You're paying how much??
Updated: Jun 16, 2018
We just saved a client $1700 a year, about $140 a month, on their car insurance while boosting their coverage all because their former agent kept them in the dark. So the questions are: how well do you understand your insurance? And how well do you know your agent?
My wife and I recently moved houses. Shortly after we were all settled in we met this couple who also had moved somewhat recently at the time and we became fast friends. They were almost two years removed from moving from Hawaii (they moved due to cost of living, NOT because they didn't like the weather).
One day we got on the topic of finances and budgets. This couple wanted to hold fast to a tighter budget and save more each month. When I heard this I told them I was in insurance. I offered to run some quotes for them, see if I could save them a little on their car insurance. It was a Saturday and they didn't want it to be a hassle. But I insisted it was a simple process and it would take me 20 minutes tops. I asked the couple how much they were paying for car insurance so I could compare premiums. They told me about $300 a month.
$300 a month. That's ridiculous.
So this couple after they had moved from Hawaii two years ago needed some transportation. Upon finding a pre-owned vehicle they liked they went searching for car insurance. They found an office close to where they lived. The agent quoted them around $150 per month for insurance for the one car and said "that's the best rate you'll probably find.". The couple took him at his word and accepted the rate. They were getting full coverage for their car after all. About a year later they bought another used car, add it to the insurance, which brought their premium up to the aforementioned $300 a month.
A lot of factors go into deciding insurance premiums. But if you have a clean driving record and a decent credit score it shouldn't be that high. To say the least, I was surprised. Honestly, my first thought was they must have an insane amount of coverage they didn't need, like 500/500/500 on their split limits or $500k across the board (See the previous post for an explanation on limits). Now that's a fantastic amount of coverage, but for a budget conscious couple, probably not want they need. I asked the couple what their limits were on their liability, the part of your coverage that pays if you are at fault for an accident. They didn't know. All they knew was that they had full coverage.
One of the tools some insurance agents can utilize is looking up what coverage a potential client currently has when working on a new quote. When I was running a quote for this couple I found that their liability limits were at the bare minimum allowed by the state of Washington, which is 25/50/10 or $25,000/$50,000/$10,000. Essentially this couple was paying a high premium for the lowest amount of insurance possible.
Yes, they had full coverage. But all full coverage really means is that insurer adds comp and collision to your coverage. Full coverage has nothing to do with the amount of your liability limits. When I finalized my quote I dropped the couple's premium payment by almost 50% and quadrupled their liability coverage. They went from paying $300 a month to $160 a month for two vehicles while also getting better coverage. And it might have been even better if not for a minor fender bender on one of their driving records.
What had happened before is that their previous agent had put them into a high risk pool for no reason and with no explanation. The couple had no idea. They were put in the dark. They didn't know what questions to ask besides asking for full coverage. Didn't know how much their liability limits were. Didn't know how much their deductibles on their comp and collision were. All they knew was what they were paying.
That's the case with a lot of drivers too. Drivers don't know exactly what they're paying for. To be fair, most agents are a lot less shady then that other guy. And this is a rare case to be sure. But you could be paying more than you need to, even by just a little bit. Here at Best Insurance Services we give clients an explanation of exactly what they are getting out of their insurance. Our main focus isn't just to save you money, but to get to know our clients and make sure they're protected. We like to be personal here at Best. We want to get to know you and your situation, your needs and desires, so we can piece together coverage that's unique to you. We are also happy to answer any questions regardless if you are a client with us or not. Feel free to call (206-707-3373) or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you are curious at all about your insurance there are things you can do to get help. You can always call your agent and ask them for the details of your coverage. Make sure you ask about limits, deductibles on comp and collision, and personal injury protection (which you might not even need). Most insurers have accounts you can log into too. There you are a few clicks away from finding the details of your coverage, though maybe not an explanation of what you're looking at.
If you're still lost on getting to know your insurance, we are here to help.