Our comparisons of prices charged by Massachusetts’ largest auto insurers found that most area drivers will save $500 or more a year by making a better auto insurance choice. Many will save $1,000 or more. For example:

  • Our illustrative couple with two cars living in Cambridge with one ticket would pay $1,004 with GEICO, $1,734 with Ameriprise, or $1,801 with Safeco, compared to more than $2,500 with ACE, Esurance, Farm Family, and Plymouth Rock.
  • If you have a less-than-perfect driving record or (God help you) a teenager on your policy, expect to pay a lot more—and to have bigger opportunities to save. For our illustrative couple with two cars living in Hanover with a recent speeding ticket and a teenager, rates range from $1,598 with USAA and $2,501 with GEICO to $3,628 with Farm Family, $3,636 with Allstate, $3,824 with ACE, $3,911 with Plymouth Rock, and $4,203 with Liberty Mutual.

Although it’s a bit of a pain to shop for auto insurance, most consumers would agree that spending a few hours to save $500, $1,000, or more every year is worth the effort. Note that you don’t have to wait until your current policy term expires to take advantage of the savings you’d get from a switcheroo—when you switch to a lower-priced company, your old insurance company will refund the unused share of your premium. You also don’t have to forsake service for a better rate: Our ratings reveal that some highly rated companies offer low rates.

Check our auto insurance comparison tool to see how companies stack up for price and quality. Because small differences in policyholder characteristics can have big effects on some companies’ premiums, be sure to check rates yourself.

You want to buy enough coverage to protect yourself—but not so much that you’re wasting money. We advise on that, too. The highlights:

  • Maintain the highest deductible amount with which you’re comfortable.
  • Consider dropping collision coverage when your car’s value drops below $3,000 or so.
  • When shopping for coverage, find out how much more it will cost to raise limits beyond standard coverages. It is usually inexpensive to increase limits for liability coverage above standard amounts.
  • Carefully consider the extras. Some optional coverages aren’t worth much, but companies charge a lot for them.
  • For repairs, insist on using a repair shop you can trust. Click here to go to our ratings of area auto body shops.