Thursday, May 13, 2010
Saving Money on Car Insurance
My husband is a great driver and he has several speeding tickets to prove it. So when we got married I switched my car insurance over to his, because of his loyalty to the company. Our insurance cost automatically dropped because I had a perfect driving record and we also received multiple vehicle discount. Everything was going great until we started our tightwad journey. I began to wonder if we could save money by switching to another company.
Cutting our expense was my goal so I began to call different companies in hopes of someone giving us a competitive quote. Finally I came across a very reputable company that was offering $50 discount to first time customers along with additional $20 dollars savings every 6 months. I figured out that in a first year we would save $90 and that made me very happy. We made the switch and never looked back. After a year of giving our business to this particular insurance company our rates began to look high, so I was once again on a quest to reduce our premiums.
My journey began by reading a cut out article that I saved that provided three different phone numbers for highly recommended insurance companies. I called the first one and was quickly informed that they do not sell insurance in my state. What a bummer! I proceeded to dial the number of the second suggested company. My conversation went as following:
Rep: Hi, how are you today?
Me: I am great and I hope you are too.
Rep: How can I help you today?
Me: I am looking for a car insurance quote. I have never heard of your company, but came across in a magazine article that suggested that you offer competitive quotes.
For a second I thought that I must have dialed the wrong number but finally representative started to speak again.
Rep: How old are you?
Me: 26 years old
Rep: I am sorry, but we only provide insurance to citizens 65 years and older.
I was so confused and wondered why the article did not inform me about this very minor detail. Calling the third number made me very nervous, but my fingers dialed the number quickly and I was waiting for someone to tell me, “Bingo! Third time is a charm and we can give you a completive quote.” When my phone call was finally answered a gentleman told me that he would be delighted to provide a competitive quote for me. He explained that www.insurance.com plugs all my information in the system first and then top 18 insurance companies compete for my business.
“Let’s compete!” I told him excitingly and he started the search. For some odd reason he told me the price for my already existing company and it was at least $20 more than what we were already paying. I was first confused, but then it dawned on me. This company is a middle man between me and the insurance companies, so they have to increase the price that insurance companies provide by X% in order to make some sort of profit. The representative then mentioned another price that he received from a different company and it was $100 cheaper a year that what we are paying now. However, I have never heard of this company and was not sure if I could trust them without doing a research first.
I wanted a well trusted reputable company to take care of our cars. I wrote down the name of the company that offered a lower payment and informed the rep that I first have to discuss with my husband if we want to make the switch. As soon as I hung up, I called back to my existing car insurance and was connected to the manager. Our conversation went as following:
Me: I just found out that the company X can offer me the same coverage as you for $100 less a year. If you will match the price, we will stay with your company.
Manager: Ok. How about I lower your payment to $X amount. This will enable you to save $150 a year.
Me: Ok, please document this in your system and I will call you back as time gets closer to make a payment.
Once I hung up, I wrote down on a piece of paper the name of the manger, his promise, the date and time of our conversation. This is very important, one day I may share with you how writing down all this information have strengthened my past cases, when my promises were not delivered. I was so excited that night that I couldn’t wait to tell my husband. He too was very pleased with the savings.
Before too long, I had to call the insurance company back to make the payment. I was greeted by a very nice lady and I explained to her that on such and such day at such and such time, Mr. so and so promised me a reduction in payment. She was able to pull up all the documented promises but while she was doing that we started to talk about our plans for the future. I found out that she was working on her master’s degree and one day hopes to help police solve crime cases. I was so comfortable talking to this rep, that if she was to ask my social security number I would have probably giving it to her without thinking twice about it. This nice rep then asked me about my level of education. I informed her that I have my undergraduate degree and was working on my mater’s degree. She then told me that I qualify for an additional discount, which reduced our rate by another $30 dollars. I wondered why no one reduced our rate 6 months ago, when we paid our premium. However, I was happy and very grateful for this discount.
Before hanging up with the rep, I asked when my husband’s tickets expire and wrote the dates down on a piece of paper. This very nice lady told me that one of my husband’s tickets will expire in two months. I would have to call a month before the expiration and ask customer service representative to take it off. He or she will then credit our account and that should reduce our payment by another $40 dollars. But if I do not call, the ticket will be taken off automatically only when the next payment period comes around, which is in 6 months. Letting our insurance company keep our money was not my plan, so I made sure that I wrote down ticket expiration date in a visible place.
The point of me sharing my experience with the insurance company is to show that companies want your business and will do anything to keep it, even if it means to give you a discount. So what are you waiting for my friend? Visit insurance.com and call to find out who offers a competitive price, write down the name of the company and call you current insurance provider. Let your provider know that you are thinking of switching to the X company but would love to stay with your current provider if they can match the price. If they say, yes they can match the price; you can do a happy dance. If they say no, then hang up and start looking for another insurance company. By taking 30 minutes of my time calling around and bargaining with our current insurance provider saved us over $210 a year on our car insurance premiums. Don’t be afraid to ask around, you will be surprised at the savings that companies are willing to give you.