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When Should You Switch Insurance Companies?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

When Should You Switch Insurance Companies?

Winston Takeda
November 14, 2012


If you've got an insurance bill coming up, you might want to hold off. Few people know that it's pretty easy to save money on your insurance. The truth is twofold. On the one hand, if you stick with the same company year after year, you are likely paying too much. On the other hand, if you go shopping at a broker, who claim to save you tons of money by finding you the cheapest possible rate, then you are likely paying too much money.

Let's look at the companies first. For whatever reason, you chose an insurance agent who represented a company a few years ago. Every year, or month, when your bill comes, you just pay it. You think of it the same way you think of your electric bill or your phone bill. You don't want to pay it, but if you don't, you'll lose your service. So you just pay it.

Insurance agents know this. Sure, they'll throw you a bone every once in a while. They'll find a way to save you some money. They'll give you a call a couple weeks before your policy is due. They'll tell you that you are able to save an extra twenty dollars a month or something. This is enough to keep you from shopping around.

We are all creatures of habit. Agents know this. They make a lot of money from you. The more clients they get, the more passive income they get. The dream of every insurance agent is to build a huge book of clients and then just do the minimum work necessary to keep them from switching policies. So they check and see how they can save you money.

The thing they won't do, and it would be certainly foolish if they did, would be to see if you could save money by switching companies. Obviously, if they did that, they'd lose their business. It's one thing to have a book of clients that you merely need to hold on to. It's much, much harder for your agent to go out and find new customers. Especially if their rates have gone up compared to the competition.

That's why staying with the same agent is dangerous. This is also why the longer you stay with the same agent, the more likely he or she will treat you like a king or queen. They don't want to lose you. Here's a secret: If they are really worried about losing you, and they're treating you really nice, that means there's probably cheaper rates out there. Which means it's time to start shopping around.

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