Discount Auto Insurance - not All Its Cracked Up to be

by : C.L. Hendricks

For several years I have had discount auto insurance through one of the?most recognized auto insurance companies advertised on television. It?wasn't the caveman or the lizard that enticed me into going with that?insurance provider. No, it was actually the fact that I had been with?another insurance company who kept raising my rates a little bit each?year.

Finally I got fed up and decided to search around for cheaper auto?insurance. Surprise! Because I did not have perfect credit at the time,?this discount auto insurance company was the only one that didn't penalize?me with higher rates.

Okay, so I got cheap auto insurance. The problem is that after being?with this auto insurance company for over three years, in the last few?months I've begun to think that I'm being charged too much.? After all,?I'm not in a risky age category, I've never had an accident, and my car?is three years old and not one of those most likely to be stolen. So,?why is my insurance so high?

This time I decided to do my research about shopping for auto?insurance, by asking for some advice first.? Here's what I learned:

1. Several of the cheaper insurance companies are great when you have?your first car and just want bare-bones coverage, but to get full?coverage they tend to charge more than the premium auto insurance providers.

2. Often the actual coverage available thru the discount auto insurance?companies is actually discount coverage...not as good as that offered?by full-service insurance companies. unfortunately, you often only?discover this after an accident.

3. Having more than one type of insurance policy with the same company,
can mean an automatic discount. Called "bundling", combining auto?insurance with homeowners or renter's insurance will often result in lower?premium payments.

4. Since insurance companies tend to raise the rates during subsequent?policy renewals, keep an eye on your rates. Don't hesitate to shop?around for another insurance provider, especially if the savings will be at?least $100 per year.

5. There is an advantage to having a long-term relationship with a?local insurance agent when it comes to filing a claim. Continually changing?insurance companies does not build a relationship.

I listened to all of the advice and since I was buying a new home,?called my current insurance provider to see if I could save money by having?both auto and homeowner's coverage thru them. They gave me a quote for?the homeowner's and told me that there would not be any discount for?having more than one type of policy with them.

Disappointed, but determined to find a lower rate, I called the?insurance company I had been with before changing to the discount auto?insurance.? The quote I received for the homeowner's coverage was considerably?lower than I'd received from my current provider. Plus the car?insurance premium will be much lower than what I'm currently being paying each?month.

Needless to say, I'm switching insurance companies the minute the sale?closes on the house.? Another plus...the new insurance provider has a?local office with an agent that already knows me personally; a definite?win-win.

Discount auto insurance may not always provide the best rates or the?best coverage.? If you are not happy with your current provider go ahead?and look for the type of coverage and premium payment that suits you.? Remember: It's not a crime to shop fact, it's your right.