Savings challenge: Shop around for the best insurance rate

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Editor’s note: Each week, one of Bankrate’s personal finance reporters is reporting on a new way to save and chronicling the savings journey.

People sometimes go to great lengths to save money, blurring the line between being frugal and being cheap. But before you do anything crazy, do this first: Shop around for a better quote on your homeowners and auto insurance policies.

Look, I get it. Shopping for insurance ranks somewhere between painting a fence and going to the dentist on the list of “Enjoyable ways to spend free time.” But all it takes is a little time researching on the Internet and a few minutes on the phone with insurance agents. You may find there are better deals available.

“You may very well be getting the best deal you can, but you won’t know that unless you do a little shopping around,” says Robert Passmore, assistant vice president of personal lines policy at Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Here are some tips to help you find out for yourself, as well as my experience searching for insurance savings.