Fully 46% of those with homeowners insurance and 36% with auto insurance did not go over their current policies or shop around for new policies in 2020, a new survey finds. Here's how to do that.

By Alisa Wolfson
December 14, 2020

If you own a car or a home, you’re probably missing out on big-time savings. 

Nearly half (46%) of those with homeowners insurance and 36% with auto insurance did not go over their current policies or shop around for new policies in 2020, according to a survey released today by Bankrate. But doing so offers the potential for big savings. Indeed, “just by reviewing your current policy and comparing it against what other companies could offer you,” you have the potential to save $1,000 or more, says Insurify insurance expert Tanveen Vohra.

Data backs that up. Those who don’t shop around for car insurance may miss out on savings of $416.52 on average, according to NerdWallet. Those who don’t shop around for homeowners insurance may miss out on even more: somewhere between $363 and $2,182 a year.

What’s more, 2020 has changed our circumstances so much that it’s a really good time to shop around. Roughly 20% of homeowners and car owners who didn’t review their policies this year believe they have improved their credit score in 2020, which can save you hundreds on your policy. And when it comes to auto insurance, 14% of people claimed not to have reviewed their policy because they no longer have a daily commute; that change alone could result in a lower premium.

We talked to insurance and finance experts to find some of the best—and lesser known—ways to get the lowest cost on homeowners and automobile insurance policies. Here’s what they had to say:

Use a comparison tool to get multiple quotes.

One easy way to get quotes from a number of companies is to use tools like Quotable, Insurify, The Zebra and NetQuote. The caveat, of course, is to make sure the policy has the amount of coverage that you need. The Insurance Information Institute offers a detailed explanation of how you can best protect your home and U.S. News and World Report shares the minimum amount of car insurance you need depending on where you live.

Don’t ignore small insurance companies.

Compare rates across multiple companies, and don’t ignore smaller insurers, says Bankrate.com analyst Stephen Kates: “Just because an insurer isn’t a big name, doesn’t mean they can’t offer competitive rates.”  

Inquire about discounts, including unexpected ones.

“Most insurers will offer discounts for bundling policies, paying premiums up front or skipping paper statements,” says Kates. And many people qualify for unexpected discounts too, says Andrea Collins, vice president of marketing for Hippo. Moving to a gated community, forming a local homeowners association and going a certain amount of time without making a claim are all things that can lower your homeowner’s insurance. For car coverage, take advantage of low mileage discounts, defensive driving courses and anti-theft devices. 

Consider skipping comprehensive and collision coverage for your older car.

Ben Moore, NerdWallet’s insurance expert, recommends skipping comprehensive and collision coverage if your car is older and depreciated in value. “A low car value combined with a high deductible might mean you’re paying for more coverage than you’ll get back in a claim,” says Moore. 

Make some small changes to your home for long-term savings.

“You can usually get discounts of at least 5% for a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks,” the Insurance Information Institute notes. Making your home more “disaster proof”—by adding things like storm shutters, reinforcing your roof or buying stronger roofing materials—is also a good way to save. When you’re getting quotes from the insurance companies be sure to factor this in.