As a business owner and independent insurance agent, it is important to have an idea of what the competition is doing. I will occasionally run quotes with other insurance providers to see what else is out there. If you don’t know what other insurance companies are offering it can be hard to offer sound advice when a potential client is asking for an auto insurance quote. Today, I compared insurance at three different auto insurance companies and the car insurance quotes they offered online. I shopped with GEICO, Liberty Mutual, and compared that with a quote I would prepare as an independent insurance agent as consulted by myself because none of my customers receive quotes online. Okay, I take that back- occasionally someone who starts a quote online through Erie Insurance (See link below) is directed to contact me and we begin the conversation with the quote they started themselves. However, ultimately no Erie Insurance client buys a car insurance policy without talking to an agent first and that’s the way it should be. Your auto insurance is a legal contract and should be treated as such. When you fill out quotes for yourself and buy directly online as both of these other companies were going to let me, you run the risk of not disclosing important information that could lead to your contract being voided also known as having an major 6 figure accident that isn’t covered by your auto insurance ruining your life. It’s worth talking to a live professional for a few minutes to make sure it’s right.
Link to start a quote online: https://www.erieinsurance.com/Agencies/VA/Alexandria/DD3060
Let me begin by saying I don’t know why anyone shops for auto insurance online. It took me over an hour to run the three quotes. Something I am personally used to as I run most of my clients 6 auto insurance quotes or more but when I am playing the client it’s exhausting. A number of times I found myself unsure how to answer the questions. Especially when it came to my driving record. Your driving record plays an important role in in your auto insurance rates. If this information is incorrect your quote is inaccurate. Ultimately, the insurance company will run your Motor Vehicle Report but they will wait until the very last second because they are charged to this every time. I know countless people that have come to me that said they thought their car insurance quote was going to be one price only to find out it was something completely different. Note to the wise: Never cancel your existing policy before you have a new policy in place for that exact reason. You never want to be without coverage even more a second. Secondly, each insurance company promoted their individual products and coverages to me and I was unsure if this was something I really wanted/needed or if it was just their latest profitable promotion grab. Additionally, an agent will have a better idea of how you can take advantage of different discounts. For example, most companies offer a 5% discount when your car insurance quote is quoted at least a week in advance. If you aren’t in need of making a decision immediately this discount should always be taken advantage ofBut enough of how annoying it was to get the quote, let’s get into the findings.
Liberty Mutual does offer quotes through agents but they will let you just purchase directly online. They recommending something they call RightTrack. This looks like a typical plug in device that some companies offer now. They measure driving habits like the time you drive, how hard you break, how many miles you drive and who knows what else. These plug in devices or a something similar directly on your smartphone may be the future of insurance but as of right now I am not interested in supplying them with big data on my driving habits. I wasn’t sure what to enter for my driving record because I have had some tickets in the past. The quote I received is below. They offer me the same liability limits I keep on my current policy in all their options which is good but since they don’t really know what my current policy includes they have to guess. In the “Lower Premium,” option they raise my deductible to $1,000, and didn’t include roadside assistance or rental car coverage things that might go overlooked when I see that the price is $30 a month lower. When I compare insurance quotes versus my Erie Insurance quote apples to apples this quote is almost $2,500 more annually.
Now, as a customer, I have to continue shopping. The average client will look at two options and compare then to their current policy and pick what they deem as the best option available. The truth is companies take a lot of factors into consideration differently and quotes from two companies you’ve seen commercials for are not good indicators when you compare insurance and look for auto insurance quotes. When I finally got through to my GEICO quote I found it strange that their auto insurance quote was offering lower liability coverage than what I indicated on my current policy. I had to build my own quote to receive a direct comparison. They have a basically a sentence written about each coverage which will give you a basic idea of what it means but is not very detailed. Also, they have a graph that indicates what percentage of their clients have chosen that coverage. This can be a little scary because they are assuming you are like their average customer. It is not personalize around you. When I look at these graphs and see that 58% of their clients have selected lower coverage I feel compelled that I don’t need the better liability coverage even though I do. When we compare insurance quotes from GEICO versus my quote from Erie Insurance it is $324 higher annually.
My conclusions from the experience are I don’t know why anyone would choose to shop online. An agent can and will find you better pricing, especially if they are an independent agent. They can advise you on the auto insurance you should have versus what their average customer chooses. When a client works with Bridge First Insurance, we collect some information, uncover their needs and then do all the dirty work ourselves. We know what companies will be a better match for them based on the conversation and always make sure the quotes are accurate from the beginning. Most importantly we make sure the contract they sign is accurate and take the liability of an error of their hands. The Erie Insurance quote would have saved the Hypothetical customer that is myself $324 or $2,500 if I had Liberty Mutual for the same coverage. With savings like that we can get into some cool options like adding vanishing deductible or better vehicle replacement. Additionally, if I would have finalized my auto insurance quote with one of these companies I would have no contact, no face to my policy, no one to ask questions to, and no one in my corner when I had a claim. I don’t know why anyone would shop for their auto insurance online.
Speak with a Bridge First Insurance Agent today! (571) 249-3857
Previously on the Blog:
Jack has achieved success in the insurance industry through a consultative and honest approach to clients. He designed this approach around educating clients on important coverage and allowing them to decide what policy would best fit their insurance needs. In 2013, Jack and co-founder Dave Zappacosta, established Bridge First Insurance, as an independent insurance agency operating in Virginia, DC, and Maryland.