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The reality is that most people stick with their car insurance company year after year. Those who do take the time to shop around, however, usually save at least a few hundred dollars per year on their policies. They put this extra money toward debt, savings, and other financial goals.

If you’d like to save thousands over the course of your vehicle’s life, it’s well worth your time and effort to shop for an auto insurance policy every six months. Compare car insurance quotes online so you can make the best choice for your unique budget and needs. Here are nine reasons to shop for car insurance every six months.

Quick Facts

  • You can save hundreds of dollars per year or thousands of dollars over your lifetime if you shop for car insurance every six months.

  • Many life changes can occur and many factors might change in six months, which could lower the cost of your policy.

  • While you’re not guaranteed lower rates if you shop for car insurance every six months, there’s a good chance you’ll find them, especially if your situation has changed since you purchased your current plan.

1. Your Car Depreciates

How often should I shop for car insurance?

Shopping for car insurance every 6 months ensures you've got up-to-date rates that match your needs and requirements.

Unfortunately, a car’s value depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot. That’s why cars are known as one of the worst investments. However, we rely on vehicles to get from point A to point B, so we continue to buy them.

Since car insurance rates are based on the value of your car, you want to make sure your vehicle’s depreciation is considered. It’s a good idea to ask your insurance provider how much they factor depreciation into your premiums. Once you do, you can use this figure to negotiate rates with other car insurance providers.

Note that if you own a car like a Honda or Toyota, your auto insurance company should reduce your rate by about 2.5% per year to account for depreciation. If you drive a luxury vehicle such as a BMW or Mercedes, the size of the discount should increase, as high-end vehicles lose value even faster.

See More: Best Car Insurance Companies

2. You Moved

Your location plays a vital role in your car insurance premium. Auto insurance companies will charge more if you live in an urban area with many drivers and a high accident or vehicle theft rate. You can expect to pay less if you’re in a rural town with fewer drivers and accidents and less vehicle theft.

The weather in your ZIP code is also important. Car insurance providers will raise your rate if extreme weather conditions like hailstorms and snow are common in your area. On the contrary, you’ll enjoy a lower premium if you live somewhere with moderate temperatures.

If you’ve moved to a less risky spot with fewer drivers, a lower accident and theft rate, and better weather, your new ZIP code can save you money on car insurance.

See More: Car Insurance Quotes

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3. You Don’t Drive Very Often

There are a number of reasons you may drive less than you used to. Maybe you now work from home. Or perhaps you quit your job to become a stay-at-home parent or recently retired. No matter your situation, know that car insurance providers offer discounted rates for low-mileage drivers.

If you now drive fewer than 10,000 miles per year, you’re likely overpaying for the policy you purchased when you drove more frequently. You owe it to yourself to shop around for a new car insurance plan that will reward you with lower premiums.

Pay-per-mile car insurance companies like Metromile Insurance and Milewise are definitely worth exploring. They specifically cater to drivers like you and will look to your mileage to determine your car insurance rates.

4. Old Traffic Violations

In general, a traffic violation will raise your auto insurance rate for three years from the date the police report was filed. A speeding ticket can increase your premium by about $300 per year, while a DUI may cause it to skyrocket and run you an extra $1,000 annually.

Keep in mind that since DUIs stay on your record for 10 full years in California, your car insurance will cost you even more if you live there and get convicted of one. If it’s been more than three years since you received your traffic violation, you should shop for new auto insurance.

By doing so, you may be able to lock in a much lower rate than what you’re currently paying. There’s no reason to be stuck with a high premium for a violation that is now considered out-of-date and shouldn’t impact your car insurance anymore.

See More: Cheap Car Insurance

5. You Got Married

If you recently got married, you may qualify for discounts on your car insurance policy. This is especially true if you own a home and have children who drive too. Depending on the auto insurance provider, you may be eligible for a bundling discount if you pair your homeowner’s insurance policy with your car insurance. You might also lock in a multi-driver discount. Shop around to see which company will reward you the most for your newly married status.

