You've probably heard this before, maybe loads of times. When it comes to insurance, it pays to shop around.
There's a reason that line is repeated so often: It's solid advice, because big savings are possible. Just look at the evidence from a recent simple, unscientific survey of home insurance quotes that Bankrate conducted, focusing on sample addresses in 15 cities scattered across the U.S.
Bankrate went on the websites of four major insurers to gather annual homeowners rate quotes for each of the addresses. The quotes were gathered in June 2013 and were based on $250,000 full replacement coverage for a single-family home and $300,000 in liability coverage. Each policy included a $500 deductible, $1,000 per person medical coverage and a $500 replacement limit for property damage. Not all companies in the survey provided quotes for every location.
Even this very limited survey demonstrates that there can be sizable differences in prices, which is why it's so important to comparison shop.
Rates ranged by as much as 188 percent
Among the rates obtained from all four companies for an address in Chicago, there was a 121 percent difference between the highest and the lowest home insurance quotes. That is, one insurer's policy would cost more than double what another would charge for the same coverage.
For an address in Indianapolis, quotes were available from three of the companies, and the highest was 56 percent more than the lowest. For a sample address in Roanoke, Va., quotes provided by three of the four companies ranged by as much as 67 percent. An address in Wichita, Kan., had the biggest gulf between lowest and highest: 188 percent, comparing rates supplied by three companies. You heard that right: One insurer's rate was nearly three times what another would charge.
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