If you’re like me, you don’t just buy something on a whim without shopping around. At least you don’t make any impulse buys with major expenses. If you like to shop around to find the best deal like me, why wouldn’t you do the same with your insurance policies? That’s exactly what getting insurance quotes is all about: shopping to get the best deal that you can find.
We have a few pointers to share with you in your search for the best (cheapest?) insurance policies. These same tips hold true with almost every type of product or service, so they work just as well with insurance.
- Always get at least 3 quotes! Never buy any policy until you speak with at least 3 companies. The amount of price variance in insurance quotes can be pretty substantial. If you don’t check the rates from at least 3 companies, there’s a pretty good chance that you are making a mistake and spending more than you should.
- When shopping around for a policy, make sure that you are comparing apples to apples. For instance, if you are looking for $10k in auto liability, make sure that you compare exactly the same coverage with every company that you get a rate from. Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what you are being quoted on (agents can be sneaky and overly technical), but do your homework and make sure that you’re not comparing apples to oranges.
- Stick with very reputable companies. Most of the big insurance companies are easy enough to get reviews on, but there are some small to medium size insurance companies that can be very competitive as well. On the smaller companies, make sure you do your homework. Read around for reviews. Try to talk to someone that has used them, and especially someone that has made a claim with them. Call your state’s insurance regulator and ask for their opinion/complaints filed. Check with your BBB while you’re at it. The last thing you want is to deal with a company that will make a claim a nightmare!
- Ask every company how you could get a better deal. Haggling with insurance companies can be done. Your agent may even be able to tell you how to get a better rate.
How Should I Go About Getting A Quote?
The internet has made this so easy now. I highly recommend that you at least start your search online. Many of the major players can give you a price online. Some can start the process online, and then refer an agent to visit with you to talk about the details.
As great as shopping online is, there’s still something to be said for meeting with an agent in person. A good agent can not only give you some quotes, but they can work with your needs and try to figure out what type of policies you really need.
How Often Should I Get A Quote?
I highly recommend getting quotes on all of your insurance policies at least once a year. This holds true for every type of coverage including cars, home, life, business, travel, mortgage, pet insurance, etc. You would be amazed how often the rates can change. It’s common for rates to go up or down more than 10% every year. The only way you will know if you could be saving money is to check the prices every year.
For example, I checked on my homeowner’s insurance a few years ago. I called 5 different companies. Would you believe that I was able to find a deal that saved me just over 20%? I never would have known this unless I was willing to get quotes every year. It’s worth a few phone calls, right?