How 15 Minutes Really Did Save Me Money on Car Insurance

By: Nelson Smith on January 19, 2015
Back in 2008, I had an auto insurance problem. Specifically, I thought I was paying too darn much for it.

Like many people, I was promised reduced rates once I turned 25. That was the cutoff between irresponsible teenage driving and law-abiding adult driving, and my insurance rates would show it. I was promised this pretty much annually from when I was 22 until 24.
Finally, that fateful year came. Excited to finally stop paying $150 per month for auto insurance, I tore open the envelope practically in glee. I was already planning to spend my savings on a pair of fuzzy dice for my rear-view mirror, because for some reason I actually thought those were cool.
I opened up the envelope. I can’t remember what I said next, but I’m fairly certain it’s not appropriate to repeat. My annual premium declined a whole 3%, going from $1,800 to $1,750.
That was not going to do.
I’m not sure if websites like this one existed back in 2008 that let you compare auto insurance quotes online, but I definitely didn’t use one. All I did was fire up my computer and Google something like “cheap auto insurance Alberta.”
As you can imagine, I had my choice of options. The first or second search result was with the Alberta Motor Association, the local branch of the Canadian Auto Association. I had been a member of AMA for as long as I drove my car, even using them once during a cold spell to tow my car to the shop after it wouldn’t start. I was happy with my service then, so I decided to investigate their insurance offerings.
I couldn’t get a quote online because it was 2008 and the internet barely worked back then, so I physically had to call in and speak to a live person. After providing the details for both me and my car and proving that I actually did pass driver’s training, I got a new insurance quote.
I’d be paying approximately $1,250 per year. With just one ten minute phone call and five minutes of clicking before that, I dropped my car insurance bill from $145 per month to just $105. That’s a savings of 28% annually, and all for doing just 15 minutes worth of work.
Saving money doesn’t get much easier than that.
I currently pay approximately $645 annually for car insurance. I’m still driving the same old 2002 Ford Focus and since it isn’t worth much anymore I took collision coverage off of it, mostly to save money.
I decided to run the same test for my current insurance, using the car insurance tool. After spending all of five minutes inputting my data, I got four quotes.
The first quote was $703, which is more than what I pay now. I immediately tossed it.
The second quote was for $564, which is about $80 per year less than what I’m paying now. That’s not bad.
The third quote was even lower, coming in at $478. Savings of approximately $170 on a policy that originally cost $645? That’s not bad.
But the lowest quote was truly magical. It came in at $321, a full 50% lower than what I’m currently paying.

If you haven’t checked out car insurance websites for a couple years, I’d highly recommend it. My potential savings were more than 50%, or $324. If you can do the same, it’s a pretty easy way to put anywhere from a few hundred to up to $1,000 in your pocket. Even if you only save 10 or 20%, that’s still potentially $100 to $200 per hour for your time. There aren’t many investments you can make with your time that will pay off more than this one.