March 15, 2010

Questions To Ask Your Auto Insurance Agent Before Switching Your Policy To Another Company

Dealing with an auto insurance provider that charges a reasonable rate, responds in a timely fashion and treats their customers with respect can take a great deal of stress off of the shoulders of any customer. Dealing with an insurance provider that fails in any one of those areas can be both frustrating and expensive. Often, what began as a good deal or reasonable option can turn into a nightmare when a claim is processed or additions to the policy need to be made, and what started out as a sensible auto insurance quote can easily turn into a massive monthly premium. But before cancelling your old policy and taking your business to your provider’s competition, give them a call and speak to one of their agents. A few simple questions may be able to salvage a floundering policy. Before making the call, however, go online and find a few good auto insurance quotes. It never hurts to be prepared.

Once you’re speaking with an agent who knows your policy, start by asking if there are any discounts they can offer. These may include a cheaper price if more than one car is insured with the company, if another type of insurance is purchased through them, or simply because you have been a loyal customer with a clean driving record. Any or all of these things may entitle a customer to discounts, but insurance companies don’t always advertise them. Secondly, ask the agent if there is any coverage on your car currently that you don’t need. This may include collision coverage on an older vehicle, or excessive amounts of underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. Some states mandate that these types of coverage be a part of all car insurance quotes, but it may be possible to reduce them to their bare minimums.

Lastly, ask about the possibility of a new, cheaper rate overall. Make sure to have a list of auto insurance quotes nearby. Tell your insurance agent what other companies are offering, and see if your provider will consider matching it. If you are a long-time customer in good standing, they should at least be able to negotiate the price, even if they cannot meet another company’s rate. If none of these questions yields positive results, you can instruct the agent to terminate your policy, but make sure not to do so before you’ve got new auto insurance in place – an accident while your are between insurance companies could be very costly.

While not all insurance companies will be reasonable or willing to make change to your policy, many will be able to offer some discounts or other ways of making your monthly premium less of a burden.