About two weeks ago, I received a piece of mail from Allstate. Enclosed was a wonderful surprise. A new quote for auto insurance. I shop around for auto insurance every few months and usually I get numbers that are right around what I am paying. This particular quote was about $130 less than my Progressive rate. This offer could not have come at a better time, as my insurance was due April 25. They must have potential customer information saved and send notices like this just before new policies are due.
I looked over the new quote and could not see any difference in coverage between my Progressive policy and the one that Allstate was offering, but the quote was not complete and the specifics were vague. Under normal circumstances, notices like this one quickly hit the trash. I do not want an offer for an extended warranty on my vehicle or a balance transfer offer from a credit card company.
I had already received a renewal notice for my new policy from Progressive for $420.16, but wanted to shop around a little bit more before deciding to stay with them. Entertaining the idea of switching is not something that concerns me much, as I have not had a claim in about 10 years and have not had a ticket in 6 or 7.
After getting the new quote, it was time to reach Allstate. I puttered around on their website for a while, but apparently there was something wrong and the magical quote generator would not take me past a certain point, so I decided to call them instead. Much to my surprise, there was no wait time at all. I was speaking to a representative in no time at all.
I explained to him that I had received a quote from them in the mail and that I wanted to review the specifics of the quote before accepting a new policy. We went over all of the coverages offered and when I had my final offering, the quote came to a total of $430. So, with the same coverage I have, Allstate charges $10 more for my six-month policy than Progressive. No big deal. Glad I tried. The Allstate rep was very knowledgeable and helpful and I did not mind spending the five minutes on the phone for a chance at saving money. I was hoping for a better deal though.
So what is the point?
I went through this same process 7 months ago when switching from Geico to Progressive, so I am no stranger to the procedure. The point is that if you are not taking large measures to save such as insurance shopping or negotiating lower credit card rates, the smaller frugality tips are fruitless.
You can also shop for multiple quotes simultaneously from sites like InsWeb and CarInsuranceRates. A word of caution: Sites offering multiple quotes are often inundated with ads. If you are not especially internet-savvy, I do not recommend sites offering multiple quotes.