Insurance near me

How do I get the best insurance rates near me?

Determining the best prices on your auto and/or home insurance has always been a challenge but it doesn’t have to be. In this article I will let you know the right companies to talk to including, a free checklist to organize your talk paths and discounts. With this information shopping for the best price will take you less than time and save you more money.

I would have loved it if an expert told me all the secrets to getting the best price and most discounts on my car insurance. With being in the top 3 home and auto sales agents and being previously licensed in over 45 states at Farmers insurance I have picked up some great tips and tricks. More recently I have built close to $1 million worth of business in 2 years at my current company but, enough about me, here is exactly what I wish someone had taught me when I was younger. Psst, Free checklist at the bottom.

insurance advice

Advice from a top agent

Know the coverage you need and the coverage you want

With car and home insurance you need to be prepared to ask the same questions if you plan on calling multiple companies. Whether you are calling Allstate, State Farm or Progressive you are going to want to compare them evenly without derailing their sales process. Sure, you could be the eagle of the conversation but that won’t get you the best rate on your insurance. It’s fair to say you need to connect with the agent or they will spend their focus more on bringing you back to their pitch rather than finding more discounts for you. On top of that how will you know you have a knowledgeable agent if you don’t follow their talking path. What I’m saying is it takes patience. You must be willing to give up some of the control of the conversation even if you know what questions you and they are going to ask (I’m going teach you the conversation to expect). Mark, do you mean Getting the best car insurance near me is going to take time? Yes, and no… Here is what to expect.

The talk paths

When your conversation starts, the agent is going to help you get the best price by asking what you are looking for. You need to be clear on what you want from them but, that doesn’t mean you’re going to talk about coverage here. What they are really asking you is; what is the pain point you have with your current insurance? Are you more concerned with finding a company that is focused on customer service or are you only looking for cheaper insurance near me? This should be a huge benefit to you so play into it. How bad would it be if they sold you an insurance policy by giving you what YOU want? The best agents in the world like myself are trained to focus on primarily matching our solution to your problems. Getting the best price on insurance is the most common response given however, after a few questions is rarely the only reason people shop for cheaper insurance.

At this point they are going to ask the basics. What is your Name, date of birth, other drivers, cars, use of vehicles etc.…? This is where you simply follow the talking path but be mindful of the following:

  • Vehicle use: With most companies driving lower miles is less expensive
  • Vehicle Features: Having air bags, anti-lock brakes, and an alarm system is helpful but the biggest discount in this category is going to be if you have a “Vehicle Recovery Device”. This is usually a paid service like OnStar. If someone stole your auto it can be tracked or shut down.
  • Who drives which vehicle: If you have younger drivers or other operators that have tickets and/or accidents you may not want them rated on the sports car! I’m not saying lie about who drives which vehicle but know it can be costly if they are younger than 25 years old or have a less than stellar driving history.
  • Don’t separate drivers in your house: If you have multiple cars it is more expensive for them to be on separate policies vs all on one unless, the additional drivers are a high risk (DUI, Multiple tickets, At-fault accidents).
  • When buying a new vehicle get quotes before you purchase. Some cars are more expensive than others. IE: Infinity is costly to insure vs buying a Chevy or Honda. A lot of Acura cars are built and titled as performance vehicles vs Subaru being listed as a station wagon. Even though a Subaru is stylish, being listed as a station wagon is going to be cheaper on your insurance premiums.


The coverage

Eventually you will want to select the coverage. This is what will give you the advantage over a typical insurance quote. You need to plan what coverage you want to be quoted beforehand. That way if you are calling multiple companies the price comparison is the same with each company. Some companies do offer special coverage that others don’t which will play a factor in your decision but for the most part you are going to be comparing:

Coverage Options



Bodily Injury

Uninsured/Underinsured Property Damage

Rental Car

Property Damage

Comprehensive

GAP

Uninsured Motorist

Collision

Other Optional Coverage

Underinsured Motorist

Towing and Labor


The trick to knowing what you should carry is simple. Take all your assets and income (future income even) and make as accurate of an estimate as you can. You want to make sure that the insurance company has more money than you do in assets including the next 5+ years of income. If you want to learn more about what coverage you should carry watch my 22 minute video on: Understanding Car Insurance – What you need to know.

