According to US Department of Commerce motor vehicle accident statistics, approximately 10.8 million motor vehicle accidents occurred on US roads in 2009. Considering how often car accidents occur, it is no surprise that auto insurance is a major expense for even the safest drivers. But what has always surprised me, no matter whether you are considered a good driver or higher risk driver by auto insurance companies, is some companies charge more than twice as much as other companies for the same coverage. This is why it’s so important to check the rates of many auto insurance companies, so you can find the companies that have the best rates for you. This is also why many auto insurance companies can honestly claim to save people hundreds of dollars a year. But there are not a few companies with low rates for everyone. You have to shop to find the auto insurance company with the best rates for you. It’s not unusual to find big price differences among companies for other types of insurance, too, like home and life insurance.
However, with auto insurance, I have always wondered why major companies, competing to have a good price for the best drivers, charge very different rates, when these companies use the same considerations to determine the lowest risk drivers. If you are married, in your thirties, own a home, have two late model cars, have great credit, had no claims in the last 5 years, and all the drivers in your household have clean driving records, every auto insurance company selling preferred or standard auto insurance wants your business. So why do some of these major companies charge so much more than other companies? Why would two or more households, having all the same qualities I listed, find a different group of auto insurance companies have the best rates for each household? Shouldn’t the same group of companies have the best rates for all the customers with the same characteristics? I will answer these questions in this blog post, and tell you why a part of the problem is consumer behavior, and what people can do to influence over-priced auto insurance companies to lower their rates. Continue reading