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- I spent 20 years with my car and homeowners insurance through Allstate.
- I was hesitant to shop around, but I found it very easy working with an insurance agent.
- It turned out be much easier than I expected to get a prorated refund on my current coverage.
After having all our essential insurance policies with Allstate for the last 20 years, I knew earlier this year I was probably ready to make a change. Premiums for our auto and homeowners insurance policies had been creeping up for years, but I had been hesitant to shop around and compare quotes because we also had a few landlord policies with Allstate as well.
But then we sold our two rental properties over the last year, which meant I could finally shop around for new homeowners and auto insurance coverage with far fewer hassles and find the best car insurance for my needs. So, that’s exactly what I did — first on my own and then with the help of an insurance broker.
Ultimately, I wound up getting auto insurance quotes through a broker for coverage from Travelers, Cincinnati Financial, and Acuity. I also took the time to get quotes for homeowners insurance coverage from these companies at the same time.
In the end, I found I could save almost $600 by switching my auto insurance alone to another highly-rated insurance company, Travelers. And if I switched auto and homeowners insurance coverage to this insurer, I could save $1,335 annually.
Getting auto insurance quotes
I’m a financially savvy person, but I still found shopping for car insurance quotes and switching plans rather daunting. I was so afraid I would overlook a type of coverage my new policy didn’t have, leading to financial losses as a result. I also wanted to make sure any new plan we signed up for had the exact coverages and policy limits or better compared to what we had with Allstate.
Fortunately, the agent I worked with (Ashley Brown of Connor Insurance in Indianapolis) understood that part completely and let me send her copies of my existing insurance policies so she could get quotes for identical coverage or better.
Ultimately, this meant getting the following types of protection within my auto insurance policy:
- $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 liability
- $10,000 medical payments
- $500 comprehensive and $500 collision deductibles
- $50 in full glass deductible
- $40 daily rental car allowance
- 24-hour emergency road service
Once I requested quotes for auto insurance from the insurance broker I was working with, they quickly identified a few providers with similar coverage and great rates. Ultimately, I was given the following annual quotes for auto insurance, as well as homeowners insurance:
While I used a broker to get insurance quotes for coverage this time around, I have also used insurance comparison sites in the past. Major insurance companies also make it easy to get a free quote online, so I have applied for quotes on major insurance company websites as well.
Either way, I found that switching auto insurance to Travelers was going to save me $594 per year. That’s for the exact amount of coverage in all the important categories, as well as the same deductible amount I had before. Coupled with the lower premiums offered for the same level of homeowners insurance coverage, that was impetus enough for me to make the switch.
So that’s exactly what I did on behalf of myself and my partner. I went ahead and paid a full year of insurance premiums for home and auto with Travelers Insurance, and after that we added on umbrella insurance coverage in the same amount we had before as well.
Switching insurance companies was easier than I thought
One point of contention I had with switching companies is the fact I had already prepaid auto insurance coverage for the year. This meant I would have to pay for new insurance policies with a new provider upfront, then try to get partial refunds back from Allstate.
Fortunately, Allstate really did make this part easy. When I called to cancel all my Allstate policies, they told me I would get a refund within a few business days to my original form of payment. And since I had paid my premiums with my favorite rewards credit card, this meant I would wind up with a statement credit on my account.
Surprisingly, I had the prorated amount from Allstate show up in my credit card account the day after I called to cancel. That was faster than I expected, and I’ll be able to spend the credit quickly by using my credit card for groceries, gas, and regular monthly bills.
Switching insurance companies doesn’t sound like any fun, but I suppose it’s what we have to do to deal with insurance rates that increase year after year. The good news is, there are a range of ways to shop around for new coverage and compare policies from the comfort of your home, whether you do it online or decide to work with a broker.