3 Big Ways To Save Money On Auto Insurance Every Time
Shopping for car insurance? Do these three things to get a better seat at the table with insurance companies, and a better angle for policy and premium negotiation.
A barrage of annoying 30-second ad spots have shown nearly everyone that indeed, they can save money on car insurance in just 15 minutes. But getting real savings means doing some strategic research -- not just spending any blind 15 minutes talking to a carrier.
In here are some time-tested practical tips for car insurance shopping that will help you to understand the ways that insurers value and calculate policies, and how you can stand up for yourself to get fairly priced auto insurance.
What's In a Zip Code? Research Your Community
Part of smart insurance buying is understanding the risk factors, and the policy factors, that may change prices. For example, if you live in the state of Pennsylvania, you may or may not know that something called tort or limited tort coverage will influence the price of your policy. Or, if you live in high-risk states like Michigan and Louisiana, you may not know that part of the reason your policies are so expensive is that insurers use state-provided information to charge higher prices across the board. This New York Times article provides more details on how local insurance calculations work.
Ask Insurers What Your Customer Relationship is Worth
In many cases, the reason people save money on car insurance in 15 minutes is that they switch from one carrier that has charged them a lot of money, to a different carrier that values their particular customer relationship more.
This can mean that you've been with one insurer for a long time, and the company gradually hiked up prices, just because they could. When you talk to a competitor, they see that your good driving record is valuable to them, and they may offer you a radically lower price.
It's the same principle with which lenders compete to refinance a loan, except that with car insurance, there are less of the fees and upfront costs that eat up the savings of the average refinancing deal. That's why it really does pay to periodically ask other carriers, such as AAI Insurance Agency, about their best price.
Look for the Hidden Incentives
Along with the unique values that insurers put on a customer relationship, there are also unique incentives created by insurance carriers to entice new customers, or to keep long-term customers. The problem is that many of these incentives are off-menu -- you won't hear about them unless you research them yourself. Take a look at any insurer's web site and look for indicators like military discounts, safe driving discounts or even good student discounts. Then, ask about these directly in negotiations with company representatives. What you find may surprise you.
These are three big ways to really save money on car insurance, by knowing the industry and the markets, and by taking proactive steps to negotiate on your behalf.