Four Solutions for Higher Rates

If you are a call center rep, you know the routine well.  Many of the carriers have been increasing rates. (see reasons here – Forget the Script – three reasons insurance premiums increase)  First, you check for discounts, maybe one fell off on renewal.  Then you check the rating module within the policy – some carriers may call it a ‘tier’ – to see if that changed due to accidents, points of pay history.

money shute

Nothing changed?  Then, you go for the ‘our rates increased’ script.  Trust me, they all have one.  It’s five to ten sentences of a whole lot of excuses.  In other words, it’s not our fault, it’s yours or the universe’s.

As the agent, you don’t have a script.  Sure, if you are captive, you might.  The majority do not.  Here is a list items or services the insured can purchase to obtain a discount.

Defensive Driving

It comes by several different names – Mature Driver, 55 and Over , Senior Driver.  Additionally, say you have a government worker who drives for a living, a long haul trucker, a livery driver, or a forklift operator – their job may require defensive driving. This can apply as well.

The programs cost between $20 to $60 for three to five hours of driving tips.  All they need to do is submit the certificate.    The discount will last three years and will get them between $5 to $10 off the premium.

Under no circumstances should this be confused with a driver improvement program. If an insured submits this to you for a discount, you should be talking with your underwriter and running an motor vehicle report.

Early Shopper

Or an Advanced Shopper discount.  Every state likes to award the responsible insurance shoppers.  Therefore, many personal auto policies have a discount for setting up the policy two to four weeks before their policy renewal.  This will not be applied if it is less than a week.

This is a sizable discount, generally twenty to twenty-five percent.  Unfortunately, this discount only lasts for the first year of the policy.    After a year, the policy will go up and you’ll be left looking for other discounts.

Hybrid Vehicle

You’ve probably seen the bank robbers on the run in the Toyota Prius commercial – so has your insured.  Believe it or not, personal auto policies now offer discounts for these type of hybrid vehicles.  After all, if you’re going to blame the climate change for premium increases, you might as well reward those trying to reverse it.

This discount runs mid-range from 10% to 15% off the bottom line.  Most times the company will add it automatically with the vehicle.  On the off chance they do not, please ask.

Full Coverage

As expensive as it is to carry full coverage, carriers do have discounted rates for folks who carry it on their vehicles.  This based on studies that show those who carry full coverage have less claims than those who have liability only.

Although the insured may be tempted to remove full coverage once the lien is paid, explain if they have more than one car on the policy with liability only, the rates or ‘tier’ may be less desirable. Their rates would be three to five percent lower than their liability only neighbors.

By chance they still want to walk away, don’t argue, offer other carrier options.  Collect the quotes they’ve obtained on line and compare.  Remember, those online folks like those minimum limits!  Better coverage beats cheap every time.

Have any good ideas – leave a comment below.

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