6 Insider Tips for Shopping
1. Shop Early – Don't Wait Until the Last Minute
Like the airline industry, the earlier you purchase an auto insurance policy before its scheduled effective date, the more money you can save. Shop around early – at least one month before your renewal date, and get rewarded with significant policy discounts.
2. Shop Often – Compare Prices from Multiple Companies
One way to make sure you are getting the best rate on auto insurance is by requesting quotes and comparing the prices of different insurers. It is best to request quotes from an agent that represents multiple insurance companies, as each company will offer different rates for the same amount of coverage.
3. Shop Wisely – Make Sure You Are Comparing "Apples to Apples"
When comparing the rates of different insurance companies, look carefully at the coverages and liability limits for each quote. Make sure that each policy is providing you with the exact same coverages, features, and benefits.
If one quote seems significantly less than the other, feel free to give the agent or company a call to compare the coverages of the two policies line by line to look for a discrepancy. Pay extra close attention to deductibles and additional policy options such as rental reimbursement or towing and labor coverage.
4. Seek Unbiased Information
If you visit the homepage of a major insurance company, you will likely notice they proclaim to be the best in customer service or boast having the lowest rates. While this may be true for some drivers, there are so many different factors that determine insurance rates that not every company can offer each driver the lowest rate.
As a consumer, you can consult a wide variety of unbiased sources of information. One of the best places to start may be your state's division of insurance website. There you should find helpful information regarding all of the different insurance companies that are licensed and approved to do business in your state. You should also be able to get important public records data, such as consumer complaint information and insurance news.
5. Give All Insurance Agents the Same Accurate Information
When comparing auto insurance rates, it is important that you give the same accurate information to each agent or company representative to ensure the prices you are getting are accurate. Telling one agent you only have one or two tickets and then telling another you have a perfect driving record will result in totally different rates. Be sure to give honest information right away to receive accurate quotes and avoid having the agreed-upon price change after further review by the insurance company.
If you aren't sure of your driving record in the last five years, have your drivers license number ready so the agent or representative you are dealing with can retrieve your driving history from an online database.
6. Consider More than Just Price
When purchasing insurance, before making a final decision you should consider more than just the total price. Establishing a solid relationship with a trusted agent can result in more prompt and friendly service and a better overall customer experience – which could be worth paying a little more.