6. Your Credit Score Improved

Your credit score is a three-digit number that shows how responsible a borrower you are. Most car insurance companies will look at your credit score, as it can help them determine how likely you make on-time payments.

If you’ve improved your credit score, it’s wise to look for a new car insurance policy. Research reveals that those who go from a fair credit score to a good credit score can save an average of 17% on auto insurance each year. The best ways to increase your credit score are to pay your bills on time, get rid of debt, and only apply for new credit when you absolutely need it.

7. You Had a Baby

One of the best times to shop for auto insurance is the period right after you’ve had a baby. Since parents usually drive safer vehicles with the latest and greatest safety features, car insurance companies tend to offer them lower premiums.

As a parent, you can secure great car insurance rates until your children are old enough to get behind the wheel. Once they reach their teen years, they’ll be considered risky drivers and cause your car insurance to go up as a result.

8. Changing Requirements

The reality is that car insurance requirements are not set in stone. In fact, it’s not uncommon for states to change them every once in a while. In Connecticut, for example, the minimum amount of required auto insurance increased several years ago.

Make an effort to stay on top of any changing car insurance laws and requirements in your state. You may find out that you need more or less coverage to comply with them. If you do learn that your state has new auto insurance policies, you should shop around to find the ideal plan for your unique needs.

9. You Got Older

Younger drivers are more likely to cause accidents than older, more experienced drivers. As you get older, your risk level goes down, and so do your premiums. While age 25 doesn’t guarantee you’ll save money on your car insurance, this is the age when many providers lower rates. Since your premiums may decrease after the age of 25, shopping around every six months can lower your auto insurance costs.

See More: Best and Worst Sites to Compare Car Insurance

Save Money by Shopping for Car Insurance Every 6 Months

If you’re looking for an easy way to add hundreds of dollars back into your pocket each year, you should shop for auto insurance every six months. By doing so, you can allow your current car insurance company and other providers to reassess your rate based on your age, recent life changes, vehicle depreciation, and other factors.

While it may take some time and effort to shop for auto insurance every six months, doing so is often well worth it. Compare car insurance quotes online to find the best coverage for your car and driver profile from top companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How should I shop for car insurance every six months?

    There are many ways to shop for car insurance every six months. You can explore the websites of various providers or call them directly. Another option is to work with an auto insurance agent. You might also want to consider online auto insurance comparison tools.

  • Why might moving increase my car insurance rates?

    Since car insurance companies often consider your location when calculating your rate, moving can cause your premium to go up. This is because you might move to a riskier area with a larger population and a higher accident rate. There may also be more cases of theft and vandalism in your new ZIP code.

  • What types of life changes may impact my premiums?

    Different types of life changes can affect your auto insurance costs. If you get married and buy a house, for example, you may lock in a discount for adding another driver to your policy or bundling your car insurance and homeowners insurance. Once your teen starts driving and gets added to your policy, your rates will likely go up.

    Moving to a riskier area may also cause your premium to increase. In addition, if you earn a college degree, you might be eligible for a better deal on your policy. Since life changes are common and can change your car insurance costs, it’s a good idea to shop for a policy every six months.

  • Am I guaranteed a better deal if I shop for car insurance every six months?

    There is no guarantee you’ll save money if you shop for car insurance every six months. But it can’t hurt to compare coverage options and rates. It doesn’t take a lot of time, especially if you work with an agent or use an online comparison tool, so you should definitely do it. It might save you hundreds of dollars per year, or even thousands of dollars over your lifetime.

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Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Service's database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums.

Anna Baluch
Anna BaluchInsurance Writer

Anna Baluch is a Cleveland-based personal finance and insurance expert. With an MBA from Roosevelt University, she enjoys writing educational content that helps people make smart financial decisions. Her work can be seen across the internet on many publications, including Freedom Debt Relief, Credit Karma, RateGenius, and the Balance. Connect with Anna on LinkedIn.