Switching your car insurance policy can save you hundreds of dollars a year. But, make sure you consider these things before you make the switch to a different insurance company.
Tip #1: Compare Apples to Apples
You’ve seen the commercials promising “an average savings of $500 a year for those who switched.” You can absolutely save money. However, be sure that your new quote compares your current auto insurance policy to the new policy with all coverages, driving records and vehicles the same. Any one variance can make a big difference in price. Many insurers will try to lure you with great savings, but a CLUE report (comprehensive loss underwriting exchange – also known as your claims history) isn’t completed until after the application is submitted. Online insurers are notorious for doing this.
Tip #2: Update Your Auto Insurance Policy First
If you’ve recently received a ticket, had an accident, moved or purchased a new vehicle, have your current policy changes made prior to shopping. It’s entirely possible that your new ride may get you some savings or result in a price increase. Regardless, if something changes, be sure to revert to tip #1.
Tip #3: Work with an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents are discount detectives and have access to multiple insurers. Even better, they know your current situation and history, and they can give you recommendations across many of the insurers they represent. They can compare rates between each of their insurers and let you know the benefits of each one.
Tip #4: Be Aware of Multi-Policy Discounts
When you’re looking for a new policy, be sure to take all things into consideration. You may be focused on your auto insurance, but if you have a package policy (multiple policies with the same insurer) you are likely getting discounts. If you move your auto insurance policy to another insurer, your home insurance may increase as much as 20 percent, thereby eliminating any savings you received. Take all of your policies into consideration.
One additional item to consider here is if you have an umbrella policy. Some insurers require your home and auto insurance policies in order to write the umbrella policy. So talk to you agent about your specific situation.
Tip #5: Have Representation After a Car Accident
Agents are the ones who will go to bat for you in the event you have a claim or accident. Often times, they can help you file that claim or give you recommendations on local companies to repair your car. If you have your insurance directly with the insurer handling your loss, you don’t get this representation. Having a local independent insurance agent is the way to go.
Want more tips on your home, auto and umbrella coverage? Contact one of our personal insurance experts for more information.