Car insurance is a necessary expense, but you can take steps to lower the cost of insuring your car. Insurance rates change often, and if you want to get the best rate, you need to keep up with what's being offered. When you do shop around, make sure to check in at the big insurance companies, but also look at the smaller regional companies. They will sometimes match or do better than the huge brands. Don't buy insurance and stick with it. A smart car owner shops for car insurance often. Here are some guidelines on just how often.

At Least Shop Annually

car insurance
Make sure to reassess your car insurance once a year. 

Even if you don't like shopping for car insurance, you should at least check insurance rates once a year. This will ensure that you don't pay too much money. An insurance company signs you up for a policy at a specific rate. If those rates change, the company doesn't alert the customer. You have to make sure you stay on top of it.

A lot can happen in a year. You may have improved your credit score, reduced or added a driver to your family, reached a new age threshold or gotten married. All of these things and more impact the cost of your car insurance. An annual car insurance shopping spree will help you get the most accurate policy offers suited specifically to your needs.

Consider Shopping Twice a Year

Car insurance
Mark a couple times a year on your calendar when you plan to shop for car insurance. 

If you really want to have an up-to-date car insurance policy, you should really shop for car insurance every six months. While checking in on rates every year is smart. A lot can happen in your life in just six months. That means the more often you check the better. Usually, three months is a little too often, but six is just right.

The same factors that make it smart to shop for car insurance every year apply to shopping for car insurance every six months. If you can handle going through the car insurance shopping process twice a year, then you definitely should.

Keep an Eye Out for Any Good Deals

Car insurance deals
If you find a good deal, make sure to get all the details before moving forward. 

You don't have to stick to a schedule when it comes to shopping around for car insurance. While shopping annually or every six months or so is smart, don't overlook some of the good deals that can spring up between those periods. If you see a good discount, take advantage of it.

Just because you see a good discount with another company doesn't mean you need to jump over immediately. Make sure to get all the details on the discount and the coverage provided. Once you have all the details, have a discussion with your current insurance agent. See if your current company can match the competitors offer. If not, then you can consider switching.