People are shy to enquire about their options. The worst thing that can happen is that they can say no. But you can save as much as 50% if you know how to negotiate lower automobile insurance rates. Almost every agent you talk to would check for further discounts before they can tell you that this is their best quote. Few companies may turn you down. Then, don’t waste time and move onto the next one. Checking to see if they can offer better prices is negotiation and worth it.
The golden rule of haggling over auto insurance premium is to be ready and prepared to walk out on your current provider. You need to know the alternatives before you can play this card. You are in a strong position if you know how much a driver like you should pay. You can quickly check online and find out what the alternative providers will quote for the same coverage.
Once you have a pretty good idea about costs you can start looking into possible policies and carriers deeper. No matter how sophisticated the Internet quotations are they may not take everything into account. The fact is there is usually some room for bargaining. And the best way of doing it is to call the companies that have already given you indications for further reductions and start asking the following questions.
- Do You Have Early Renewal or Loyalty Discounts?
Some of them offer discounted car insurance if you renew a policy in advance of renewal date. Also, it is fair to get a preferential rate for your loyalty if you have been with them for some time. They may not include this automatically when they calculate the renewal quote. If the customer doesn’t complain about the price they can get away with charging a bit more. And they leave themselves a little maneuver room if they appear to be losing a policyholder to a competitor.
- Can You Sweeten the Deal If I Switch Now?
Some companies knock around 5% off for customers who are prepared to switch to them. You can always speak to them about it and ask if there is such a thing to sweeten the deal. You never know if you don’t ask and you may be surprised to stumble upon a special offer. Recently, one of them was offering 10% savings if you like their Facebook profile.
- Is It Cheaper if I Pay the Full Premium Upfront?
Numbers of companies use this sales technique of putting the customer on the spot. If you are prepared to take the policy and pay the full premium there and then it may be slightly cheaper. Some carriers offer incentives for full payment anyway because this eliminates the risk of cancellation due to customer defaulting on installments.
- Do You Have Low Mileage Discount?
You may be able to get lower rates if you travel less than 12,000 miles a year. If you don’t ask for this they will assume that you drive about average and calculate accordingly. If you are working from home or retired you may be traveling much less than someone who commutes 5 days a week.
- Can I Save More if I Bundle Auto and Home Covers?
Bundling home or renters with auto can turn out to be a good choice and it is always worth checking. Generally, insurers and other businesses reward customers who increase the volume of business.
- Do You Offer Favors for My Profession?
You may not know but you may have a profession that qualifies for automobile insurance discount, like teachers and engineers. You should check which professions qualify. You may be able to get some favors if you are a member to some associations like AARP or teachers’ union.
- How Much Do I Save if I Increase the Deductible?
Online quotes come with standard deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage. However, you can get lower premiums if you can increase deductibles. You may need to involve in a little give and take like this.
- How Much Is to Add Roadside Recovery to a Policy?
You may be able to add roadside assistance next to nothing if you don’t have it already. Getting extras for free is a way of negotiation too. It may actually be easier to add coverage at reduced prices or for free. For example, if you have been with a company for 4 – 5 years you can ask for accident forgiveness for free. And if you are already with a recovery service, you should check if independent roadside assistance membership like AAA will get you any favors.
- Would My Rate Go Down after Defensive Driving Courses?
If you have already completed a course you want to benefit from it. Otherwise, check if there is any way of qualifying for it by taking any course.
- Is There Anything Else I Don’t Know?
For example, you may get a good rate for parking it off the road in a private parking space. An experienced agent would be able to check these out quickly if you ask nicely. Calling them gives you a chance to take advantage of an agent’s knowledge.
It may take a few minutes to find the best deal but finally finding the most competitive insurer can save over $800. You are likely to get more if you are currently paying so high premium because you are likely to be with an expensive carrier and therefore have a high chance of finding a cheaper one.
As you see above, it is not difficult to figure out how to obtain better deals. It is mainly about keeping up with the new discounts and making sure that you benefit from your improved driving history and financial position. You should make a habit of going through this process at least once a year so that you are up to date.
However, you should know that insurance isn’t a commodity and policies vary, just like prices. So, you should think twice before switching if you are happy where you are and the price difference is negligible. Sometimes, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.