Regularly taking a look at your car insurance policy is important if you don't want to overpay for your coverage. Every car insurance company is a business, and they logically try to charge customers enough to make a profit. And, while this is fine for them, it's not so great for the consumer. Oftentimes, consumers can get a much better deal on their car insurance rate by simply doing a bit of comparison shopping. They can also do this by updating your policy with discounts due to life changes, such as a different type of vehicle or a change in location. Therefore, it's good to check your car insurance policy every six months or so, and certainly at least once a year.
When reevaluating your car insurance, your first step should be to study your driving habits. Have you been involved in any accidents in the last year, or have you been issued citations that changed your car insurance rate? The number of claims on your policy can make premiums skyrocket, but if you have an overall safe driving record you can often point to that when contacting your insurer to try to get a lower monthly or yearly cost. You should also consider whether you're driving a low number of miles. The floundering economy has caused many motorists to stay home, and if you're not driving much you may be eligible for special discounts from your car insurance company. The amount of the discount (and the number of miles that you need to stay under) will vary from company to company and from policy to policy.
You should also compare your premium rate to estimates that you can easily get from several other major companies. Comparison websites are a good place to turn in this case; enter in all of your driving information (especially info about any claims or incidents in the last two years) and look at the rates you'd be getting from other companies. Be sure that you're looking at rates for the same amount of coverage as what you're currently paying for. You can use the rates you find on these sites as a bargaining chip with your insurer to get lower premiums.
Car insurance experts often recommend a general re-evaluation every six months because car insurance rates change very quickly and very often. The current economy, combined with government programs like Cash for Clunkers, has made the car insurance industry extremely competitive. There's a good chance that you can find a lower rate with only a little bit of work, so when it comes time to renew your car insurance, be sure to first reevaluate your policy and check around for other (cheaper) options.