The AARP recently released it’s auto insurance premium review which provides a good benchmark for checking whether the auto insurance you are paying is consistent with national and state averages. If it is not, then you should be looking to for a better rate with your current provider or find a new one elsewhere (or move to a state with cheaper insurance!)
With the hundred’s of insurers out there, you can spend hours searching for the most cost effective auto insurance. So to make things faster and more efficient I recommend you start searching for the best premiums through online insurance search portals and with some of the bigger/well-known providers.
Insurance portals allow you to search across multiple providers in one place while economies of scale allow the bigger auto insurance companies to provide lower premiums/more options and they generally have much better customer service (especially following an accident).
GEICO and Progressive
These insurance companies, one owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, are well know thanks to their incessant advertising and actually do have easy to use websites, with clear guidance on key terms and coverage options.
I really liked their online features that automatically obtained my vehicle and driver information from motor vehicle departments and other groups (once I entered some personal information).
This allowed me to get a faster and more accurate quote, without having to type in all my car information.
It took me around 5 minutes to get a premium estimate (broken down by each insurance item) that I could easily customize to see what impacts changing one or more factors would have on the premium.
I tried about four variations (like a low deductible and rental car insurance), which really allowed me to really understand what factors were driving my insurance premium rate.
This insurance portal is now pretty well known thanks to it’s extensive advertising campaign on providing discounted car insurance quote.
They act like a broker between you and the other insurance companies and given their discount guarantee they are definitely worth visiting in this ultra competitive auto insurance market. Their insurance premium quote was comparable with GEICO, and if their premium was a bit lower I would have gone with them.
AARP (for drivers over 50)
Another program I came across while researching this article was insurance programs for those over 50. Provided by AARP, the rates are up to 15% lower than average for eligible drivers with good driving records.
If you (or your spouse) are over 50, I would definitely get a quote from AARP to see if you can benefit from a Seniors discount
Normally I get a 3-4 online auto insurance quotes when my policy is due for renewal and then call the representative of my current insurance provider to see if they can match the lowest priced policy (with comparable options to my current coverage).
Most of them have a +/- 10% discretion, so you can normally get a decent deal this way (and stay with your current provider), particularly if you have a good driving record. If they cannot match it and the savings are substantial enough, I go with another reputable auto insurance provider.