We all see the commercials. Company A claims their rates are lower than Company B, Company C, etc. And it does pay to shop around and compare rates between insurance companies. One company, Progressive, even allows you to compare rates on their own website. But just how accurate are the quotes they give? Surprisingly, they were pretty close.
I decided to do some rate shopping on the internet using a couple of sites such as insweb.com and netquote.com and compared the quotes given there directly to some of the insurance company websites such as aigdirect, progressive, esurance, and obtained some verbal quotes from agents at bigger companies like Allstate, Farmers, State Farm, Geico, and American Family. The calls to the companies with agents resulted in more accurate, and sometimes cheaper quotes because they were able to offer special discounts for being new policy holders, multiple policies, etc. that the online quote systems didn't take into consideration.
Because I'm a telecommuter, my vehicle typically only gets driven in the evenings and on weekends, and because it is not used as a daily commuter vehicle, I was able to change the status to a "pleasure vehicle", meaning I typicaly put less than 6,000 miles per year on the odometer, thereby lowering my monthly insurance premium! (of course I had to provide documented proof that I worked from home to my insurance company) I spoke to our agent to ensure we got the best possible deals and discounts.
In addition, we're insuring a second vehicle and our house so we get both a multi-car and multi-policy discount. I provided proof of both fire and burglar alarm monitoring via a letter from NextAlarm and obtained an additional discount on my homeowners policy! And because we were new customers, we also received a one-time new policy-holder discount too!
So before you switch companies based on an online quote, call and speak to someone in person to see if you might qualify for additional discounts on your monthly premiums, and take advantage of anything and everything you are entitled to. Your wallet will thank you.