It is a good practice to check alternative quotes every so often. Renewal periods are great for searching the best deal for your circumstances. General consensus is that people who don’t check their options for some time are likely to be losing out on good savings. Your circumstances and the current insurer’s rates can change over time that switching can offer you better coverage and lower premiums from another at least equally reputable insurer.
Your Options at Renewals
When you receive your renewal terms you can do three things about it. Firstly, you can go over it quickly to make sure that there are no mistakes and let it auto renew. If you have already set up an auto payment option, the money will be taken out of your credit card or bank account automatically. You don’t need to do anything and this will probably be pointed out to you. This is a good way for companies to retain policyholders.
Second option is to think why you should get lower premiums and highlight these points to your current insurer while asking for a discount. Companies know only as much as you are willing to share with them. The information mainly comes from you. You may not be driving your automobile as much as you used to because you are working two or three days from home. They wouldn’t know about it unless you tell them.
Thirdly, you may want to look around a bit to see what else on offer in terms of coverage and prices. You have several sources here to help you. There are a few websites online that offer comparison car insurance quotes. You can go directly to any insurance company official website and get a quote as well. You can also use the traditional method of talking to an independent broker.
Advantages of Online Vehicle Insurance Quotes
Today, consumers have hardly any problems with buying products and services online. Many people do an internet search as soon as they want to learn or buy something. They check the prices before they contact the suppliers near them or go out for shopping. People even check their symptoms online before they see a doctor. Here are the reasons why the internet is a very popular source for getting quotations.
Fast Delivery: By the time you get your jacket and tie your shoes to go out you can probably get a quote online. Companies love motorists coming through their online quote systems. It is the cheapest form of providing prices to drivers who like to insure their autos. When it comes to speed of delivery there is no medium that can beat the internet.
Comparison Shopping: Comparison websites are great to see all your options at once. Then, you can choose to apply the firm you like for a policy knowing where they are exactly in the price chart. Remember that the price isn’t everything and probably the policies on offer will be different from each other. Some will have additional coverage or higher limits than the others.
24/7 Availability: You cannot expect a brokerage firm to be open all hours just in case you might want a quote or have a question. Many people get curious with all the prime time TV advertisements and start checking online because they have time to kill. They like what they see and decide to make a change.
Easy Navigation: These days you don’t need to be good at computers to find your ways around the net. Companies test their systems to make sure everyone can use it. They guide you through step by step and fill most of the information automatically for you. Once you start there is a high chance that you will be able to complete the quote process with no problems.
Instant Documentation and Proof: This is really important if you left it to last minute to renew or you just bought a car and want to drive it now. Most companies offer electronic policy documents and proof of insurance instantly and most states accept electronic proof now.
Cheaper Premiums: Some companies offer at least 5% discounts for their online customers openly. They know they will save a lot more than that if you do all the work and choose them. Furthermore, companies run special offers through Facebook or another media that it is worth checking.
Confidence: People are doing their banking, checking credit card balance and paying bills online today. Most people have no problem with controlling their automobile insurance account online. They can make the changes they want to their coverage or personal details or even submit a claim. They don’t want to bother an agent each time they need something done any more.
Impersonal Interface: Consumers are offended or put off very easily in this age of speed. They don’t want to discuss their finances or give their personal details to someone else. They don’t want to hold the line, wait for an e-mail or queue to see someone. Impersonal nature of internet does attract people and encourage them to transact online.
What Can’t Buying Auto Insurance Online Offer You?
The above advantages are great but you may need a little extra at times
The Advice: You are on your own on the internet and your knowledge has to dictate your choices. A seasoned independent broker deals with people like you every day. They know ins and outs of the system very well. And they know a lot more about the insurers. It is important to deal with an independent broker since he/she can check the whole of the market for you.
They can provide advice on the individual companies and policies. They can also explain the benefits and shortfalls of them so that you can make a better choice. You cannot ignore this knowledge especially when you are not an experienced motorist.
Personal Contact: Establishing good relationships are underrated these days. Working with a broker can help you in many ways. For example, they can help you with your claims. This is extra important when you don’t know if you should make a claim or not.
If you talk to the insurer direct they will take a note of the incident in your records regardless of you making a claim or not. However, you can run it by your broker or agent and it will remain between you. If it is a small damage you could choose to pay out of your pocket and keep your claim history clean.
For example, if your teenage son hit the car onto the garbage bins at your home, the situation can be contained. A good broker would tell you that your premium increase at next renewal can be much more than the damages you have to pay out of pocket, especially when you have a teenager on the policy. It is good to have someone you can turn to in these situations.
Can You Have the Best of Both Worlds?
There is no reason why you shouldn’t check vehicle insurance quotes online even you are working with a broker. This will set your mind at peace and probably increase your confidence in your agent. If you find a lower quote, share with your broker. They will be able to look at the policy you found and tell you if it is good or if they can get the same offer for you.
In addition, you can still call the insurers when you have questions. Most companies have telephone agents 24/7 and they will answer your questions or clarify any issues. A cheap policy you found online may not be cheap after all when you take the coverage into account. They may have higher deductibles. They may not include certain coverage you want to have. When you add the additional premium for the excluded coverage you may find they turn out to be more expensive.
Use all the resources available to you to make sure that you get the best coverage, most reliable auto insurer and the lowest premium.
Joe Moore runs an automobile insurance forum where it is free to join. There are many discussions and articles on saving money and arranging good coverage. Joe isn’t the only one available at the forum and he welcomes brokers and agents to help him out in answering queries from the US motorists.