Auto insurance agencies are known for their advertising campaigns.
They pay marketing agencies tons of money to get their stuff on your mind.
“15 Minutes can save you 15%.”
“Save $X by switching” to our auto insurance agency.
“Bundle your insurance and save”.
Catchy jingles and “cute” mascots.
Blah. Blah. Blah.
All auto insurance agencies claim that you’ll be saving money when moving your coverage to them.
It’s especially true for those that write policies for other assets in addition to auto insurance.
They love throwing out their “average savings” and telling you how easy it is to save you money.
They have catchy jingles, famous actors, or endearing characters in their advertising.
What they don’t have is the guts to do is tell you is the truth about such “savings” opportunities or their lack of service capabilities.
I’ve personally been searching for a way to combat the rising cost of insuring my car.
It has become even more frustrating to see my annual premium rise since I haven’t filed an accident claim EVER, nor have I received a ticket since 1995.
On top of that, I am a homeowner, live in a low-crime neighborhood in a gated community, drive a safe and reliable Honda Accord (not some overhyped expensive car), have a college degree, and an excellent credit score, all of which would lead one to think that a better rate would be available somewhere.
Not a chance!
Auto Insurance Agencies Lie About The Numbers
C’mon, are you really shocked that I’m accusing marketing of not being on the up-and-up?
I mean, just look at the advertising industry as a whole–always pretty faces and nice bodies, and let’s not forget about the celebrity endorsers!
What I’m getting at is that the entire industry is geared toward showing the best possible image of whatever product or company is being shown to you.
So when you hear about these great “savings” you can get by switching auto insurance agencies, it’s very similar:
You aren’t being presented with an accurate picture.
The “average savings” you are being shown isn’t a true average.
What you are being shown are average auto insurance savings by new customers who were surveyed and who saved with that specific company.
That bolded part is important.
That “average savings” isn’t the average of all customers who switched, just those who were asked and who saved money.
New customers who actually paid more for whatever reason aren’t included in that equation.
Neither are people who may have saved significantly less or paid more as new customers but either didn’t answer the survey or weren’t asked.
See what I’m getting at?
Changing Auto Insurance Agencies Doesn’t Always Save You money
I don’t know which is worse: shopping for auto insurance or switching banks.
I have tried taking several routes.
I filled out forms on those insurance cost-comparison websites.
You know those sites–the ones that make you fill in all of your information and then profess to be able to match you with the companies that will provide you with the lowest rates possible.
After going through all of that effort, I ended up being matched up to very few insurance companies, to begin with, and when they submitted their offers, I immediately deleted them from my inbox.
I went directly to the auto insurance agencies, trying both their websites as well as going through local offices.
The results were the same as the insurance-matching sites.
I even went through independent agents, who were able to shop my needs through several different companies.
None of them were able to find me an offer that was even within a couple of hundred dollars of what I am currently paying.
They even tried selling me on the benefits of bundling my insurance policies, but…
Bundling Insurance Policies Isn’t Always An Option
Depending on where you live, the availability of obtaining certain insurance coverage is next to impossible.
If you live in South Florida, like me, many companies stopped writing condo insurance policies after the hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005.
Many companies left the state, causing whatever policies you were able to find to come with high premiums attached to them.
Even today, if I go to the websites for GEICO, Allstate, or Esurance and try to obtain a quote for condo insurance, I am greeted with a page that apologizes for the companies’ inability to issue such a policy in my area, but suggest an independent source to go through.
What would I want to go through an independent agent for if my goal is to take advantage of their “bundle savings” that they claim is so great and advantageous?
It’s funny, though, as I can see any number of commercials that are broadcast specifically in my media market for bundling of services that are not available here!!!
I’d love them to tell me what that’s all about (and I will not accept some crap about ads being nationwide averages).
It’s completely unacceptable to show ads when products and services aren’t available to the targeted audience).
Don’t just take my word for it, go out and search for yourself.
You may be able to find a better deal.
You may find that where you live, the experience will be the complete opposite of my own.
Just temper your expectations so you won’t be disappointed if you find out the same thing I did:
When shopping auto insurance agencies, your current one may very well provide you with the best rates.
It may suck to hear.
Or, it may be a relief to know that you aren’t the only one who doesn’t seem to benefit from switching auto insurance agencies.
Have you been faced with this issue? Have you tried shopping around for a new insurance policy only to find that other auto insurance agencies don’t compare? Have you actually found it more beneficial to have separate insurance policies rather than bundles policies?