Good Morning and what a beautiful day we have! I have been thinking about a client of mine, he and his wife are seniors and as such they are on a fixed income and they are from the generation of organized and detailed consumers. Recently, I was shopping rates for his auto insurance renewal and once again I have found incorrect claims reporting information and this incorrect information has cost him $950 lost savings because his current insurance carrier has claims on his record that don't belong to him. YES, this means his current carrier has recorded claims on his loss history that are someone else's claims. How, does that happen you ask...well it happens all the time and I see it frequently. So instead of saving over $2000 dollars per year I can only save him about $1000 per year. Now, he can call the current carrier and demand a loss history report and if there are claims on that report then he can demand to have them removed. BUT...as we all know everything in our society today is an effort, it takes multiple requests and the carriers are NOT in rush to make these corrections. How sad a commentary but friends it is the truth. Why do you think the insurance company have the biggest and best buildings in the world. They have all the money and they control too many facets of our lives. I believe, after 35 years in the insurance industry, that we need to keep as much money in our pockets versus sending it off to the multi-million dollar insurance carriers. I am not saying we should do things against their policies but we need to maximize keeping our money because we've all worked very hard for it.
The lesson here is to call your agent every year when you are shopping rates and ask your agent to pull your loss history and MAKE SURE if there are claims on this report they belong to you. Because it has a huge affect on your rates. You check your credit report for wrong information, right? It is the same principal. If you current agent is telling you small claims like towing and windshield repair don't influence your rates then they are not being honest. The days are gone where we could have windshields repaired or have $50 towing bills and those claims not affect your rates. Every claim you make will influence your rates at new business and they will influence your renewal rates. Don't think they won't hurt you because they will and I mean every single penny. Most people don't understand or realize how you pay your insurance bill also influences your rates. If you are always late with your payments this too will cause increased premiums. This why all carriers now offer EFT payments which means you get a discount to allowing the carrier to draft your payment from a checking or saving account and it also means they will always be paid on time. I have seen an increase of 15% for clients who are always paying late, cancelling for non-payment and then being reinstated. Carrier do not like this and you will pay more!!!
I love what I do so please don't get me wrong but I have seen agents who simply don't care and they want the highest premiums possible because they make more money. I want to make money and I am in business to do so but what good does it do me to mislead and misinform my clients? I want my clients to know I am always going to give you the best price for the package of insurance that is designed to meet their needs. We are all different and we all have different asset levels and your insurance needs to be tailors to meet and protect those individual needs. Insurance should not ever be a cookie cutter industry and if your agents isn't asking questions about your situation then you are with the wrong agent.
So, remember check your losses and make sure you are informed, check your insurance record for claims and most importantly understand ALL CLAIMS paid by the insurance carrier will influence your rates. There is no grey area here guys. Claims equal increased premiums. That is the truth and it something you need to discuss when shopping rates.
Better to be informed even if it hurts than not be informed and pay the price down the line.
Blessings on the beautiful spring day and we will talk again soon...