Question:  Can I compare car insurance quotes and save money even if I'm a bad driver?

Answer:  It's possible for anyone to compare quotes and save.  You can be a good, bad or mediocre driver and save money on your car insurance premium -- if you're currently paying too much. 

If you did well comparing car insurance companies when you obtained your current personal auto insurance policy, it's possible that you may shop around now and find that you already have the lowest car insurance rates possible at this time.

However, if you've been with your car insurance provider for a few years, it's likely you could save by shopping around and switching carriers since some insurers use price optimization (charge higher rates) for customers that it thinks are unlikely to shop around for cheaper rates.

Some should shop around more than others

While I believe it's important for all drivers to shop around to get the most affordable car insurance, it's particularly true for certain categories of drivers such as:
  • Drivers under the age of 25
  • Drivers with limited verifiable driving experience
  • Drivers with a bad driving record (multiple traffic violations)
  • Drivers with serious violations on their record, such as a DUI
  • Drivers with multiple accidents
  • Drivers with multiple claims

These individuals especially need to comparison shop, when buying a car insurance policy, because they are considered high risk and, in general, receive higher car insurance rates. 

By shopping around with multiple car insurance companies, drivers that are thought of as higher risks can uncover the best deal and save hundreds, or even thousands, a year in auto insurance premiums. It's also important for these motorists to again compare car insurance companies when something changes, such as violation or accident falls off their driving record.

When things change, compare car insurance quotes again

When certain situations arise, it's a great time to head online and compare car insurance prices to see if you can save even more money on your car insurance premium. This includes situations such as:
  • A major life event, such as getting married or divorced
  • If you have moved
  • Adding or removing a driver
  • Adding or removing a vehicle
  • Making changes to your coverages, limits or deductibles

Since car insurance companies' rating systems vary tremendously, when a rating factor changes -- like where you live -- the insurer that was the cheapest previous may not be any longer.  For that reason, you need to shop around and switch insurers if you can save money with a new car insurance provider.

Don't forget to ask about  discounts

Car insurance discounts are also for most everyone.  Paying in full and going paperless are discounts that any type of driver can receive -- as long as the insurance company offers them.  Since the discounts vary by insurer, it's important to make sure you are getting all that you qualify for.

If you can't get a good driver discount because of that speeding ticket on your record, look for discounts for the safety features your car offers or due to affiliations you have with certain organizations.