In today's economy everyone is looking to save money or somehow supplement their income due to the high cost of living. One way to save is on cheap auto insurance. Somehow everyone has been inundated with advertisements, emails, commercials or the billboards advising the public on how much they can save on car insurance by switching from their current insurance company. Lets face it, it is a competitive industry out there. One insurance company may offer you a rate that is much better than the one you currently have, however do not be in a hurry to call your agent and cancel your insurance. You need to be aware of a few things before you decide what to do.

Here are just a few things you should be mindful of before you take the plunge and change your current insurance company for another company who offers the cheapest car insurance.

It would be advisable to read your current insurance contract to determine if your current provider will waive the first accident you have. If it does and if you have been with your current insurance company for some time, why not ask the other company if they will match it. This type of benefit is usually referred to as a good driver discount or a longevity discount. It can also be called as an accident forgiveness discount. Your loyalty is rewarded by waiving the first auto car accident you have.

Now you might not think of this as a significant discount but bear in mind that most accidents can raise your premium by as much as forty percent for about three years. Now if you think of the savings in that time period, it could amount to several hundred dollars. If you do decide to switch companies, you will lose this credit. If you do switch and have an accident with the new company, and if you do not have the accident forgiveness benefit, think of the amount by whichh your insurance is going to increase.

Now beware of what is called a "teaser rate." To lure you and for your business some insurance companies  will offer you a low rate for the first six months just to get your business. The next six months will be offered at a much higher premium since they already have your business. Car insurance companies offer you the cheapest car insurance rate and increase it at renewal, so if the rate they offer you is too good to be true, do some more research.

Another common feature to watch out for is hidden fees. It can be a surprise to most car owners. Many insurance companies will charge you a fee for making monthly payments. This could range from three to five dollars a month. Which means that over the course of the year you could be paying an extra $36-$60. Therefore, take into account this factor when comparing rates, make sure that you are really going to save money if you do switch companies.

Other factors to keep in mind when looking for car insurance is the new company's hours of operation and their website. Be sure to find out if their hours will work with yours. If you are employed from 8 to 5 and the company is also open only at that time, when will you get in touch with them if you have a question? If you like to conduct all your business online, then be sure to find out if the website offers help 24 hours a day.

No doubt one can save money by shopping for the cheapest car insurance, however make sure that the deal you are getting is really worth changing companies.