John Goreham's picture

Are you tired of car insurance advertisements yet?

A quick show of hands: Who is ready to stomp on a gecko?
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Multiple companies are hard at work trying to save me $6.26 per month. Daily I am bombarded with advertisements in print, on the radio, on TV, by mail, and via G-mail. The most recent interruption to my day by one of these companies was while at a 100 year old movie theater. It blared car insurance advertisements at me and my date before showing us the indie film we paid to see. Even here? Et tu Somerville Theater?

Yes, car insurance companies are just dying to help me save roughly 15% on my car insurance. My 2007 Toyota Highlander’s insurance is $522 per year. I did the math and I came up with $6.26 per month - if they are able to keep their word and save me that ginormous sum of cash. Here’s the thing, I don’t want to save $6.26 per month. I buy my insurance from my two friends and neighbors, who I first met while looking for an insurance agent. Not car insurance – all insurance.

The people who deliver me my insurance are extremely helpful. I have their cell phone numbers, can text them, call them at home, or e-mail them. They reply instantly. Always. Better yet, they know their stuff. Do I need something from the insurance agent first, or the dealership when I do this or that with my state’s crazy RMV? My son is about to turn 15 and my insurance agent and I are already discussing options to protect my family from liability following a crash by that young whipper snapper in the Highlander. Frankly, I would not want to discuss that topic with a lizard.

Interestingly, I learned from my agent recently that many insurance companies in my state will not accept new customers for liability coverage if there is a new driver in the home. Do you think your car insurance policy's liability coverage will be enough in a bad accident? That’s so funny! Actually, a supplementary policy for multiple millions in liability coverage is very cheap if you are already a customer, already use that company’s auto and home insurance, and keep your nose clean. Switch now and you might not have that option.

I have also gotten disability and life insurance from this same agent. My agent offers me one stop shopping for all my insurance needs, one person to (quickly and professionally) answer my insurance questions, and much more. You see my agent is also on the Board of Health here in town. When my well water was contaminated with oil form a neighbor’s tank he was there and helped me through it. He is also on the planning board and when the parcel behind my house sold, he was the first to tell me.

My dad was recently telling me stories about some trouble he got into when he was a young man. He lost his license and was planning to keep driving anyway. Guess who talked him out of it? Not the police. Not his parents. His family’s insurance agent did. He sat my dad down and explained some things about insurance, but more importantly about life, and probably had a pretty positive influence on a person who was a smidge more than a “customer.” Is the insurance app on your phone going to do that for you, or for your son, if there is trouble?

The dirty little secret you won't hear mentioned in these advertisements is that the companies enticing you to switch want you to deal direct with them (or their overseas call centers) and give up your agent, or drop some of your coverage, or both. They are not offering to give you the same policy at the same level of service for less money.

For many folks $6.26 per month may be important. That is something I get. Be careful though. I look closely at my policies and I noticed that all three of my auto, home, and liability policies offer me 5% discounts for using the same company, and same agent. There is 15% right there. Switching may seem like a great idea on the phone with the person in the call center in Upper Scubbobia that you will speak to when switching, but they may leave out that detail.

If you are like me, you are getting a little tired of being constantly hit with car insurance adverts. If you know of a way that I can forever be rid of these annoying adverts I will gladly pay $6.26 per month for that service.

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Why Obamacare should save you 50% or more on car insurance


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Comments

I don't want to give up my agent, but there are times the prices are a lot cheaper. It's hard when things can be tight for people to have them pay extra when they have an agent. You also offer good information to double check the bottom line, to be sure the deal is as good as they say it is.