There are many changes taking place in the auto insurance industry these days all to benefit you, the client. The world wide web has been the biggest factor in changing an industry that used to have neighborhood agents working as the backbone of the industry. Today, the auto insurance industry and the neighborhood insurance agent have to really work for your business, when just a short time ago there wasn’t as much competition. Clients used to have to come in to purchase insurance, make payments and endorse policies. As agents we worked 9 to 5, no weekends, leave a message after five and on Saturday. Now clients have more options than ever before when purchasing, paying and endorsing their auto policies.
Auto insurance agents are still stingy with their weekends, but these days don’t sweat making it across town to pay your overdue premium before Friday at 5 pm. There are quite a few accidents that fit this ironic scenario as my clients would then see me not only to pay their bill but also to report an accident. The Internet makes it possible for clients to pay their bills online, report claims, and to make changes to existing policies.
You may also receive quotes and purchase a policy on the Internet; however, always talk over a quote with a neighborhood agent personally so you understand your coverage. Many auto insurance companies have 24 hour customer service available. Beware, some companies have offices overseas. What does someone from India know about auto insurance coverage in any of the 50 states? Sometimes that stingy neighborhood agent can be your best friend.
Firstly, it’s important to know that even if you aren’t in the market for a new policy, you should review all your insurance policies every six months or annually depending on when they renew. This will ensure that there are no errors on your renewal policy and if you are in the market for new insurance your renewal information will help other agents quote an apples to apples’ policy. It also allows an opportunity to look for ways to reduce auto insurance costs.
It’s also important to check your renewing policy at every renewal because our fast paced lifestyles are ever changing. Your financial position, whether or not you own your own home, the amount of children you have and their ages, and your occupation are just a few examples of what could change your premium. If you own your own home or have a lot of assets, then you need to carry higher coverage than someone who rents. If you recently retired, you might be able to get a discount for driving fewer miles annually.
A good neighborhood agent will sit down with you and ask you questions about your household, occupation and lifestyle. Your agent should make sure that you have enough insurance coverage to protect all your assets. Each state has its own set of unique rules and auto insurance requirements per the Department of Motor Vehicles.
When obtaining a quote from a new company they will ask you about your driving history. Be honest you sneaky Petes because once we run your driving history, the insurer will find everything! Relax you’ll get a discount for a good clean history.
Get a discount for what?
So what discounts should you look forward to receiving when purchasing insurance? If you are renewing with your current company, you should be receiving a discount for your tenure with the company.
You should also be looking a multi car discount and a multi policy discount for carrying more than one type of policy with your company. Other discounts available to you will vary by company. Some companies give discounts to young drivers with good grades, or if you live in a low crime area. And all companies give discounts for the different safety features on your automobiles.
Today it’s easy to get lost amid all the options, prices, and discounts you have available to you. But remember, use the internet as a tool and do your homework. Don’t be afraid to take your time and compare. And don’t be afraid to stop in and use an agent. But do it before 5 pm or you’ll have to leave a message!