Have you done a check-up on your auto, home and insurance policies and the prices you pay lately?

I know, I know. I can hear the groans already.

Who has time for that?

Like you, I’ve heard and read the advice that consumers should do periodic check-ups of their coverage for the various insurance products. I’ve phoned my insurer occasionally to make sure that our cars and home are appropriately covered.

But I’ve never comparison-shopped to make sure my insurer was giving me the best rates.

I didn’t want to invest the time and effort; it’s a daunting task, and I know that my insurer, USAA, which serves active and former military families, has very competitive rates. (My father-in-law served in Vietnam.)

But still, when I was having a conversation with Greg McBride, a chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com last month about taking the time to call credit card companies to see if you can get late fees waived, we started chatting about checking on other accounts. (To see that column, go to www.tinyurl.com/calltoask )

McBride listed places to call occasionally to see if you can lower your fees, including utility, cable and phone companies.

Check. I had done nearly all of those recently, including calling my cellphone company and discovering that my daughter and I weren’t using the huge bucket of data that was part of our upgrade, so we bumped down to a lower plan and saved money.

The cable company also offered to double my Internet speed at home and price-matched another phone provider — both for a year — when I said I found a better deal and was ready to switch. To be clear, I’ve tried this unsuccessfully in the past, so I do think it depends on what offer you have in hand and the customer service representative that you get.

Having “that specific offer in hand really helps from a negotiating standpoint,” McBride said.

But when he started talking about checking my insurance price against other companies’, I could feel my attitude change.

Ugh. I didn’t want to take the time to call multiple companies or open the floodgates to getting lots of phone calls and emails from potential companies and representatives.

But I told McBride I would take on the challenge. Plus, I had the benefit of taking the time during work to do the research (hey, it’s a perk of being a consumer columnist).

Well, it was just as much of a pain as I thought it would be. It took time and effort.

I streamlined the process by going to websites that offered quotes from several insurers to start with some basic quotes — I used www.nerdwallet.com and www.insurancequotes.com — and then got follow-ups by email and phone and mail. You can also find an agent who works with several companies to get several quotes at once.

In some cases, I received a lot of phone messages and mail as follow-up, which didn’t surprise me.

Competitive rates

In the end, I didn’t find the savings. Only one company beat my current USAA prices, but it was not for exactly the same coverage, which is what I wanted. Plus, I will soon have a new teen driver and a new car for my husband, so we’ve decided to wait and re-evaluate at that time since we know our premiums will certainly change.

If anything, it helped me realize that my company was competitive and my rates were good. One other company was more than $200 more a year than my home insurance.

Still another was competitive, but the agent confirmed for me that I wouldn’t receive accident forgiveness on our auto policy for five years. That’s not a risk I wanted to take, especially with a new teen driver.

But, hear me out. Just because I didn’t find savings — and remember I have an insurer that when I told agents I had, told me they might not be able to beat the rates — you may fare differently.

McBride did.

“I’ve had a lot of success switching auto insurance,” he said.

Dan Kelso, president of the Ohio Insurance Institute, the trade group for the state’s property and casualty insurance companies, also has.

When Kelso was younger, he first went with the insurance company his parents had. When he got his first car, he stayed with that company, but after hearing from someone that he should have an agent run rates for other companies, he found a 15 percent difference.

Rates vary among companies and have to do with a driver’s history, accident records, deductible levels you choose, longevity with the company and even the part of the state where you live, he said.

The institute has helpful fact sheets and tips when you’re shopping for insurance. They can be found at https://www.ohioinsurance.org/info/for-consumers/.

Falling premiums

I did not end up pricing new life insurance because my husband and I were in our 30s when we bought our term contracts and qualified for the best level, based on our health. Now that we’re in our early 40s, McBride and our financial adviser acknowledged that our rates probably wouldn’t be as good as when we were 30.

If you’re at a different break point for age, however, it might be worth it, he said.

“Premiums for healthy people have really dropped,” he said. “Say if you got it at 30 and now you’re 32, it could be a significant difference.”

McBride said he shopped for a new policy that was a few years less than the one he was replacing since a few years had passed and he was able to save a few year’s of premiums.

So, use this as your little prompt to give it a try — do some checking on those auto, home and life policies. You might just save some money.

Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or blinfisher@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ.