So you are shopping for car insurance and getting slammed by emails to your inbox or banner ads on websites. “We have the lowest rates” or “Nobody beats our prices” or “We’ll give you our rate and the rate of the top 3 competitors”.
What is the truth? How is insurance REALLY sold to you? There are really 3 ways auto insurance is sold to the consumers.
1) Direct to Consumer through website’s, 800#’s or direct mail. These companies use in-house sales people to give you their 1 rate based on your particular driving habits, where you live, who drives your car, what kind of car you drive and your credit too as factors in your rate.
2) Direct Writer – these would be offices with licensed agents who represent 1 company. They are some of the biggest companies in the US, have brand awareness and are located in just about every town and city in the states. But they still only offer 1 rate – theirs.
3) Independent Insurance Brokers – often represent several insurance companies, can get as few as 3 to as many as 174 different rates and generally shop the marketplace for the consumer. They often know who rates insurance based on driving records heavier than credit or credit heavier than where you live or renters heavier than homeowners. All insurance factors are used differently by every insurance company selling insurance.
So when shopping for your own insurance policies, you really only need to make 3 phone calls – 1 to a direct to consumer company, 1 to a direct writer and 1 to an independent broker. You’ll find out who has the best coverage, at the best rate for your particular situation. Not all insurance companies are created equal, so it does pay to shop around. Even most insurance agents don’t know how companies come up with their final rate, as it is all now computer based, using many, many factors. We do know which companies use which factors weighted more, so can often find you the best rate.