How I Saved Money on Car Insurance

by on September 27th, 2010
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Not too long ago, my vehicle insurance company sent me a note that my premium was going up. This is partly to be expected. Inflation does make the cost of even insurance rise. As I insure three vehicles, have a clean Motor Vehicle Record and the only claim was more than decade ago, I decided it was time to see if I could do better.

I did. I saved $300 a year and got identical coverage. It took me less than an hour of work all told.

Step one was getting my current insurance policy. If you don’t have the full copy of the policy, your present insurance agency can supply it. The policy can be emailed, faxed or, if close enough, you can pick it up in person. You need this to show other insurance companies what you have so they can offer something similar.

With policy in hand, you now decide which route to insurance to take. There two overall options for someone looking for vehicle insurance:

1) Buy it online or over the phone from a company with no physical presence nearby.

2) Find a local agent and buy insurance through them.

I prefer getting insurance from a local agent. In the event I ever have an insurance claim, I want to be able to see someone face to face. They can’t get rid of me if I am sitting in their office across the desk from them. If I have problems with the insurance or the claim, I can get satisfaction face to face that just can’t be done over a phone or by email.

Further, I can go by the agent’s office and pay my bill in person. No worries about lost checks in the mail or the hacking issues that come up with internet payments.

I still have the option of dealing with someone by phone, even after regular business hours, and going online.

I found Option 2 much faster than option 1 when getting bids. I made copies of my insurance policy and faxed or took it to the various agents in my town. This took the most time. I had to call and get fax numbers or hand deliver the paperwork to the office.

In each case I said I was shopping for new insurance. I said “This is what I have. Work me up a proposal and get back to me.” In less time than it would take to talk with someone online, I had 5 agents working up bids for me.

Knowing they were competing against someone else may have made a difference. Rather than just quote one company, one the independent agent offered me policies from two different companies.

Within the next two days, they all contacted me. About 2 minutes on the phone to get the price and be assured the policy was identical to or better than my present insurance and I had all the information I needed. I found the best coverage for the best price, $300 a year less than what I was paying.

I went by the agent’s office, spent 3 minutes to sign paperwork and get a new insurance carry card and I was done.

It took some work, yes. But when you consider the time I spent saved me $300 over the course a year, I consider it an hour well spent.

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