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So, once again for the sixth time in a row I have ended up switching car insurer at the end of a 6 month policy term. Every time I received a renewal quote from the insurer I was with which was significantly higher than my initial period and much higher than I was quoted by other insurers (that sum usually goes down a little each 6 months).

I have each time contacted the old insurer, told them I have offers from other insurers which were substantially better than their offer (even giving numbers usually) and every time they either said there is nothing they can do, or that they could match the quote at the cost of cutting my coverage limits (while the quotes from other companies have the same limits as before).

In the end I have always ended up just switching. However I would prefer not to continue this pointless dance every 6 months if possible. Is there any way to actually negotiate an auto insurance renewal or should I just abandon this idea and continue switching each time? As nothing I have ever said encouraged the people I spoke to to improve their renewal offer.

I ask as doing so saves me a substantial sum, usually $800-1000 a year as opposed to just accepting the renewal quotes provided, but is frustrating ind involves phone calls which I tend to hate.

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    This may be a situation where getting a trustworthy, independent insurance agent involved can help. I know it's common for people to save money by switching, but the scenario you're painting, where you're consistently being quoted such significantly different prices at every single renewal, makes me wonder if there's some extenuating circumstance in your case. – dwizum Aug 27 '19 at 20:16
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    I don't know what precipitates it but periodically in my state, for some reason a reputable insurance company decides to become competitive and offer better rates. I used to switch every few years because the current company jacked the rates up significantly but haven't had do do so for about 10 years. It was a hassle but saving 100's of dollars every 6 months was worth it. Lately, everyone is inching up and it hasn't been worth switching. If you're contacting the current insurance company and they won't budge, there's no secret trick that gets around that. – Bob Baerker Aug 27 '19 at 21:09
  • Unless you see the insurance start practice "Please don't leave us, here is your freebies / X coverage given free of charge, etc". ;-) – mootmoot Aug 28 '19 at 9:14
  • @Vality Personally, I've been with Geico and I've been using autopay monthly. My rate actually dropped about a dollar a month when it renewed recently. Not sure what's going on in your case. Are you using national companies or more local agents? – Steve-o169 Aug 28 '19 at 20:13
  • @Steve-o169 I've used Geico, Liberty Mutual, AllState, and Say most recently. This happened for all of them and more. I've never had an accident, claim or speeding ticket (well I had one speeding ticket but it was dismissed in court so isn't on record), and nothing much else I can think of has changed. I believe those all count as national companies. – Vality Aug 28 '19 at 20:43
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You might want to find an insurance broker as opposed to an insurance agent. A broker has access to a number of companies and can get you the best rate and the best coverage without you having to do shop around and play one against the other. An agent works for one insurer and can only sell you their products. Brokers and agents are paid on a commission basis based on the policy you buy. Brokers do not charge the buyer directly for their services, so you won't have to pay more for the privilege of using a broker over an agent. More info here: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/agents-versus-brokers-and-how-they-make-money-462383

  • Down-voting because your description is backwards; Agents are paid commissions by the insurance company and independent agents necessarily represent multiple companies. Brokers are paid by the customer. Also, there aren't really any retail brokers (brokers are almost always wholesale). – Ben Jan 21 at 14:21
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I have not found any insurance company that will negotiate. The reason is that the prices are based on their risk models. Even if they could offer you a lower price this time, eventually they will have to set the price to the amount the model determines is the correct amount.

One issue that you are ignoring is the discounts that they offer for being a long term customer. Many will give good driving and accident free discounts that are only available after a few years. Switching every year skips those discounts.

Many also offer multi-line discounts if you have renters, homeowners, or life insurance. Though the life insurance one is harder to switch.

I have found that between these two discounts switching my auto insurance has not made sense when I have looked every few years.

  • Is it not your experience that renewal quotes seem to go up very substantially from the initial term quote? Perhaps I have never stayed with an insurer long enough to see this reverse but in almost every case my renewal quote has been hundreds higher than the initial one. (I have never had an accident or any negative marks to cause this, and my insurance score is just under 900) However ill definitely look into these good driving discounts and see if I might be able to get a better rate by sticking with the high costs in the short term. – Vality Aug 28 '19 at 17:54
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    In 20+ years of having auto insurance for myself, I can never remember getting a renewal quote that was substantially higher than my current rate, except when there was an obvious extenuating circumstance (i.e. I'd just changed zip codes). I don't think your experience of always getting large increases is typical, which is why it may make sense to work with someone who can look at your actual details and help you understand what's going on. – dwizum Aug 29 '19 at 13:36
  • down voting because insurance companies cannot negotiate prices if you are purchasing admitted coverage, and can negotiate if you are buying non-admitted – Ben Dec 11 '19 at 18:40
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There are two types of insurance companies: admitted and surplus lines (also known as Excess & Surplus or Surplus Lines or E&S for short). Insurance companies cannot negotiate with you on admitted insurance products because they are required to file their rates with each individual state in the U.S. and cannot deviate from them without being considered discriminatory (i.e. two customers with the exact same characteristics have to be charged the exact same amount, regardless of their "negotiation skills" or other factors). You must buy an admitted insurance product unless two or more admitted insurers decline to sell you coverage and then you can go into the E&S market. Insurance companies in the E&S market do not have to file rates with the state and can charge you whatever they think you will pay (although it's usually based on predictive models).

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