My default: When I quote people on average the coverage, I find to be typical is:

Bodily Injury: $250,000/$500,000

Property Damage: $100,000

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury: $250,000/$500,000

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: $100,000 (the value of your best car)

Medical Payments: $10,000 (as high as you can afford if you don’t have medical already) or PIP (Personally Injury Protection)

New/Higher value cars: Comprehensive $100 Deductible, Collision $500 deductible

Extras (optional/as needed): Towing and Labor (get AAA membership), GAP, Rental Car

Knowing the right companies to call

Getting the best insurance rates is primarily difficult because there are so many companies to choose from. So, how do you know which companies are going to give you a better price? It’s simple. There is no perfect answer, lol. I’m sorry that the mean part. My recommendation is if you are committed to calling multiple companies, pick 3-5 companies and just go at it. If you play it smart you should be looking for an “Independent Agent”. They typically, like myself, work with multiple companies.

Example:  In my area in Grand Rapids, the company I work for can quote up to 17 different companies. There’s not much else you need to look for when there is that many options. On average only 4 or 5 of them will come in competitive but checking even 3 companies with the same agent is a lot better than calling each one yourself. If the agent is experienced, they will know the best fits as well as, whether to quote you with some of those companies that must be done manually. Companies like Wolverine insurance don’t connect with any rating software. They’re a good option in some situations but have their own program the agent must check separately. Same thing goes for Westfield insurance. They do connect with most rating software’s but in some states they don’t. My overall favorite companies are not limited to AAA, Progressive, USAA, Safeco (Liberty Mutual) and Westfield insurance.

Cheap insurance near me: The Checklist

Don’t worry, I knew the past version of me would have been overwhelmed by now. Making a phone call let alone remembering all these discounts is a lot to take in. I’m going to give you a checklist that will this all simple. It is based on the flow a typical insurance agent will use when quoting you. You will be able to follow along without having to memorize what to say next. This will not only the best price on insurance, but you will be able to have the confidence that you have all the discounts you deserve. If you want to save time and talk to some of the best agents I know, you can fill out and online quote here.

Download Free Checklist Here:

What if you’re already getting the best rate?

Sometimes you have the best price. It’s rare that there isn’t a better deal out there but if you find after all the research your current company is un-beatable then breathe and pat yourself on the back. You have verified your concern. Now, don’t throw your sheets away. You should be checking your rates every 3-5 years. It is never a bad idea to re-check your current policy again in a few years. Don’t forget to make sure they are giving you all the discounts as well. You could end up getting a better deal with your current insurance company.

If your credit has improved and your state allows credit as a rating factor, then you should ask them to re-run your “Insurance Score”. You may be surprised on what that will do. If you haven’t been with them for more than a term (usually a year) then you may have to wait.

Thank you for allowing me to share my knowledge of the insurance industry. I know this will help you get the results you need. Please reach out to me directly or on my YouTube Channel or Instagram and let me know how this was able to help you. 

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How to Get Lower Car Insurance Rates

How to Get Lower Car Insurance Rates, the notes:

#1 Don’t Assume Any One Company is the Cheapest.

For a good driver with good credit the difference between the best and worst insurance is $100/mo.

For a driver with poor credit and driving activity the difference can be over $200 per month less.

The difference on average in a given state can be double between the highest and lowest price.

Now from state to state the same company is the lowest in Michigan could be the highest in another state like Florida. To make sure you’re getting the lowest rate I will link an independent agency that quotes multiple companies through a live agent in the description below.

#2 Don’t ignore local and regional insurance companies 

Each driver’s situation, location, credit, needs are different. There is not one company that is better priced than another in any given area. Progressive gives a large discount for paying in full where AAA gives one for low mileage use. The best way to determine which company is best is to work with an independent agent outside of your large companies like State Farm, Allstate and Geico. Get a non-regional quote here: Click

#3 Improve your credit

In almost every state minus a select few such as Hawaii, California and Massachusetts credit plays a large factor in your insurance costs. Your ability to pay bills has been proven to correlate with the risk of tickets and accidents for a driver.

Ways to raise your credit.

  •  Make all your loan payments on time
  •  Keep credit card balance below or near half of your limit
  •  Don’t use your credit for checks on any loans or open new accounts
  •  Limit the amount of credit you have available

#4 Consider insurance cost when buying a car

Cars, vans and SUVs are all categorized different and can also cost as much as $100 per month more depending on the make and model you buy. When you shop for a new car always make sure you can afford the insurance on top of the payment. The difference between a Honda Civic and a Acura MKX is more than $50 per month different.

#5 Check for the discounts

Even with your current insurance most people are missing some of the discounts they are qualified for.

