Auto Insurance Renewal and Getting the Best Possible Quote for the Best Possible Price

by Matt B

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.

  • How to Shop for Auto Insurance at Edmunds is a great reference point for those who do not know how to begin the procedure.
    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.

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  • { 1 comment }

    Solid4ever April 23, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Insurance is a funny thing…you’re basically giving them money for the purpose of someday maybe needing it back should you hit someone. It’s a ‘trust’ based service. I need to trust (even like) my insurance agent..because I’ll need him or her at a potentially terrible event in my life

    I’ve been at allstate my entire life. mainly because of Steve my Allstate insurance guy. He’s great. If he left allstate and went to work at geico, i would follow him…because i know if i hit someone or i was being sued or i had a house fire, Steve would have my back 100%.

    I’ll pay an extra $23 a year for that.

    Banking is kinda similar. I could go into any bank in america and find similar products….but you have to trust the people who you hand a stack of money to and they hand you back a slip of paper with some numbers on it.

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