Sunday, August 26, 2012

Double Check Your Auto and Home Insurance Rates!

I've learned a lot in the past month in the financial services industry, and I've only scratched the surface.  I plan on taking the Pennsylvania life insurance exam in mid-September.  Primerica pays for it, so long as I pass the company's "Guaranteed Pass Exam" with a score of 80%.  Until then, Primerica has other ways for me to make commission, even before passing the life insurance and securities exams.

The best way I can do it is by providing quotes for auto and home insurance.  Primerica doesn't actually sell auto or home insurance.  In the past, the company sold it through Travelers, but in recent years has partnered with an insurance company broker.  The broker takes an applicant's insurance needs, driving record, claims history, etc and takes it through 23 top-rated insurance companies to see who can give you the best rate.  If the customer is happy with the result, then I get a small commission.

This week I was approved to start doing this, so of course, I became my own first customer.  When I ran the numbers, I was shocked.  Our 6 month premium for auto insurance went from $673 to $595.  Our annual premium for home owners insurance dropped from $756 to $483.  Add those numbers up, and I'm saving my family $429 a year.

In case you were wondering, the coverage is decent: 100,000/300,000 for bodily injury liability, $250 deductibles for both comprehensive and collision, and full tort.  I'm also cancelling the Subaru Roadside Assistance that I pay $80 a year, because I got roadside assistance included in this policy for $12.

Prior to this change, my wife and I were insured through State Farm.  I want to be clear here, there is nothing wrong with State Farm.  The company has insured me since I was a teenager.  Their customer service is superb and I never had a problem filing a claim.  The only reason we've switched is because I can get the same package and save $429 a year.  If State Farm's rates go down, I'm happy to switch back.  In the meantime, I'm enjoying the savings with a different top-rated company and encouraging others to do the same.

Interestingly enough, I've heard a few objections for changing insurance in favor of better rates, most of them due to loyalty to the agent.  "Our agent is actually a friend of ours," or "State Farm has been really good to us."  Both statements are true, but if your agent is really your friend, then he/she will understand and continue to be your friend after you switch.  State Farm was good to me too, but I now I have another company that's good to me, and it is costing me $429 less this year.

In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't switch all my insurance policies from State Farm.  I rent out a condo that I used to live in, and State Farm's rates for rental owners insurance were still competitive at $220 a year.  I also kept my mortgage disability income insurance with them since it's fairly inexpensive and have yet to find another company offering this type of policy.

So what company did I switch to?  Well, I'm not saying on the blog, because I don't want to lose potential business from customers switching without me.  I can tell you that it's rated very well by A.M. Best.  It's been in business for over 50 years and had well over $300 million in revenues in 2011.  Plus, depending on your driving record, claims history, etc, the company that I switched to may not be the company that offers you the best rate- it may be one of the other 23 top-rated companies that partners with our brokering service.

So if you're interested in getting a quote (whether to purchase or just to compare to what you already have), please contact me via e-mail: plim[dot]2nnaa[at]primerica[dot]com (only written it in this format to trick the spam-bots).  Checking rates over the phone will only take 15-20 minutes, and there is absolutely no obligation to buy.

Of course in a year or so, I'll check the rates again and maybe get a better rate than before!

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