Some people like to negotiate and some do not. When buying cars, houses and other big ticket items, negotiating can be a way of getting a better value for you money. However, car insurance is not usually considered an item where negotiating is possible. While the bargaining may not take on the same amount of posturing and gamesmanship as horse trading, there are some ways to deal with insurance agents and brokers to make sure that the best deal is obtained.
Make the agent or broker aware that you will be getting multiple bids.
Insurance agents, as well as insurance companies, are in fierce competition for business. Although everyone would like to make a killing from each sale, the reality is that insurance brokers and agents make their living by selling many small pieces that add up to a big one. This is true of multiple customers. It is also true of the components that comprise an individual’s car insurance policy. When the agent knows that other agents are competing for the same piece of business, they are less likely to load their offer with tons of unrequested extras that spike the price. This will save you some money, and possibly a lot of money.
Require the agent to give you a list of each component of the insurance quote with its associated cost.
By doing this, you will be compelling the agent to disclose all of the add-ons that may be inflating the cost of your policy. On car insurance, towing, road hazard, rental car while in the body shop, repair warranties and a variety of other items can be snowballed into a simple policy to double the price. The only way that you can be sure that you have not been sold more insurance than you want or need is to have a full breakdown of each item in front of you before you buy. The agent should give this to you willingly if you are dealing with a reputable person.
Use the information collected from each agent as a negotiating tool with the others.
Every insurance company has its own way of computing the precise amount of each premium. The composite of these amounts are what results in your final cost for car insurance. Do not be afraid to take the information from one agent to another agent and ask what can be done to lower their rates to match the competition. While the specific number may not be able to be changed, alternative ways to get the coverage you need may be possible. Agents frequently have a list of a hundred or more options that they can choose from to build a policy. They learn to use the easy ones that generate the biggest commissions. When they are challenged, sometimes they can come up with other routes to the same goal.
You have to actually be willing to go with a new company for any negotiating to work.
If your agent suspects that you are just trying to bargain his agency down with no intention of leaving, the negotiating will fail. Unless your agent is your mother or brother-in-law, you probably will have no problem with changing agents. Make sure that this is conveyed to the broker or agent in a reasonable but unmistakable way. This will give the agent incentive to work just a little harder to keep your business.
Be careful of choosing to buy a bundle of insurance expecting the lowest rates.
Just because you add in extra cars, a boat and your house to your insurance package does not mean that you will get the best rate on car insurance. There are times when one company will actually sell you car insurance for less money than it costs in an insurance bundle. There are instances where the homeowner’s policy is enough cheaper than the competition that it makes the overall package cheaper. However, by separating out the pieces, you may find that the homeowner’s policy will not rise much, and you can find car insurance cheaper buying it by itself.