundreds of dollars.
It was sticker shock for one Raleigh driver when she got an auto-renewal notice from her car insurance company. Right now, she paying $1,793 a year for coverage on her 10-year-old Honda Accord, but the new rate for another year of coverage, jumped $500 to $2,298. Kim Palmer, a personal financial expert with NerdWallet, says don't just click auto-renew.
"Instead of just clicking auto-renew, you want to go to a comparison site and just shop around for different prices, because it's possible that you're overpaying, and that you can find a lower rate, and that could actually save you hundreds of dollars," Palmer said.
Besides taking that step, this viewer called her insurance company Liberty Mutual and asked why the $500 increase in her rates considering that she had no claims, accidents, or citations during the past five years.
"You also want to see if you have access to any discount sometimes, even where you work can give you a discount. If you have served in the military, even if you're a student or alumni," Palmer said.
For this viewer, it worked as after she says she called Liberty Mutual and asked for a review of her account and she was shopping around for better rates, a representative with Liberty Mutual called her back and lowered her rate. Instead of paying the auto-renew rate of 2,298, she was now offered a rate much lower at $1,077 for the year. That's a savings of more than $1,220.
Palmer says, "Now is the time for consumers to be aggressive and proactive, and call your providers and ask if they can give you a better deal because they want to keep you as a customer."
When Troubleshooter Diane Wilson asked Liberty Mutual about this case, a representative said, "While we cannot speak specifically to an individual customer's policy details, most auto insurance consumers countrywide are experiencing higher premiums. This is largely due to a significant rise in claims severity, driven largely by sharp inflationary increases in labor rates, and repair used car and medical costs. This trend, coupled with any individual customer characteristic changes, is significantly impacting premiums countrywide. As with this situation, customers who request a policy review to determine if there are any new pricing programs that were not available at the origination of the policy, or believe they may have changes to their risk characteristics, could experience higher or lower premiums than the quote for their existing policy."
So it's worth a try, if it's time for your policy to renew and it's higher than your current rate, shop around and call your insurance to see if you can get a lower rate.