Like a majority of teenagers and young adults, my parents paid my car insurance. I knew very little about the process, except that I was expected to keep a card in the glove compartment at all times and present it upon the scene of an accident. It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I was responsible for shopping, purchasing, and maintaining my own insurance. By that time, I was newly engaged and looking into purchasing a home with soon-to-be husband. Those circumstances resulted in an advantageous learning process that has helped me to save money and better understand insurance options.
If you are too young to remember the days of travel agents and video stores, then you may not be familiar with middle men. There was once a time when many businesses were born from the concept that storefront access and personal contact was desired, if not crucial to customers. While the internet has taken the place of many of these entities, in favor of do-it-yourself online service, some companies still function as a go-between. Insurance underwriting agencies (i.e. John Smith Insurance) are a great, unbiased way to shop multiple big name companies at once to find the best price.
Small businesses often operate with less employees and better customer service. Choosing a company that is locally and/or family owned or operated provides you with more personalized service and can lead to better deals.
Combining auto and homeowner’s insurance can be hugely beneficial. The more things that are ‘bundled’ together (car, home, boat, RV, motorcycle), the better deal a company is willing to give in order to get your business.
When using an underwriter, depending on their workload, you may be contacted near the end of each renewal period. If not, mark your calendar and contact your consultant. It is important to get new quotes every year to be certain that you are getting the best rate from your current provider and to explore the option of switching to a company with better quotes.
No matter what insurance plan you have, it’s always beneficial to read the fine print and check prices regularly. Comparing not only premiums, but deductibles, customer service ratings and amenities will help you to find the company that best suits your needs and your wallet.