How to Find the Best Home and Auto Insurance Rates

Question

Can you recommend a good site on the internet to have my current insurance: home and auto evaluated to find the best coverage for the best cost?

Thank you,

Steve

Answers

First, thank you for asking your question.  I think this is a very good question and most Americans can save a lot of money by periodically review their home and auto insurance policies.  I went through this last year and if I recall correctly, the savings was over $1,000 a year.


Photo by Team Dalog via Flickr

Now, let me give you some good news and a bad news.  The good news is that insurance premiums are more negotiable than most people think, and with some work, you can save a lot of money.  The bad news is that there’s no easy way to quickly identify the best deal for home and auto insurance.

Here are three basic things that you can do:

  1. You can start off with insurers that offer online quotes like GEICO, Esurance, and Progressive.
  2. You can enter some basic information at sites like InsureMe; and get several insurance agents to call you with their quotes.
  3. You can call insurance companies individually.

In the end, you’ll want to do all three and spend a lot of time on the phone to try and find the best rate.  Here are a few things that you want to consider, because they can safe you quite a bit of money.

  • Insure your home and auto with the same insurer to take advantage of multi-policy discount.
  • Check with your employer and/or school.  You may be eligible for a group discount through an organization that you’re associated with.  You’ll have to ask the insurer for this since they don’t normally give this up for free.
  • Go with the highest deductible that you can afford to pay out of pocket.
  • Do take the auto glass coverage (if available).
  • Cut out any frills like free rental and towing can save you some money.
  • Ask about every discount you can think of.  For example:
    • Home - Look at discounts for home security system, building material (e.g., brick houses are considered flame resistance), distance to firehouse, flood zone, etc.
    • Auto - Look at discounts for defensive driving, safety features, alarm system, security features, day-time running light, etc.

Lastly, be willing to get the insurance companies to compete with each other for both the rate and coverage. You’ll be surprised.

Now let’s go to feedback from other M-network members.

Here’s a response from David at My Two Dollars:

I think Esurance.com is supposed to be pretty good, but I have never used them. When I need to get rate quotes, I pick 3 or 4 companies and call up a local representative to see who has the best rates and coverage. For me, right now, State Farm is the best for my home and auto insurance.

Oh, and if you are in CA or WA (I think those are the only 2), they should contact Wawanesa. Funny name, but great company and the lowest rate and best coverage I had in CA. They only cover good drivers and they are only in a few states, but definitely worth checking out if in one of those states!

Here’s a response from Gibble at Gather Little By Little:

I do exactly as David. I just call a bunch of companies and get quotes. Be careful though and make sure they are giving you fair comparisons. Make sure the coverage is the same and deductibles are equal. Once you have quotes, starting playing them off of each other. Local agents can discount.

I use State Farm and have since I was 16 years old. I call around every 5 years or so. State Farm is generally the lowest, but when they aren’t, they always beat the lowest price.

Here’s a response from Paidtwice at I’ve Paid For This Twice Already…:

I basically second (third) the two wise gentlemen who have already answered. I find comparing online, it is too easy to get different coverage types compared together. Apples to oranges, so to speak.

Where we live now, we have found Allstate to be the least expensive for our situation, but in the past it has been Geico and State Farm (when we lived in different places). Make sure to, if you have multiple policies, collect them together into one provider. You get discounts for that.

About the Author

By , on Jan 14, 2009
The following is a question submitted by our reader. You can see all questions submitted here, and submit your question here. Please remember that our answers are opinions and should not be considered professional advice and we assume no responsibility of any kind. Please consult a financial expert as needed.

Leave Your Comment (5 Comments)

  1. Jim says:

    I’ve been in the insurance business in spokane wa for 25 years and even found this article very informative on how to find the best car and home insurance rates. Will be telling my clients, thanks!

  2. Pete says:

    Good advice guys. What i found helpful in my search was to take a personal day, and then spend the day getting quotes on your home/auto and other insurance. My personal day ended up saving me almost $1400/year on home/auto insurance!

  3. Pinyo says:

    @Steve — You’re welcome. I look forward to reading about how much money you save from this effort. I am sure you’ll be well rewarded.

  4. Rosemary says:

    Great advice from everyone. I would like to add AARP Hartford for anyone 50 and over. So far I have found them to be the cheapest. And if you live in Florida where homeowner’s insurance is very high, try People’s Trust Insurance. I changed to them last month and saved $400 on my premium.

  5. Steve says:

    I’ll be the first to say that I am delighted that you chose my question. Thanks so much for the sage advice. I guess the good thing about collecting quotes online, is that you can then use those quotes to bargain/negotiate with your offline agents. I will be making this a project/goal for myself, and I will update everyone in what kind of savings I come up with :)

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