So Long AAA! Lowering the Cost of Car Insurance in My House

Wooden-Car-Model-300x199What do you say to the car insurance company you’ve had for the past 10 years when they won’t budge on their rates?

Don’t let the door hit your butt on the way out!

That’s exactly what I forced to say recently to my insurance provider, AAA, when they refused to negotiate down on the cost of car insurance for our household.  Even though we gave them the chance to hold our business, we ultimately had to come to the decision to shop around only to discover that there were far better rates for basically the same amount of coverage.

Here’s what happened.

Reducing the Cost of Car Insurance:

Frequently in the MMD household, we like to choose one bill from our expenses and pick on it.

  • When the mortgage bill seemed too high, we got a refinance and shaved two years off my mortgage!
  • When the Comcast bill seemed too expensive, we called and got $1200 knocked off!
  • When I had the chance to lower the interest rate on my auto loan, I took full advantage of it.
  • When they tried to add fees to my checking account, I switched banks and even got a $150 bonus!

This month it was car insurance that we decided to attack and try to lower our overall budget.

To be fair, our auto coverage has had it coming for some time now.  Every 6 months for the last 2 years the cost of our auto insurance has done nothing but go up and up.  How much was my latest renewal notice?

  • $150 per month ($900 for a 6 month period).

That’s way too much!

Now I may not be a car insurance expert, but how much is car insurance when you continue to drive the same two used cars (the oldest being almost 9 years old) year after year and incur no traffic violations or accidents?  Shouldn’t my rates be getting cheaper?

I decided it was time to explore my options.

The Beauty of Shopping Around:

Man, I love the Internet.

Within minutes I had costs for all kinds of reputable car insurance providers.  Armed with actual quotes and hardcopies of new policy offerings, I had the power of persuasion right at my fingertips.

In the past when I wanted to lower my auto insurance expense, I would collect 3 quotes and send them to my agent.  Usually I’d use Progressive, Geico, and at least one other recognizable name brand.  For almost a decade my agent would write me back with at least some break in price.  They may not have been the lowest price, but at least they’d do enough on the cost to show they were willing to work with me and keep my business.

Then last year that came to a stop.  The only reply I’d get from insurance rep was the “that’s our price – take it or leave it” eloquent sort of response.

They did the same thing this time around too.

Well, I can’t say I didn’t warn them.  I know this from my own job:

When a customer threatens to go shopping around for a better price or service, they’re going to find it.  So if you’re smart, you won’t even give them a reason to go looking.

Unfortunately this is a lesson that my car insurance company has yet to learn.  Because I did end up finding a much better deal …

Cheaper Auto Insurance is Out There:

Successful-Figure-On-Banknote-by-cooldesign-300x199The thing about giving someone an ultimatum is that you have to be prepared to really make a hard change if things don’t go the way you want it to.  You have to let them know this is NOT a bluff.

That’s exactly what I forced to say recently to my insurance provider, AAA, when they refused to negotiate down on the cost of car insurance for our household. Even though we gave them the chance to hold our business, we ultimately had to come to the decision to shop around only to discover that there were far better rates for basically the same amount of coverage.

It kind of stunk.  I’ve been with them for 10 years.  Sometimes I get AAA discounts when I shop.  But none of this anywhere close enough to keep me around and pay way more than I need to.

So who did we end up going with?  Believe it or not, Progressive had the best price.

For the insurance policy I put together, they only wanted $558 for 6 months (if I paid it all up-front).  That’s about $93 per month.  Can you believe that?  That’s almost 38% lower than what AAA was about to charge me for basically the same thing.

This experience is yet again another shining example that it pays to shop around for better coverage prices and explore your options.  In this day and age of instant Internet quotes and auto insurance being pretty much nothing more than a commodity, you’d have to be a fool not to work with your customers and try to get them the best price.  Name brands don’t really carry much weight anymore.  As long as I’m working with a reputable company that is going to honor my claims and be there when I need them, I’m going to find the best deal possible!

Readers – What is the cost of car insurance in your household?  Have you had to switch around service providers when one of them refused to work with you on cost?

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