Because there is not an exact way to determine who is going to be a better driver than another most insurance companies have added discounts for certain variables that on average show a lower risk. For example when you have better credit and own a home you are statistically less likely to have less accidents that are due to your fault which will lower the price you will pay for insurance.

As I mentioned in the beginning of the video as a reward to those that watch the whole thing I am going to disclose 15 important discounts(YouTube link) insurance companies offer.

#6 clunker car, consider dropping comprehensive and collision

If you drive a Junker, then you just don’t need to carry those extra coverage like comprehensive and collision. If the value of your car is worth less than 4 years of the price you pay for comprehensive and collision, then you may want to consider removing those costs.

#7 Consider a bigger deductible​

Raising your deductibles lowers the amount of risk the insurance company has by putting more responsibility on you. If you have a $500 and raise it to $1,000 that can save you $100 or more per year. What I recommend is having a saving to cover your deductible in the event of a loss.

#8 Consider usage-base option

Usage base insurance is one of the largest discounts you can control. Companies like Progressive Snapshot and AAA Smart-drive are offering discounts for usage based insurance where you prove you are a better driver than average. The common discount is anywhere from 3-25% off. Before you take advantage of this. The lower miles you drive can help with the right company.

#9 Location

When you move keep in mind that your location in most states plays a very large factor in the cost of your auto and your home insurance.

#10 Driving record

Make sure you don’t file unnecessary claims. Even though small claims like windshields and rock chips can be free or cheap depending on the company you are with it could cost you a lot more than you expect. After 3 comprehensive claims a lot of companies will put you in a different tier which could raise your car insurance as much as 40%.

#11 Pay in larger amounts

If you pay your policy bi-monthly, quarterly or even in full for the year you will save money not only in fees that are charged for processing monthly but most companies give a hefty discount if you pay it in full.

Wolverine Mutual Insurance Company

Wolverine Mutual Insurance Company

Founded 1917 Wolverine Mutual insurance company has told its customer “it’s covered” when they need assistance the most. 

In the newest 2018 survey, Wolverine ranked top 3 in claims handling in personal lines. In 2016 they took first place.

Currently, Wolverine has over 45,000 policy holders in Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin.

Challenges Wolverine Mutual is facing:

President James Laing says, “The biggest challenge for Wolverine in our market today is competing on the agent’s desktop for business through ease-of-use in technology”.

How they are overcoming that battle is; Wolverine has recently upgraded their auto quoting platform to put them back in front of local agents. They now work with multi-quoting software such as, PL Rater software through their new BindExpress (BX) portal.

New Supported Applications: 
ACS, Applied Rater, Capital Evolution, EZLynx, and PL Rating.

What they do: 
Claims: The goal of Wolverine Mutual’ s claims service is to strive to respond to your claim within 24 hours of receiving it. They focus on the “no surprises” philosophy so, they work closely with your agent to get your claimed handled as quickly as possible.

Why is Wolverine Mutual insurance company so successful?

  • Wolverine is successful due to many factors although, the main reason is their conservative investment strategy. They are very particular where they invest their profits.
  • They strongly believe being generous in paying for claims and claims service.
  • The welcoming atmosphere. Employees don’t leave the company. Some of their employees today have been with them more than 50 years.
  • Being with who they work with. Wolverine focuses on smaller agencies and doesn’t appoint new agents for the sake of only profits. They make sure the agency values align with the their own.
  • Claims: the goal is to talk to the claimant the day of the claim if not within 24 hours.

How to get Wolverine Mutual Insurance:

Wolverine Mutual insurance company uses local agents to quote and sell all their policies. That is a huge benefit to customer because in most cases that agent is an independent agent who also works with multiple companies to compare with.

Your local agent will focus on making sure they get all the coverage you need applied while they focus on matching you up with any discount you will qualify for.

Payment Plans:

Wolverine Mutual does offer several payments plans:

Full-Pay Plan:

Pay in full for auto 6 months

Pay in full for home: 1 year

Monthly EFT:

Monthly payment auto-deducted from checking or savings account

Bi-Monthly Check by Mail:

Mail payment every other month

Quarterly Check by Mail:

Mail payment ever three months

Bi-Monthly Credit Card – EFT:

A recurring charge on your debit/Credit Card

Quarterly Credit Card – EFT:

A recurring charge every three months on your debit/cred card

Fees:

Like all insurance companies there are fees associated with each payment plan. Below are the fees

Online Payment: No service fee

Full Pay Plan: No service fee

Installment Service Fee: $8 for all non-EFT installment plans

Convenience Fee: $6 for credit/debit card payment processed over the phone

Late Fee: $20: this fee is not applied until your bill is past due two full days

Reinstatement Fee: $20 if your policy cancels and your reinstatement is accepted

Non-Sufficient Funds Fee: $30 (does include credit/debit card declines)

Financial Stability from Demotech, Inc.

