You shop around for a home, a car, a wedding dress, and even a pair of sneakers. So why aren’t you shopping around for your insurance coverage?
You’ve likely heard it before: comparing insurance quotes can save you hundreds of dollars.
It’s been said time and time again… because it’s true.
Comparing insurance quotes is like buying a home. You don’t necessarily want the cheapest or most popular provider on the market. You want the policy that will best suit your needs, price point, and lifestyle.
Neglecting to shop for insurance can leave you unprotected, low on coverage, and paying unreasonable costs. In fact, NerdWallet found that good drivers can miss out on $416 annually by not comparing auto insurance on a regular basis. That number doesn’t even include other types of insurance, like homeowners’ or umbrella.
Frequent insurance comparisons make sure you get the greatest coverage at the greatest discount while also meeting all of your insurance needs. Spending a few minutes on collecting quotes can ensure you make an informed, educated decision about your insurance provider.
How do you compare insurance quotes to find the best provider and coverage for your needs?
1. Don’t assume.
Just because you’ve heard rumors about “cheap” or “great” insurance doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Cost and coverage can vary greatly even with the same insurance provider.
Insurance companies assess overall risk and lifestyle and come up with quotes accordingly. Thus, even “low-price” insurance providers could quote you at a higher or different rate depending on certain factors. There is no one provider that is cheapest or best for everyone.
It’s never a good idea to assume you’re getting the best deal just because your friend is getting a good deal with the same insurance provider. Always shop around.
Also, don’t assume that you need one of the major insurance providers. Allstate, Geico, Progressive, and State Farm are the insurance giants nationwide—but they’re not the only strong companies out there. In fact, a number of regional and local insurers actually offer better rates, coverage, and customer service than some of the insurance giants. Give one of our agents a call at (844) 300-3364 to see how regional insurers in your area stack up agains the big players.
2. Look at price differentiation.
Price is of course a key factor in choosing your insurance. There are two considerations with price: premium and deductible.
A premium is how much you pay on a monthly or annual basis in order to keep your coverage. This is the “cost” to maintain coverage.
A deductible is how much you would pay out of pocket before your insurance company steps in to pay for a claim.
Generally, a higher premium offers a lower deductible and vice versa. Different individuals require a different balance of premiums and deductibles.
Some people prefer high premiums and low deductibles. This is useful if you don’t have a lot in your savings account and couldn’t pay a high deductible if something were to happen to your car or home. You pay more per month but less upfront in the case of a claim.
Other individuals want low premiums and high deductibles. This means you pay less per month but would have a higher cost out of pocket if you had to make a claim. However, because you pay less per month, this can allow you to save money in your bank account towards the deductible cost.
If you would be able to pay a high deductible out of pocket, you might want to consider a quote with lower premiums. If you don’t want to pay a greater deductible in the case of an accident, you’ll want coverage with a higher premium.
Although price is a critical decision-maker, it shouldn’t be the only consideration. You want to balance price with coverage breadth, discounts, and optional coverage.
3. Consider provider specialty.
Some smaller insurance companies have coverage specialties. For example, some providers specialize in covering older drivers, drivers with tarnished records, or families with drivers under age 25.
If you have any concerns or unique needs with your insurance, you might want to consider a more specialized or local provider.
4. Determine your insurance limit.
What types of insurance coverage do your need? Before you begin comparing, consider exactly what kind of coverage will best suit your lifestyle.
For example, if you have a low value car, you may not need collision insurance. However, you’ll still need liability and uninsured motorist coverage (which is required in most states).
Another example would be if your home is next to a lake that floods often. You’ll want to ensure that your home insurance includes flood coverage. If not, you’ll want to purchase it as an supplemental option.
After you figure out your necessary auto and home coverage, you can calculate the coverage limit you’ll need. The “limit” is how much your insurance company would pay out in the case of a claim. You should then compare quotes based on that same coverage and limit.
5. Look at the coverage details.
What is and isn’t included in your coverage? You want to be as specific as possible when looking at the details of your policy.
A lot of people make the mistake of instinctively choosing the cheapest policy without acknowledging that inexpensive policies often mean reduced coverage.
Some people also make the opposite mistake. they purchase the insurance with the highest premium assuming it gives them the most coverage, but it may not.
It’s worth taking the time to go through your policy details with an agent to figure out exactly what is and isn’t covered in a variety of claim situations. You don’t want to be left without appropriate coverage for your home or car simply because you didn’t properly shop around. Give one of our advisors at call at (844) 300-3364 for expert advice in choosing a policy and coverage limits.
6. Consider optional coverage.
After looking at the details of your basic coverage, consider if there are other optional policies you’ll need. For example, some insurance providers sell flood insurance separately from general homeowners insurance.
These additional coverage policies can quickly rack up your premium bill. Sometimes insurance companies will low-ball the “basic” coverage so you’ll choose their company. They’ll then convince you to buy additional packages in order to get full coverage, which wasn’t included in their basic quote.
You could end up paying even more with these supplemental insurance than the “basic” insurance itself.
7. Compare bundles and discounts.
Consider discounts and bundling rates for your insurance. If you’ll be purchasing home and auto insurance, for example, a number of providers will offer lower-cost bundles. Compare the bundled rates in order to find the best solution for all of your insurance needs.
You’ll also want to compare other types of discounts. For example, some companies offer good driving discounts, safety discounts, or good grade discounts. When comparing, talk to your insurance agent to see which providers will offer discounts based on your lifestyle and driving record.
Learn more about how to reduce your auto insurance premium here.
8. Research the company’s track record.
You want to make sure that your insurance company has strong compliancy ratios and financial health.
Compliancy tells you how many customer complaints that company receives. A higher number of complaints usually means they lack in customer service. It’s important to have an insurance company with great customer service. If you have a claim, you want your insurance provider fast, reliable, and on your side.
Financial health determines whether or not the company has the funds to pay you in case of a claim. Some insurance providers don’t have enough “in the bank” to pay out for claims. This creates a “waiting list” where you could be waiting months or years to get the money you’re owed in a claim. This could become a major financial issue if you need your home or car fixed quickly.
You want a reliable company who will be able to pay you the appropriate amount if and when you’re owed it.
9. Check their communication.
Along with compliancy, you want to look at the company’s other customer service factors.
For example, do they offer your preferred communication method? If you like communicating via telephone, you want an insurance company with great over-the-phone resolution and support. If you like online chat, you want a provider who has a messenger or email option.
You deserve to have an insurance company that will put customer service above all else. Don’t be afraid to ask about support options when shopping around.
Whether adding new coverage or switching insurance providers, it’s important to review your insurance costs on a regular basis. Shop around and compare quotes to consistently get the greatest coverage at the lowest cost. Comparing quotes is easiest with an independent insurance agency, like InsuraMatch. An agency works with multiple carriers to help you compare quotes and a licensed agent can help you make informed decisions when it comes to your coverage, as well as help you find discounts.
Compare quotes in minutes and save! Call our expert insurance advisors today at (844) 300-3364 or compare quotes online now: