Frequently asked questions about insurance rates.
Why is my friend’s insurance premium lower than mine?
Insurance rating has become very complicated. There are several factors that produce an insurance quote. For you to compare your price to your friend, you would have to have the exact same factors: birthday, credit history, exact vehicle, gender, marital status, address, claims history, insurance history, coverage and limits…to name a few!
How long before my rates go down?
In general, your rates will be better the longer you stay with an insurer. However in some
cases, you may also have started in a program at the very best tier to begin with, which means your rate may stay the same or decrease very little. All insurers take general rates
increases as well - what that means is everyone's rate goes up a little to cover for rising loss costs even if you never made a claim. Every insurer has a different rating system,
which is why it is valuable to have an experienced agent working for you. We will do our best to make sure your rate is competitive for your situation.
Should I shop my rates at every renewal?
We will review your renewal when it is processed. If we feel a change in insurers is to
your benefit, we will contact you. In most cases, it is not wise to shop at every renewal because you will not develop a history with any one insurer.
Won’t I save money if I just switch to the company that offers the best rate at each renewal?
Not usually. You might switch to another insurer only to find out that they have filed for a rate increase. Over time, we usually see that if you stay with one carrier, thru the rate changes, you are in a better position in the long run. By building a track record with one carrier you build up loss free credits and history. This puts you in a better position if you develop any driving or claims activity.
My friends told me that a certain insurer is really popular right now. I received a quote and it is less. Why shouldn’t I switch?
In most cases, we find that the quotes received from a competitor are not the same. (For example, you may have a combined single limit of 500,000 for liability, and your quote is for split limits of 250/500/100). Additionally, you may not have an agent with the new quote. An agent helps you make educated decisions about your insurance
...this can be particularly valuable in the event of a claims situation. Another thing to consider is the contract itself...is it as broad as the one you currently have?
Most of us don't have time to read our policy, so it is imperative that you understand what coverage you gain or lose when you switch insurers.
And lastly, if you received a quote, it may not be accurate...has the new carrier qualified your motor vehicle record, claims report and credit history?
I’ve purchased a second car. Will you be shopping my rates?
No, not usually, unless you have a special circumstance or a vehicle that is a classic car. You should always have all vehicles insured with one carrier when possible for coverage issues and rate advantages. If you have one car, and insure a second, both cars will receive a multi-car discount.
I have been relocated to WA for employment, and am new to the country. Do I have to have my Washington drivers license to obtain insurance?
No. We have special programs that allow us to secure a good rate without the license if you are new to the country and a Microsoft employee. However, the insurer will require that you obtain your Washington drivers license within 30 days after the coverage starts.
Can you provide me a quote for minimum limits?
Sorry, the lowest limits we sell for bodily injury are 250,000 per person, 500,000 per accident and 100,000 property damage. Every year, we experience serious accidents that exceed minimum limits. We want your insurance to work for you when you need it. Additionally, buying higher limits is a rate advantage. There are many cases where we increase coverage and still save clients money!
If I have medical insurance, is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) a value to me?
Yes! PIP is used frequently in Washington State so every personal auto policy we sell includes PIP. It is a no-fault coverage, and it will be primary over your medical plan in the event of a car accident. PIP provides coverage for you as a driver, passenger in another car or pedestrian. Unlike your medical plan, PIP provides coverage for passengers in your car and it also provides loss of wages, essential services and funeral benefits.