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Car Insurance - Is Cheap The Better Choice?

Today's economy is tough, and current signs are that it may get tougher yet, so what is a household to do when making ends meet is always a monthly challenge? It is near impossible today to avoid the many advertisements for inexpensive car insurance, so is that a good area to search for bargains in today's frugal environment? The quick answer is that it is worth a look, but the long answer is beware of tricks and gimmicks or you will pay more in the long run.

Every marketing professional has devised a commercial that accentuates the benefits of their respective auto insurance offering. Most today focus on price as the determining factor in hopes of making you switch your current provider. In the business world, you either compete on price or quality of service, or sometimes both, but if profit margins are to be made in a low cost arena, then there have to be compromises made in selected cost areas unless the provider has inherent advantages due to size or how they run their business.

Generally speaking, offering cheap insurance is possible if you are a very large national firm. The scale of the enterprise allows for lower prices because the fixed costs of the company are spread over more policies. Lower overhead per customer translates to lower costs, overall, per policy. If the company has focused on a specific group in society that is known to have better driving records, mature adults for example, then it may be able to pass along these experiential cost savings in the form of lower premiums. Lastly, technology can lower internal costs for processing applications, claims, and payments, permitting another avenue for lowering the cost of a policy down to the ultimate consumer..

If these considerations were all that were involved in getting the cheapest insurance available in the marketplace, then this article could stop here, and you could run to the nearest insurance search service on the Internet to locate the lowest cost provider. The challenge of finding an inexpensive auto insurance provider, however, is more than meets the eye at first glance. The industry is littered with companies that do not “play fair” with their advertising claims. Marketing is one way to lure the unwary to something they will regret and not necessarily to a high quality product that is less expensive.

Here are a few suggestions to follow when you try to get cheap auto insurance:

  • Review your current policy: Before you dismiss your current provider, check your billing details to determine why your cost seems high in the first place. You may have a low deductible that is the problem. One phone call to your carrier can fix that problem and deliver immediate savings. You may also find that discounts may apply due to your age, driving record, or combining other insurance policies under one carrier. Lastly, you may have coverage for things that you can drop, thereby producing more savings, but also a little risk, too. Update your current information to see if other cost savings can be had.

  • Check your credit rating: Yes, your credit rating can influence your premium. If you switch carriers, you might find that your proposed cost will actually go up - read the fine print in your new contract proposal to see if this is a possibility. A premium hike of from 20% to 50% for bad credit is not uncommon.

  • Fraud: Everyone appreciates a good deal, but as with anything else, if it sounds too good to be true, then it most likely is not. Many consumers have been duped by unscrupulous members of our society to buy what appears to be very cheap auto insurance, typically requiring a prepayment of the first year's premium to lock in the cost savings. The unwitting consumer does not know that his insurance does not exist until he files a claim and realizes that something is wrong. Be sure to check with your state to confirm the existence of your new insurance company and if any complaints have been filed against it. Due diligence is your friend.

  • Independent Appraisals: If a carrier offers cheap auto insurance, then there has to be a reason. He may be forcing high deductibles to lower price. He may have no offices in your geographic area. Claims processing may be one headache after another. Customer service may be non-existent. Search the Internet for independent opinions and service appraisals before jumping.
In most states, car insurance is both a necessity and the law. Finding an inexpensive policy provider that still delivers a high quality service is a formidable task, but not an impossible one. Do your due diligence before switching, and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Posted on - 09.08.2011 by zippy