Posted by Josh Anish on January 23, 2012 in Consumers
Car insurance commercials are great. They’re funny, fresh and super easy to watch. But while the commercials work on a consumer engagement level, they also of course work for the insurance companies looking to create simple brands that obscure a great amount of complicated business beneath the surface.
Accordingly, we thought we’d outline some of the most common mistake shoppers make when looking for a car insurance policy.
1) Thinking all car insurance providers are the same. Car insurance is a very nuanced, specialized industry. There are local agents, and national providers. You can purchase it online, or in an office in a strip mall. Don’t get hung up on brand differences between Geico’s green Gecko and Allstate’s earnest Dennis Haysbert -- instead pick what’s best for you and your family.
2) Buying too little, or too much. Basic car insurance usually means the synthesis of comprehensive, liability and collision insurance, which will cover your family and assets in the case of accident, theft or natural disaster. Everything else might be unnecessary. Medical Payment Insurance, for example, may not be needed if you already have health insurance.
3) Breaking up isn’t hard to do. Most car insurance policies last only six months. Don’t forget that fact if you’re not happy with your service, plan or rate. It just takes a single phone call; carriers go through it dozens of times every day. You and your provider aren't married, maybe more like... Facebook friends.
4) Thinking only the big brands can offer the best prices. Different carriers adjust pricing vis-a-vis specific risks, price regulation by state and other variables. Smaller providers can sometimes offer better prices, with the same level of coverage. It all depends on what you're looking for, but you should definitely at least look beyond the big brands.
5) Making apples-to-apples comparisons when pricing new policies. Most carriers offer similar, if not identical coverage levels, especially for the coverages that impact price the most. These include Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, and Comprehensive & Collision coverage along with their respective deductibles. If you are looking to compare prices when shopping, be sure the policies you're shopping mirror the coverages of your existing policy.