Can they really save you that much? How do you go about getting savings? You hear it on the radio, see it on TV and in the mail.
Company A can save you 15 percent over the competition on your auto insurance.
Or, you can save $473 just by switching to Company B.
That's a lot of money.
Are people really saving that much? The way the insurance industry works, it would really depend on a lot of different factors.
This was confirmed by a recent article on CBS MoneyWatch, ''Can You Really Save Money By Switching Car Insurance," in which several auto insurers replied with that same answer: It depends.
Insurance companies use a variety of factors to determine the risk of a loss for a particular driver.
These would be things like age, location, driving record, type of car, miles driven annually -- even credit history.
A high-risk driver will be charged a higher rate than a low-risk driver.
Each company is a little different in how they underwrite risk and price coverages, so there's always the potential to lower your costs by switching.
But how much really depends on if you fit their perfect risk and if you can take advantage of extra discounts.
For example, many people might change their auto insurance when they move to another state.
Just moving alone could change how much they pay.
Or, the new company may offer discounts that the current insurer doesn't have.
Since the bottom line rates can vary so much between insurers, you really should shop around to find the best deal.
The Insurance Information Institute recommends getting at least three different quotes.
Just doing this could save you hundreds, but keep in mind that you want to request the same coverages from each company in order to get an accurate comparison.
This leads to some of the other ways you can lower your car insurance costs, for example raising your deductible, paying your premium in full instead of installments, eliminating comprehensive coverage on old vehicles, etc.
You can visit different insurers, or you use the convenience of a comparison Web site to get several quotes from a single source.
Whether you can save 15 percent of $473 or more just by switching may depend, but in this economy it is certainly worth trying.