There’s a few things you can do to save money on car insurance. As an agent in GA for the last 18 years and two prior years in the subrogation business, the industry has really changed. However, it’s changed for the better for the consumer. I want to make sure everyone gets the best rate they can. Why? Because the more people that insure their car, the lower insurance rates will be state wide. So first, let’s look at the insurance consumer. There’s two groups of people that drive without insurance. The first group is people that are in financial trouble. Due to short term problems, they cannot afford to carry insurance on their car. While they really want to, insurance is just not part of the budget. However, as soon as they can get back on their feet, they’ll put insurance back on their car. The second group are merely deadbeats. They think insurance is a scam and don’t feel they need to pay for it. The unfortunate thing about the deadbeats is they, as a general rule, are the group that owns the fewest assets and saves next to nothing. So in the event of an accident where they are at-fault, not only do they have no insurance, but they have nothing to sue for. So, you better hope you’re riding with uninsured motorist, which will be a topic for another day.
Now that you know which two types of people are driving uninsured, let’s get an idea of the number. Why? Because once again I want you to understand the dynamics of the business. In GA, about 14% of all cars on the road are uninsured at any given time. That’s about one out of every seven. Remember though, not all of those are deadbeats. So a percentage of those vehicles are rotating in and out of the world of the uninsured. Now that you’ve got a small understanding of what constitutes the 14%, also know that if we could get them insured, your rates would drop about 14% right there. Uninsured drivers inflate everyone’s rates. So the first way to lower your car insurance is to make sure everyone is insured. Since you may not be a cop and you can’t do that, let’s move on to a second way to save.
The second way is easier than chasing down uninsured drivers and impounding their vehicles. The second way is to call around to agents get several quotes. You’re now saying this is common sense. However, let me finish. There are two critical issues here. First, if you can, call an independent agent. If you’re not sure what an independent agent is and how to find one, it’s easy. The two agents you’ll most likely get quoted by are Captive Agents and Independents. The Captive Agents usually represent one insurance company. Let’s say Allstate for example. So, if you call an Allstate agent, you’ll get a quote with Allstate. However, an independent agent will many times represent anywhere from 5 to 35 companies. So, getting a quote with an independent carrier will allow you to get quoted with many companies in one call. Also, the independent companies do not advertise as much on TV. Progressive, Travelers, and MetLife do a lot of advertising for an independent carrier. However, that amount pales in comparison to the large captive carriers. And think about this. Is TV advertising free? If no, how do companies pay for that advertising? By charging higher rates to their customers.
This is not to say never to call a Captive Agent to get a quote. They may have good rates as well and I think you should compare their rates. However, you’re going to get a lot more rates from the independent agent . This will save time and money. The independent carriers with the best rates are generally SafeCo, MetLife, Travelers, Liberty Mutual, Cincinatti Group, Auto Owners and Progressive. There may even be some others that offer good rates. However, these are the companies I know of with great rates, solid reputations, and excellent claim services. Plus, you can get quotes from all of them at once by calling the right agent.
Part two will be here next week and will offer you a tip that could knock 30% off your rate. See you then.