One of the advantages of shopping for insurance online is you can find out the price, without having to speak with an insurance sales person, and avoid someone trying to sell you an insurance policy. But this advantage is often a disadvantage to getting the best price for your insurance.
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Getting insurance quotes from all the leading insurance companies through the Internet is a great way to start shopping for your insurance, but NOT talking to the insurance company, or an agent representing the insurance company quoting you, can be a mistake causing you to pay a lot more for your insurance than you need pay. I’ll tell you how to make the insurance company or agent work for you, so you can get the lowest price for which you qualify.
When I used to sell auto & home insurance, I would contact people whom had received online insurance quotes through our company website, and review the quotes with them. Frequently, I could look at their situation, ask a few additional questions, find additional discounts, or other ways to save them money, and get them a much better price.
Insurance agents and insurance company representatives are experts on their insurance company’s rules and rating plans, so they have the knowledge to consult with you, and get you a better price, in a way your can’t do online.
For example, someone shopping for auto insurance has a car insurance history of 35 months of continuous coverage. They get a quote online showing the price for the auto insurance effective today as $500 for every 6 months.
An insurance agent calls them the following day, and tells them they qualify for an additional discount once they have 3 years of continuous insurance coverage (36 months), so if they start their auto insurance policy with an effective date a month from now, the 6 month price is $350.
That phone call from the insurance agent saved this person $300 a year. What if the person getting the quote online liked the price at $500, and bought the policy when they were quoted? They would be paying $150 more every 6 months than they need pay.
Insurance rating plans are very sophisticated these days. A good agent or insurance company representative knows the details of how to get you the best price, which you can’t do on your own, quoting yourself through an insurance company website.
Some people, shopping for a better insurance rate on the Internet, put invalid phone numbers, or do not answer or call back, when the insurance company calls them to follow up on the quote they received.
I understand why people want to avoid sales people, particularly if they expect to tell the sales person they don’t want the policy. Many people have the impression insurance sales people are like some used cars sale people, and use aggressive or persistent sales tactics. In my experience, this is very uncommon in auto & home insurance sales.
Insurance agents and companies may contact you to review the insurance quote you received online, ask you additional questions and verify information, to make sure they are getting you the best and most accurate price, ask you why you are shopping, explain to you why their insurance company is a good choice for you, and ask you to buy, or ask for a payment to start the policy. Don’t be intimidated because they want you as a customer. If you are not interested, once they have confirmed they are quoting you the best price they can offer, simply tell them why you are not interested, and politely end the call. Most insurance sales people appreciate a firm “No,” and move on to the next prospect.
When you get insurance quotes online, provide the insurance companies with an accurate phone number to reach you. Getting the best price for you is an interactive process best completed by phone. Instant messaging or sending e-mails back in forth does not work like having a simple conversation on the phone.
If an insurance company contacts you, following up on an online insurance quote you received, answer the phone or call them back, even if the price you received online was too expensive for you. You may be surprised how the highest price quote can turn into the best price quote by having a ten minute conversation on the phone.
In fact, if the insurance company does not contact you, it is a good idea to follow up yourself, by calling the insurance company, and having someone form the insurance company review the online insurance price quote you received.
Don’t ignore the voice mail, and fail to return the call left by the insurance company. Unless you don’t want to insure with the company, no matter how low the price, it is worth your time to have your insurance quote reviewed by an expert working for the company.
Many agents or insurance companies will try to contact you only once, but some are more persistent. Don’t expect them to take the hint you are not interested when you don’t call them back. The agent does not know if you are not interested, or simply busy, and why would you not be interested, if you requested a price quote?
A lot of customers make the mistake of insuring with the first insurance company they contact saving them money.
If you really want to save the MOST money on insurance, get quotes from all the leading insurance companies, and do not choose an insurance company, until you have had all the quotes you received, reviewed by a human being working for the insurance company. Consider the price, the advantages of each insurance company, and use my website insurance company reviews to choose the best company for you.
If an insurance company or agent contacts you, after you have had all your insurance quotes reviewed by an agent or company employee, and you have already chosen another insurance company, reply to them, by phone or e-mail, and let them know you have finished shopping, and you no longer wish to be contacted by them, unless they can offer you a better price in the future.
If the only reason you did not choose them was because of price, let them work for you, and contact you in the future, to quote you again. Rates are always changing, and the company having an expensive rate for you now, may have the best rate for you at your next policy renewal.
In the unlikely event you speak with an aggressive salesperson, and they continue to call you after you told them not to call you, ask to be placed on their company’s Do Not Call list. It can take up to 30 days for you to be added to the do not call list, but once you are on it, the individual contacting you, and the insurance company, can face steep fines if they call you again.
Do you always speak with the insurance company after getting price quotes online? Tell me about it. Please leave a comment on my facebook page. Or, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions and would like my help. Follow me on Twitter for important insurance consumer news and new blog entries at CarInsWatch.