FACT –Auto and Life Insurance premiums fell in the last 3-5 years.
FACT: If you haven’t checked your auto or life insurance rates within the past 3-5 years, you may be overpaying.
Everyday, I meet new customers who finally have the energy and drive to shop for their insurance policies after 25 years of loyalty with the same company. They were surprised to discover that they had been paying too much for their auto, home, and life insurance for years.
My parents, and possibly yours, and/or your grandparents used to take jobs and work there for 20-30 years. These days are over. It may still be possible to stay with the same insurance company for your entire life.
Clark Howard states that auto, home, and life insurance rates for consumers have fallen due to a variety of factors over the last five years.
This is due to the fact that auto insurance companies have adopted a tiered rating system that is based largely upon credit scoring. It also includes the same factors that were considered IE drivers age and driving record. Credit scoring is now the predominant factor.
Life insurance companies compete for your business, which is good for you and the people who live longer.
This is a secret that insurance companies don’t want to tell you. Many insurance companies offer a better rate for new customers only. It sounds absurd, but it is true. If the customer requests a re-rating, some carriers may adjust the rates of current customers to the lower rate.
This is my personal experience and not what I believe to be the truth. I was an Allstate agent for more than 20 years and am now an independent agent in Georgia. I am familiar with both sides of the industry.
You can find a lot of information online from both the government and the private sector about how to lower your insurance costs. The majority of the advice is not complete, but it is generally good. It is not a goal to improve your auto insurance premium.
You make changes to your driving habits, credit, vehicles and employment. These life changes can have an impact on your rate.
Here are my two cents on ways you can improve your insurance rates right now. Some of these ideas you may have heard before. Others are brand new.
1. Make sure you have all the pages for your current insurance declaration. You can find them online, or you can contact your agent to request copies.
2. An internet lead company I.E. is a great way to save time and shop for your insurance rates. Insureme.com and Netquote.com.
These companies allow you to complete an online “request for a quote” form and receive multiple quote indications. A quote indication is an estimate of the price based on only the information that you provide in the online questionnaire.
WARNING Depending on where you live, you might get calls from up to 20+ agents. Lead companies will sell your information to as many agents as possible because that’s how they make money. This strategy should not be used unless you are serious about the matter and have enough time to read through all information.
3. To find an independent agent in your area, you can either go online or call the phone book. Their office can be reached by phone or you can fill out a request for a quote form on their website. They will usually call you within 24 hours of your request during workweek to verify your information, and then give you an accurate rate. Independent agents can sell and service insurance policies for most of the world’s top companies. They will help you compare rates and find the most reliable claims service. If you qualify for lower rates, they will be able to shop around.
4. You should pay close attention to credit scores and inquiries. Your credit score will improve and your rate may increase if you switch companies or have a clean driving record.
5. If you’re married, choose the spouse with better credit to be your primary insured.
6. Online defensive driving courses are available. This can reduce your rate by up to 10% Make sure that your carrier accepts the course as valid for the discount.
7. You can use EFT (electronic fund transfer) if you are required to pay monthly. Pay the premium full if you can. Many companies offer a substantial discount.
8. Higher limits of liability. You will often get a lower rate than the minimum state limit in many cases.
9. Do not purchase accident forgiveness coverage. It doesn’t make sense.
10. Ask your insurance company if they can lower your rate. They should be able to do so within 24 hours.
That’s it. You can determine if you’re getting the best price, coverage, and other details for your hard-earned dollars by following the above suggestions. It’s a good idea to shop around every 3 years. Independent agents will do the shopping for you, so you don’t have to change agents.
Advertising for low-cost insurance is everywhere. Advertising is expensive, and you end up paying more for it in premiums.
This is because many people believe they have the best rate just by watching what the TV says. Talk to an independent agent about your insurance needs. They represent high-profile companies that use advertising differently, so they can help you avoid paying more for your insurance. Good luck, and get to work.