August 4, 2022

How to Shop for the Right Auto Insurance

There are many options when it comes to car insurance, so we interviewed our in-house expert to give you all the best tips and tools. Fred Hippo has been in the insurance industry for 28 years and, for him, helping people understand their insurance policies and protect their families and assets is a heartwarming experience.

What is the first thing you should look for when you’re shopping for car insurance?

The first thing you should do is definitely take the time to research and use the tools that are on the internet. Use comparison sites (like OCHO) to understand specifically your needs, understand your coverages and what insurance companies are available in the market. 

What’s the easiest insurance red flag 🚩 you can uncover?

The easiest thing to uncover when you’re searching for an insurance policy (with or without an agent) is really to ask to review all the quotes from the carriers that you’re being provided. Because we love transparency, OCHO shows you all the options available for you so that you can make the best choice.

What’s something nobody tells people when you are insurance shopping?

I guess that would be: all insurance companies, agents or brokers charge a fee for their services.That’s why the price might change in the total amount that you’ll be paying depending on the agent or broker that you are working with. It is important to know and understand the fees that the insurance companies and agents/brokers are charging you

Most companies charge the fee the first time you pay for your policy, that’s why prices can suddenly climb to a very high amount, at OCHO the broker fee is spread out over 12 installments, making it easier to afford.

What are your top 3 tips for people who want to change their insurance company?

1. Don’t always go with the cheapest option. Go with the best coverage and if you can do so, select coverages that are well above the state minimum of limit coverage, because the state minimums may not protect you properly as a consumer. Using a site like OCHO allows you to transparently review different coverage and deductible options that suit your budget and needs. So go ahead and explore them! At OCHO we believe you deserve better so we created OCHO BASIC+ which offers more coverage than state minimums and can help prevent a financial disaster. OCHO BASIC+ adds important coverages like Uninsured Motorist, Underinsured Motorists, and Medical Pay Coverage.

*Did you know there are official web pages that show you the state minimums required per State? 
Here’s what the state minimums are in Illinois https://www.ilsos.gov/publications/pdf_publications/vsd361.pdf

2. Understand the policies you’re purchasing, so that you truly know what your coverages mean and you can compare policies before making a buyers decision. It’s equally important as you’re shopping for insurance to make sure you’re protecting yourself properly as well as other people that are on the road. 

E.g. Coverages like bodily injury and property damage protect other people vs. things like uninsured motorist or uninsured property damage protect you.

3. Know the carrier and broker fees that you’re paying. Often fees can add hundreds of dollars a year to your insurance cost.

Apart from what you already shared with us, what other things do you consider important for auto insurance shopping? 

Just a couple more things.

1. Know what’s at stake when you buy the “Cheapest Coverage”. Make sure you compare all of your insurance quotes to look beyond the price.  The lowest price may mean you are sacrificing important coverages that are critical to protecting your family.  In addition to Bodily Injury and Bodily Injury Property Damage that is required in most states by law make sure your policy includes Uninsured Motorist / UnderInsured Motorist Coverage, Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage, and Medical Payments which can protect you in the event of an accident. https://www.ocho.co/ 

2. If you’re buying Physical Damage Coverage, which is actually Collision and Comprehensive Coverage that protects your vehicle (Also known as Full Coverage). Consider taking a higher Collision or Comprehensive deductible, Take the premium savings that you get from buying the higher deductible and then buy the coverages suggested in tip 1.

3. Know the discounts that you’re eligible for and explore the discounts! Insurance companies offer a wide range of discounts so take the time to understand what you qualify for.

4. Finally, Shop your insurance once a year with your insurance comparison website or agent. Your needs will change over time, and shopping your policies will help you secure the best coverage and the best value.