I haven’t had a ticket or accident in over 15 years. My spouse had a small fender bender, two years ago, no tickets, and no other claims. Our insurance rates for our cars continued to rise to over $2000 twice per year. When we reduced the number of cars, and the premium did not proportionately decline, we began to ask questions and started looking into other options such as coop car insurance. The response we received from our insurance company was, based on our driving record and claims, we were getting the best rate available to us. The Insurer also informed us that we were receiving a specially discounted rate, because we also insured our properties with them. Perceiving that we were being treated in a disingenuous manner, we decided to look at all of the other options available.
Shopping multiple companies, we discovered that we qualified for the same coverage, at $1,256. per year instead of $2,000+ every 6 months. How is that possible when you would assume that competition would keep insurance rates at various companies within a few dollars of one another in order to secure the sale?
Here are 5 things we learned during our search for better car insurance.
1. When buying coverage from insurers, it is a buyer beware economy. Loyalty from a consumer of auto insurance is a condition to be maximally exploited by the insurer over time. Conversely there is no loyalty from the insurer to the insured. It is about the money and the commission the agent and the company make.
2. To get the best rates and service it is important to shop for car insurance annually. Insurance companies are hungry for business and change their polices and premiums frequently to get new business in the door.
3. Getting new customers, is the primary effort of insurance agents, new business means commission payouts that are generally higher than a simple renewal. An agent will work harder to find the best rates offered to secure you as a new client. Our current insurance company seemed to take advantage of the long relationship and did not shop for ways to reduce our costs.
4. If you do get a moving violation, or have an accident, it is your responsibility to track the impact of the event, on the annual rate. One cannot expect that the insurance company will be attending to this detail, and that they will automatically reduce your premium when the elapsed time, has reached the date where the mishap should no longer impact your premium.
5. Always ask questions, and take nothing for granted. The best weapon against being overcharged by insurers is aggressively seeking to stay on top of any changes in the coop car insurance industry and to be willing to move to another carrier should they be able to provide you with a better rate.
We clearly moved our car insurance to a new vendor that provided us with comparable coverage for almost 300% less the cost. We learned that the money you can save by shopping is time well spent.