Anyone with small kids knows that every green lizard that runs around the yard is, “that lizard from TV!” The Geico Insurance lizard, obviously, is pretty famous. He’s everywhere, he’s got a great accent, and kids who don’t even know what Geico is – or what insurance is for that matter – want to buy what it is that the green lizard is selling (and yes, we know it’s a Geico Gecko). He’s everywhere, and he likes to tell you that Geico is going to save you 15%, but we want to know if it really is.
The idea of saving that much money on your insurance premium is absolutely enticing, especially for those of us who never even use our insurance, yet we pay for it year after year. So just how does Geico get away with saying that people who switch insurance companies will save that much money when they make their way to Geico, and is it actually true? The answer is not a one size fits all; so we are just going to break it down for you so you can understand whether or not switching insurance agencies will actually save you money.
Where Insurance Figures Come From
It’s pretty obvious that Geico Insurance is not always 15% cheaper than the competition, so where did the company get that figure? The answer is simple; from someone’s savings. Insurance companies don’t say that every single person that switches to their company will save this much money; they say you could save that much money. And yes, you could. Chances are, you won’t; but you could. Someone probably did save that much money at some point and the insurer held onto that figure to share repeatedly with people. Ask them about the people who decided not to switch because they realized their premiums would double; they’ll be less inclined to talk about that, but it also happens.
You Have to Change for Good Rates
Something else Geico doesn’t tell you is that if you really want to lower your rates, you have to make some life changes. For example, you have to get rid of that sports car and choose something more modest. Perhaps you are adding a car to your coverage and that qualifies you for multi-car coverage rates, which are typically lower. Perhaps you kicked a kid off your insurance policy because they got married or went off to the real world to get a job. Maybe you reached a certain age, got a certain job or moved to a certain location. Some people save 15% by lowering their coverage, which is not something most people recommend. You could stop leasing and buy, too.
Geico can get away with telling you that you can save 15% because you can; if you completely change your life and your plan and your car and your coverage. You’re probably not inclined to do much of this, however, so your rates probably won’t change all that much.
What Geico Doesn’t Tell Customers
This might come as a bit of a surprise to most people, as it did to me. Did you know that what insurance companies don’t tell you is that they have a specific type of driver they want to insure? Of course, you’re probably thinking I mean safe drivers with good records, and you’re half right. Except you are also half wrong. Liberty Mutual Insurance, for example, says that while they want to insure safe drivers, they don’t offer their best rates to just any old driver with a long, safe record. They offer them to specific groups of people they profile as good drivers, such as college alumni groups for Liberty Mutual.
You might have the safest driving record in town, but you might not have the right age, car, education or location for a specific insurance company such as Geico to want to offer you their lowest rates. It’s a bit of a questionable practice, but it is what it is; there’s nothing you can do about it.
How to Save on Insurance
We can’t tell you where you will find the best insurance rates, whether it’s at Geico or another agency. What we can tell you, however, is what you can do to increase your chances of becoming a less-expensive insured driver. For starters, consider what you drive. A vehicle that’s newer and has more of the safety options that are now common in vehicles is going to be very beneficial to you. This car is going to be less expensive to insure since it has theft protection, roadside assistance and several other safety features.
Additionally, the type of car you drive is going to make a difference. My giant SUV is much less expensive to insure than my husband’s tiny red two-seater convertible because it’s just safer, despite the fact that his is so much smaller. You might also want to consider the brand vehicle you drive. A luxury vehicle is far more expensive to insure than a vehicle not considered luxury. Finally, you’re going to want to see if you can save on insurance by purchasing your cars outright rather than leasing them. Leased vehicles have more requirements and stipulations than purchased vehicle (and you’ll save on the tag, too, when you purchase).
Another way to ensure you’re less expensive to insure is to be a good driver. Don’t get pulled over, don’t get into any accidents and try not to insure any teenagers. Okay, so you can’t change the fact that your teenage drivers need insurance, but you can look forward to the day they get their own so that you can finally get them off your insurance and save a little money. And don’t be afraid to point out to your local insurance agencies that you are a safe driver with no tickets or accidents on your record, and you might just get a discount that wasn’t originally listed on your quote. There’s a lot you can do to see if your agency might be willing to lower your insurance rates, even by telling them that you received a lower quote elsewhere and you’re thinking of switching.
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