Does it Pay to Keep the Same Insurance Company?
Car insurance is one of the most competitive service industries, and insurers are eager to convert customers from one brand to another. Since all drivers need insurance, the only way for a company to generate new business is to lure customers from a different company. To this end, many insurers have begun offering discounts to people who switch companies, and advertising targets people who could save by changing from one insurer to another.
Despite the appeal of changing companies for a discount, it is sometimes smarter to keep the same insurer. Some companies wisely offer customer loyalty programs that lead to better rates or other features that reward individuals for staying with an insurer. From lowering premiums to provide cash-back incentives or reducing deductibles, these insurance companies find ways to make loyalty more appealing.
What Insurance Companies Provide Loyalty Programs?
— Among other customer-friendly features, USAA offers a simple loyalty program to customers. Customers who have been with the company for more than a year get one month of premiums reimbursed to them. This can be applied to the next month’s bill or cashed out as a check around Christmas time.
— Progressive offers a wide array of loyalty programs, including accident forgiveness for small and large claims. Drivers also enjoy a continuous reduction in rates; the longer they’re insured by the company, the more their premiums will go down each year.
— Allstate’s best-known program is its Your Choice Auto package, which offers accident forgiveness and deductible reduction. This allows you to reduce your deductible with each year of safe driving.
— Nationwide also boasts a vanishing deductible program with similar features to Allstate. Additionally, members can share discounts with other people in their families whether they’re on the same policy or not through a referral discount.
— GEICO customers with multiple vehicles on a policy can earn a 25% discount. Curiously, there are no rewards for long-lasting policies through GEICO, but there are a wide number of discounts for military personnel, government employees, good students, homeowners and other groups of people.
— Amica insurance offers loyalty discounts to customers who have held policies for several terms. They also provide a discount to people who switch to Amica after having been insured at the former company for many years.
Many more insurance companies offer loyalty discounts. Those who do not offer discounts for long-term policies usually still offer other types of loyalty rewards, like multiple-car discounts or multi-policy discounts for homeowners.
Even if your insurance company doesn’t offer any official loyalty rewards, you may be able to negotiate lower rates if you’ve been insured with them for many years. By pointing out your long, positive insurance history and lack of claims, you can often convince the company to reduce your rates even if they did not offer you any official discounts.
When Is It Time to Switch?
For some people, the right insurance company is a perfect match. These policyholders may feel so brand loyal to the company that they wouldn’t consider changing even to save money. They might be attached to their agent, have had many good experiences with the company or simply appreciate something the company stands for. Most people, however, are not this passionate about their insurance company. They’ll happily change carriers to save money, get better service or take advantage of unique offers.
Although many insurance companies offer loyalty rewards, these offers may not give you the best deal. Depending on your situation, you may be able to save more by switching to another insurer. Competitors often offer discounts to people as an incentive to switch, and that company may have better rates.
In fact, even if your current insurer had the best rates several years ago when you purchased the policy, they may not be the cheapest company for you now. Insurance companies attempt to attract certain populations of people by offering their best discounts to certain types of drivers. If you are older or have undergone life changes since you first purchased your policy, you may get a lower quote from a different insurer.
For example, getting married, having children, buying a house or simply aging can all affect premiums. You may not realize that another company will give you lower rates if you don’t get a quote from them. It’s a good idea to get an insurance quote every few years just to make sure you’re still getting the best deal. If nothing else, shopping around may make your current insurer more eager to offer you discounts in an attempt to retain your loyalty.