Have you been paying your car insurance bill to the same old insurance company for years? You’re probably paying too much.
Until Artie Januario’s recent cross-country move, he’d never considered shopping around for car insurance.
When he lived in Boston, one of his best friends was his insurance agent, so he just went with it.
“I thought, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m getting a good deal, and I have good coverage,’” he says. “It was an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of thing.”
At the time, he paid about $95 a month through Liberty Mutual.
But about four months ago, he moved to Austin, Texas, where he had to re-register his car, get a new license, secure new car insurance — all that jazz.
Through his girlfriend, he heard about a free service called the Zebra that combs through 204 different providers to see if you’re truly getting the best rate.
The result? Zebra knocked off about $30 a month or $360/year off his bill!
Is This a Scam?
According to The Zebra’s 2019 State of Insurance report, consumers aren’t paying enough attention to how much they’re paying for car insurance. And rates keep increasing, with the average person paying $1,470 a year for coverage.
“Not only can a lot of circumstances in your life and your car (mileage, age) change in that time, but insurance companies may be changing their pricing as well, and you want to be sure you’re getting the right coverage, service and of course pricing to suit your changing needs,” says Alyssa Connolly, the director of marketing insights at The Zebra.
The idea behind the The Zebra is to make car insurance more transparent — to help you understand why you’re paying what you’re paying or to know if you deserve a lower rate.
The tool grades you (like a report card) on your driving record, annual mileage, insurance history, age and vehicle usage to determine your score, ranging from 400 to 950. You’re able to see how you compare to the average person in your area and see exactly what you can do to increase your insurability score and therefore decrease your rates.
“[Before] it was just my agent telling me I was getting a good rate, whereas with this, I can get a good rate for myself because I know what I can control,” Januario says.
How Long Does it Take?
This might be the best part. The Zebra claims you’ll only need 60 seconds to find out if you’re currently paying too much for car insurance.
Just enter your zip code here and they’ll quickly do the rest.
Anybody can use the tool, but if you’re paying more than $100 a month, it’s definitely worth taking a minute to find out if you’re being ripped off.
“Literally the night that I used it, I had seven of my friends and family on there, and they all said the same thing. They loved it,” says Januario.