(NEW YORK) — We’ve all seen those TV commercials and online ads from unnamed companies that say, “Act now and save X percent on your car insurance.”
But is it really possible to save on your car insurance? That’s something many people would like to know. In fact, according to a study released on Monday by InsuranceQuotes.com, a Bankrate company, 81 percent of Americans who switched car insurance carriers over the past year were motivated by price.
“Consumers don’t care as much about customer service or reputation,” John Egan, the managing editor of InsuranceQuotes.com, told ABC News. “They want to know who’s going to save them the most money.”
According to Egan, the answer depends on your own particular circumstance.
“Those are legitimate savings that people can get, but not every customer is the same,” he said.
Factors include your age, annual mileage, amount of coverage, deductible, whether or not you bundle other insurance policies with the same carrier, and even credit score.
“If you’ve got a bad driving record, you probably won’t qualify for the best savings that an auto insurance has to offer,” he said. “It’s like when you see ads on TV for interest rates when you buy a new car. Those interests rates are for the top notch customers. So while the auto insurance companies are advertising that you can save X amount of money, that’s not going to be the experience for every single customer.”
Egan suggested consumers not only look at price, but also the type of coverage they really need. He suggested talking to an insurance agent or even doing online research to determine what kind of coverage makes the most sense.
“What you, as a customer, need to keep in mind is: What’s the best option for me?” he said. “You can cut corners too sharply with your car insurance and end up paying more in the end when you have to file a claim.”
“The last thing you want to do is end up in a wreck and find out that you don’t have enough coverage and are stuck with a $6,000 repair bill,” Egan added.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Matt McFarland, CNN
Julia Horowitz, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN