He usually owned at least one motorcycle, a pickup truck and a car – sometimes two or three cars – and part of the time, a boat. Its bikes were usually among the fastest on the road, and his cars haven’t always been the most conservative, either. (For example, a long time ago, he had a Lamborghini, and he wasn’t afraid to drive it!)

Of course, along with that sort of enthusiasm, he has met his share of state troopers, sheriff’s deputies, and city cops – if you know what it means!

On the other hand, he has been a careful enthusiast, and he has never been involved in any sort of serious accidents. In fact, the few small scrapes that he had experienced were caused by the carelessness of other drivers, and they got full credit for their blunders – so those incidents ought not to have an influence on his insurance rate – should they?

Now, to be perfectly honest, his wife has been in a couple of pretty bad wrecks – the worst caused by a drunk driver who wandered to the wrong side of the road, met her head on. In both cases, she was badly hurt, but again, they were “the other guy’s fault”.

All of this is related to the cost of automobile insurance

Even though the wrecks were caused by other drivers’ poor performance, its insurance rates immediately went up. That was in the days before internet marketing, and his resources to defend himself against price gouging were limited.

Over the years, some of his insurance problems have been self-inflicted wounds, but others were the consequence of standard insurance practices, and a few were the direct result of dirty tricks – some of which may have been intentionally perpetrated by crooked insurance agents.

If you have any doubt, they’ll say it plainly – they have learned that it is not wise to blindly trust your insurance agent. Believe it or not, they’ve had two insurance agents who were fired by their companies and even charged with crimes – because they took their money and DID NOT send it to the insurance company!

In fairness, though, most insurance agents are honest and decent folks who actually care about their customers, and really try to do their best to serve them. The problem is, unless you do your own independent investigation, you won’t know whether your agent is one of “the good guys”, or if you have fallen into the grasp of a “bad guy”.

It’s not enough that somebody whom you trust thinks that an agent is great

The truth is that the best of the “rip-off artists” are SO good that they can rob you while making you feel like they have done you a great favor. That means that they can do it to your friends, too.  By the time you have finished reading this article you’ll know some ways to do your own, independent investigation.

As you can see from this list of variables, some of the factors may be changed with relative ease, and some of them are probably impossible for you to change. Improve those that you can, and be sure to tell your insurance company about the changes. Then just hope and pray that they are merciful and lower your rate?

NO! There’s a better way! Why should they lower your rates if they don’t have to? After all, the main reason that they exist is to make a profit! If you actually want them to respond, give them some competition.

You can turn up the heat on your company by getting competitive bids from companies that want to sell you automobile insurance. In fact, now that you know about this option, it would be foolish NOT to do so. You probably have found that almost every time you solicited bids on your insurance coverage, you saved money. Sometimes you had to change companies, other times your “old” company improved their rate.

Either way, you were a winner! 

The easiest and best way to do this is to use the services of an auto insurance comparison site. Using this trick, you will lower your rate to only $61.63 per month, and that is for three vehicles – one of which could be a 4 X 4 pickup truck! That figures out to just $15.41 per week.

That’s right! This simple trick will enable you to reduce your average cost per vehicle to only a little over $5.00 per week! Depending on where you live, what you drive, and other variables, you may do even better – or maybe not quite so well – but there is no doubt that you CAN save money on your automobile insurance.

For auto insurance there are many factors that influence premium pricing, most prominent are consumer behavior and competition. As consumers look to pay as little as possible for their car insurance and yet get the highest amount of claims dollars they can in the event of a covered claim.

Consumers are most influential factor in the industry

Most people don’t understand their limits of coverage and how it can negatively impact them if those limits are insufficient to cover loses. One recent, disturbing and costly trend of consumer behavior is that people seem to think that the text message they just got is more important than paying attention to the road, forgetting completely that force equals ½Mass times velocity squared, which is physics speak for, “put the stupid phone down and keep your eyes on the road”.

The important part of that is velocity and the fact that it is squared, that means if you double speed from 20 miles per hour to 40, that factor in the equation goes from 400 to 1600! Ok, enough preaching, you will do what you will do, but you have been warned. Even if you’re not texting or on Facebook while driving, enough of your fellow motorists are that most states have seen significant premium increases as a result.

That is not the only consumer phenomenon that is driving premium up

The fact that reliable and affordable are not in vogue at the dealership. At the dealership, its all about new, slick and advanced smart features. So, we now have cars that warn us if something is in our blind spot that we didn’t see whilst texting, so the cars we buy have cameras, radar, sensors and energy-absorbing bumpers well beyond what is required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Why? Because of two reasons

We consumers want those cool things and are willing to take on ridiculous sums of debt to poses them. Secondly, it helps manage the manufacturer’s liability. Car makers get sued when somebody dies as the result of an accident that involved a car they built, even if they were not negligent, even if the cause was 100% weather or drunk driver related, they still get sued. As result, many of the cars on the road today will have $4,000 or $5,000 worth of bumper damage after a 5 mile per hour accident. That bumper repair won’t get them sued, but it will raise your insurance rates, and the total cost of ownership/leasing.

The manufacturers don’t get sued over cost of ownership, they get sued when people die

The upside, is pretty great, our cars are more survivable than ever before. However, the inherent moral hazard is now in play. Because they are so survivable, we drive them in a much more complacent fashion. The consequences of our neighbor weaving his way through six lanes of 70 mile per hour traffic when he really prefers to maintain a steady 74 miles per hour, only catches up with us when the insurance renews and we’re hit with huge rate increases.