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.
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.
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:
Uninsured/Underinsured Property Damage
Other Optional Coverage
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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