How often should I shop for car insurance?
I once had a client who had the same insurance company for 23 years. When he was involved in a serious car accident, the responsible party did not have enough insurance. Therefore, after exhausting the amount of insurance available from the responsible party, we turned to his "underinsured motorist" coverage for additional recovery. His insurance company nickeled and dimed us to death. He couldn’t believe how poorly his insurance company treated him. He was especially upset after how many years he demonstrated loyalty to this insurance company.
People sometimes assume the insurance company will reciprocate and demonstrate the same loyalty to their clients. The truth is, while some may do so, most insurance companies are not interested in that at all. In fact, some experts believe that insurance companies will charge you more if you are loyal to them, because they figure you are not likely to shop around. So while you think they might reward you for being loyal, the opposite is true. There are some insurance companies and some insurance professionals who will indeed take client loyalty into account.
However, I have found that insurance companies are increasingly deaf to loyalty. It doesn’t really matter to them anymore. All they care about is their bottom line. Therefore, it makes sense to shop your policy every couple of years. The auto insurance market is very competitive, and you may find that by shopping around, you might be able to save yourself a great deal of money. Just make sure you shop with stable companies that have a good reputation. Talk to an insurance broker who is not captive to a single company. There are also many free online tools that you can use to get competitive rates. Remember, insurance companies are increasingly using your loyalty against you by raising your premiums and not treating you fairly even though you’ve been loyal to them for years.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,