At first glance the answer to this question is obvious, buying the cheapest version of anything is usually a bad idea. That great deal on a used vacuum? Broke in 2 weeks. That secondhand phone you got online? You're lucky if it still turns on. So why do we continue making decisions on price alone when it has burned us on so many other products in the past?
I was recently buying a set of tires and you know, there are a lot of choices. I wasn't planning on spending a fortune on them but once I got into it it suddenly felt like a big decision. There were so many options from so many sellers I really had no good starting place. This must be how people feel who don’t have someone to talk to about tires (or insurance ;).
Luckily I know a few people that know a lot about tires and they tell me brand is important, tread, and estimated lifespan. Brand brings you the history of dependability, tread tailors the tire to your needs, and lifespan determines the real value. You pay more for one that will last you longer but in the end you may buy one set of tires instead of two.
Talking about tires is about as exciting as talking about insurance and there are a shameful number of comparisons that could be made here. I wouldn't buy a tire without knowing at least a little bit about it so here are some recommendations about buying insurance with more than price in mind:
- Learn a little bit about what you are buying. You don't have to be an expert in coinsurance to know what you are getting. It's better to learn it now than after a storm tears through town. I've heard several stories from people that bought the cheapest insurance they found, without ever having looked at what it covered compared to the other options.
- If you don’t know or don’t want to know anything about insurance ask someone that does. A friend's opinion or talking to an actual agent could save a lot of headaches. Ask for a referral from someone you trust or who has experience in what you need.
- Brand matters with insurance too. The independent agent has a brand, figure out what their philosophy is when shopping your insurance. The insurance company they put you with also has a reputation, it's ok to ask about it until you are comfortable with what you are getting. Some are better than others.
- Like buying a radial tread in Florida, you may not need those snow tires. Make sure your policy is tailored to fit your needs. Some policy coverages are complete overkill and can be slimmed down becuase you just dont need the options. Some home or condo insurance polciies could have a slow leak that could lead to a big problem down the road. There are different policies for renters, second homes, vacation rental homes, and primary homes.
- Look for a policy you can keep for the long haul. If your business grows will your insurance be able to grow with you? Some companies have great online account access, you may be ok dealing with that terrible one for a while but would you really want to keep calling every month to sort out payments?
In the long run getting one dependable insurance policy may be worth two cheap ones and you may not even have to compromise on price. The difference in price for many optional coverages may be surprisingly small so start with the coverage you want and work backwards to get to a price that works for you. Let the insurance agent do the leg work for you and know what to look for when it comes time to decide between your options.
Insurance is advertised a lot of different ways and the way a company advertises tells you a lot about their strategy. What brand are they selling you? Do you want the flashy quick fix or the dependable long term solution that took just a little bit extra? If they are selling pure price that is how they will look at you too.
Norton Insurance is committed to finding the solution that works for you and your bank account. Our goal is getting that roof replaced when a storm blows it off or getting you back on the road after that accident. Price is just one component of a great deal so shop around. We hope you'll choose Norton Insurance for your next insurance purchase!