When you call to speak with a customer service representative professional at and agency or an insurance company regarding your auto insurance, it is usually for one of four reasons: to receive a quote, a billing question, claim concerns, or general customer service (adding or deleting a vehicle on an existing policy, etc). I am going to go through the first reason and let you know what to do, what not to do, what to have at hand and what you won’t need.
The first thing to do when calling for an auto quote is to understand the reason behind the call. Why do you want the change? Is it purely financial? The only reason is to reduce the cost of insurance and outside of that you are happy with your agency/companies service? If that is the case, call your current agent and tell them you like their service, but is there any way to reduce the premium? DON’T BOTHER THREATENING THAT YOU WILL MOVE YOUR ACCOUNT IF THEY CAN’T LOWER THE COST. They can only offer the premium their company offers. If they are an independent agency, however, they might be able to move you to a different company with a lower cost.
Insurance is a commodity, but there is a service provider helping you with your decisions. If you’ve called your service provider (your current agent/company) and they are not able to make a change financially, then you need to decide if the service they provide, how they treat you and how quickly they respond to your questions is enough of a reason to stay with them. If it’s not, then you’re ready to move on. Have the following in front of you before you call:
- A copy of the coverage page from your current company
- Any driving activity going back five years: violations, violation dates, accident (at fault and not at fault) dates and claim amounts paid.
- Purchase dates of your vehicles
- The grade point average of any young drivers in the household.
- Dates of any driving violations/accidents (at fault or not) in the past 5 years.
The person with whom you speak will ask additional questions, but they will be about things you know without prompts (your level of education, do you own your home or rent, your social security number, etc). At this point, too, answer the questions they ask. If you don’t the cost of the policy might be different when you finally receive it. Pay attention to how you are asked these questions. If the customer service rep is curt and off putting now, it won’t get better when you are a client.
When the quote is complete and it’s been reviewed DON’T BOTHER SAYING IT’S TOO HIGH AND YOUR NEIGHBOR PAYS LESS. Your neighbor might not have 2 speed tickets and an accident on their driving record like you have, or he is paying for a liability only policy with low liability limits. In other words, he is not you with your unique profile.
If you like the quote and want to move forward, DON’T, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, CANCEL YOUR EXISTING POLICY UNTIL YOU KNOW THE NEW POLICY IS IN PLACE. Once the new policy exists, then you can contact your existing company and cancel.