Today's insurance market is crazy. Carriers are raising rates and in some cases cutting coverages. Most of this is due to knee jerk reactions over losses sustained by storm damage over the last several years here in Arizona; most noteably the 10/05/2010 hail storm that caused millions of dollars in damages. Amongst the rate increases there is still hope for finding quality coverage at an affordable price. You just need to know where to look for it and understand a few things that will help in the process of obtaining a good rate. Below are our suggestions for getting a great rate on car and home insurance here in Arizona.
1. Keep your credit as clean as you can. Check your credit and see where you stand. Make any adjustments necessary to get your credit in good standing. Almost all carriers now a days rely a great deal on a persons credit when factoring their rate.
A. There are other tips we won't list here about credit but you can call us for them at 480-981-6338. We don't want to give away what we have learned to our competition who may read this post.
2. Use a broker when shopping for insurance. There are dozens if not hundreds of insurance carriers. It would be difficult for you to shop more than just a few because of the time contraints; however, a good broker can shop dozens of carriers for you quickly because we have the software and capability to do so. Unlike captive agents that work for companies like State Farm, American Family, Farmers and Allstate who can only quote 1 product and 1 company for you, Independent brokers can quote several carriers and offer many different products. When you compare you are more likely to save.
3. Keep your driving record clean. If you happen to get a ticket and you can go to school to have it removed, do so. Tickets can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars more in premium.
4. Use technology to get a better rate. If you consider yourself a good driver, you might use the devices several carriers are offering to monitor your driving habits. Many of these carriers will offer up to 30% off your rate if you are a good driver. Our agency is a Snapshot Certified Agency. Snapshot is a product offered by Progressive that does exactly what we have described.
5. Bundling your insurance for discounts is a great way to save; However, don't be afraid to split up your lines of insurance if it can get you an even better rate. Some companies specialize in one form of insurance. For instance, Universal North America only offers home insurance, while Progressive is mainly an auto insurance provider. Sometimes you can get a better rate by splitting your home and auto up with different carriers. We often use 3 or more carriers to place a persons insurance needs simply because we found we got better rates that way. With that said, we also bundle when that is the best alternative. Bottom line is each client is different and should be handled on a case by case basis. Again, a captive agent cannot split your insurance up with different companies. You will need an independent agent like IPA to do that.
6. Talk to your agent freuquently about changes in your life. If you had a son or daughter on your policy and they have moved away, you may get a better rate if you call your agent and let he or she know. Many carriers will provide a discount if your child is away more than 100 miles at school or in the military. If they have moved out permanently, be sure to ask your agent to remove them from your policy.
7. Ask about special discount programs for teenage drivers. Many of our carriers have programs you can put your teenage driver through that will decrease your premium significantly.
These are a few things to think about that will help you keep your rates down. Insurance Professionals of Arizona is a full service insurance brokerage. We are located in Mesa but serve all of Arizona. IPA offers car insurance, home insurance, life insurance, health insurance, boat insurance, motorcycle insurance, commercial insurance and more. We have dozens of the most recognized and reputable carriers in the industry like AAA, Progressive, Metlife, Hartford, Kemper, Travelers, Encompass, Safeco and more. We are happy to offer bids and quotes or just do a policy review if you are concerned about your coverages or whether you are properly insured.