Consumers often forget that they don’t have to accept whatever rate a particular auto insurance company offers them. Insurance companies, just like any other business, strive to make money, and losing customers to competitors thrusts that goal out of whack. Negotiating your auto insurance rates sounds much more difficult than it is.
1- Talk to Your Agent
Don’t just call the 1-800 number on the back of your car insurance card. This is the worst way to negotiate your auto insurance rates because you’re just a number to the customer service representative. Instead, call your agent personally or visit his or her office.
2- Strip Unnecessary Coverage
The first thing you need to do when negotiating your auto insurance rates is cut any unnecessary coverage from your policy. For example, many drivers choose to drop comprehensive or collision coverage when their cars get older.
3- Open the Lines of Communication
After the third rate-hike in a row, I started the process of negotiating my auto insurance rates by calling my provider and letting them know that I was going to look elsewhere. I explained that there was no reason for the rate increases, and that I was dissatisfied with the value of my car insurance policy.
Believe it or not, thousands of people do this every year – and not just for car insurance. You can use this tactic with your phone company, utility company, anyone to whom you owe a monthly bill.
4- Ask About Your Options
There is no need to threaten when negotiating your auto insurance rates. Just explain that you are willing to look elsewhere if you aren’t offered a fair deal. Once you’ve told your car insurance agent where you stand, ask about your options.
The worst thing you can do is say, “I’m willing to pay X number of dollars per month.” For one thing, your expectations might be completely unreasonable; for another, you’ll talk yourself into a corner. What if they were prepared to offer you a lower rate than the stated maximum?
5- Talk About Your Car
Your insurance agent might not know about the alarm system you’ve installed in your car or the secure garage in which you store it. When negotiating your auto insurance rates, make sure to bring up any factors that might result in a discount.
6- Mention Your Loyalty
It is always a good idea to tell your car insurance agent how long you’ve been a customer. Loyalty is important in this industry, and the fact that you’ve stayed with them 10 years will carry significant weight in the price break you’re offered.
7- Ask About Programs
When negotiating your auto insurance rate, make sure to ask about programs, such as Good Driver incentives that might reduce your premium. This is an excellent way to take advantage of existing price breaks without having to talk your way into a lower monthly rate.
8- Cite Other Quotes
You can really get ahead with your car insurance agent by telling him or her what prices you were quoted with other companies. Grab three or four other quotes from different providers and rattle them off on the phone or during your meeting. This might provide extra incentive.
9- Bring Up Your Age
Senior citizens are often given a discount on car insurance, but it isn’t always automatic. You might have to ask for the discount while negotiating your auto insurance rates. Let your agent know how old you are and that you would like to take advantage of any discounts available.
10- Don’t Make Empty Threats
If your auto insurance agency is not amenable to negotiating, do what you said you would do in the beginning of the conversation: Shop elsewhere. There is nothing binding you to your current car insurance company, so call your agent’s bluff and find a better deal.
Labels: 10 Tips for Negotiating Your Auto Insurance Rates