With over $55 Million in assets Wolverine’s stability is strong.

Reasons to join Wolverine Mutual Insurance:

To summarize this article there are several reasons you should want to be part of Wolverine Mutual. Mainly their code of conduct and ethics of not just growing fast to grow. They want to be known for being a family run business where they are there for the customer in the time of need. That is what sets other companies apart in a highly competitive industry.

I’ve always said that when the products are similar and your customer buys from you, the only way to build loyalty is in their time of need, aka the claims process. With Wolverine’s motto of “it’s covered” you won’t have to worry about that.

Now one part I did not mention is price. Since wolverine is based mostly on insurance score (A more complex version of a credit score) they do heavily rate depending on your score.

On motorcycle insurance they can be one of the most competitive companies out there. Most companies base the cost of a motorcycle policy based on the engine size in CCs and the value of the bike where Wolverine bases it mostly on the CC only. What does that mean? For anyone that has a high value bike such as, a Harley Davidson then wolverine motorcycle insurance is going to be hundreds less per year. On top of it all they typically allow you to have the bike in storage for those winter months for only $10 per month.

Need a Quote?

Check other companies like Wolverine Mutual from a local agent

Root Insurance – Full Review

Root Insurance Full Review 2019-2020

I first heard about root insurance because I was doing some research on what is popular in the insurance industry. I looked at this random place called “Root Insurance” and with a dumb look was scratching my head on how this random company is getting the “breakout” rating on Google trends.

Overall, I came to find that Root insurance although a new company to the insurance industry has many good overall reviews ranging from prices to claims. If you qualify for their offer you may be eligible to save up to their claimed 52% off however, you do have to prove yourself a good driver first. Let’s discuss.

Hi, my name is Mark and I have been selling insurance in multiple states for over 9 years now. I’ve over the past few years decided to give my advice and experience for free on YouTube which has brought us to this blog. Ultimately, I want to make you smarter about your insurance so you can save more money as well as, have the right coverage for your family. Back to Root! 

Let’s start by summarizing what root insurance is and how they are getting your attention. They are focusing on insuring only the good drivers as they say. By doing so they have created their own app that tracks your driving habits through your navigation for a short period of time (typically 3 weeks). It mainly focuses on habits not occurrences. How often you drive outside of your standard commute. How consistent you are with speed and trips is very important to their algorithm.

In this review of root insurance, I noticed that a lot of people are getting caught up with their marketing. It’s amazing but it doesn’t have any bearing on the company itself. Go to YouTube and you will see lots of people saying join now! Keep in mind that most of those people are part of their affiliate program where they make money for you signing up. On other hand that doesn’t mean Root insurance is a bad company either. They do have some of the best technology out there.

How does Root insurance work?

Since root is a tech, usage-based insurance (UBI) company 35% of their rates are based on how well of a driver you are compared to the average insurance’s 3%-10% discount. What it is going to do is start you on their test drive which uses your navigation from your cell phone to track your driving habits over the next 1-4 weeks. The four categories that make up their ratings are:

Braking
Give yourself plenty of braking distance to safely break when needed

Hours
Driving during safer hours is a must. Avoiding late night trips especially on the weekend

Turns
Avoid sharp hard turns. Give yourself enough room to take each turn safely

Consistency
Keep the braking and turning good but don’t forget to avoid fast acceleration or sudden stops

How to use Root:

You simply start by download their app and accept their terms. Once you’ve got it loaded you are ready to start. Be on your best behavior and you can save a handful of money in premiums. Just keep in mind that if you are going to use your phone while driving that will deter them from accepting you into their program. It’s that simple. Once you’ve completed the 2-3 week test and you’ve shown that you are a better driver than average you will receive a rate from them to accept.

What if I am not qualified for root insurance?

This is one of the frustrations that some people have and there is no good answer. If you are denied from Root insurance, you are out! Be careful not to use your phone if at all possible, even as a passenger in another car. Root claims that they can determine this, but others have complained that it did not work, and it dinged them for it.

Interested in trying them out? Join Root Insurance