When contacting your insurance agent to ask for a lower rate, it pays to use a solid, reasonable approach. Here are a few tips to help you out.
Negotiating with your car insurance agent can be tricky business, but it's worth taking the time--it's often possible to talk your insurer into offering a much lower premium. However, you've got to take the right approach and avoid any mistakes that could ruin your argument. Here are some simple tips that will help you get the leg up.
First of all, it's important to stay polite. Remember, car insurance agents are people too and, like you, they'll be more receptive to someone who approaches them cordially. Stay reasonable and don't confront them. Start the call by identifying yourself and saying something like, "I was calling to try to get my premiums lowered. My record has been good, and I need a lower rate to keep my policy open with your company." This brings up the second important thing to remember: stay firm and focused. When negotiating, many agents will try to shift the focus or change the subject. Don't fall for this; keep referencing your driving record, and keep asking for a discounted rate. If you change your strategy mid-conversation, your chances of getting a low car insurance quote will quickly drop.
Third, know how your insurance agent thinks. In order to win your debate and get a lower rate, you need to know how car insurance quotes are decided. Consider your driving risks, including the type of vehicle you drive, your history, state laws, and even the incidence of auto theft in your zip code. The more information you can gather, the better. This will make it easier to see things from your agent's point of view, which will make it easier to negotiate reasonably with him or her. If you decide to ask for a specific car insurance quote, make sure that it's reasonable, and study your car insurance coverage amounts and deductible levels. If you're able to make a reasonable request, there's a good chance that your agent will do whatever he or she can to offer you a better premium.
Finally, know your insurance agents' competitors' rates. This might be the most important step at all--if you don't know what competitors charge, it's not going to be easy to know when you're paying too much. Collect as many car insurance quotes as possible using online comparison websites. Have them in front of you when you call. Be ready to reference the other quotes by name. Saying, for example, "Company X would only charge me X amount of money for the same coverage" is far more powerful than simply saying that you've found better deals elsewhere. You'll often be able to talk your way to less expensive insurance with the right research.