In the never ending battle to cut household expenses, I quested to find the cheapest car insurance. Speaking as a witness to the claims service from premium local, premium national, cheap local, and cheap national car insurance carriers, they’re all the same. Really. And if there is a margin of better or easier service from the premium carriers, it is certainly not hundreds of dollars worth. When I had an accident and was insured by a top “cut-rate” insurance company, they were amazing. So why would I pay any more?

It was with that in mind that I was reluctant to switch from that company. I am not without a loyalty bone and it made me feel bad to cheat on them. Then I remembered they’re a company, not a person, and I felt better. I got several quotes and the best one, by only a few dollars at base level mind you, was Progressive. We were looking to get my partner and I on the same plan for both saving and simplicity, so this move was already saving a couple hundred dollars a year.

Then they told me about their Snapshot tool, which is a little thing you plug into the car and it measures distances driven, times driven, and braking patterns. You keep it plugged into your car for 6 months and based on the first months patterns you get a prorated refund based on your good driving behaviors plus up to a 30% discount on your next bill. I couldn’t see a single reason not to try it.

AND BOY ARE WE GLAD WE DID! I just got the results back on the first month and my car qualified for a 29% discount and my partner’s qualified for a 30% discount. We got a $150 rebate and will save $204 dollars on our next 6 month policy (assuming that the driving patterns continue to be typical of what the device has already tracked over the rest of the 6 months). So, now we are basically paying for both cars what he was paying for just his car. Just like that.

The moral of this story is that it’s always a good idea to review these kinds of policies and get quotes, even if you are not discontented with your current provider. It’s just insurance, don’t give them any more money than you have to!