What Insurers And Agents Aren’t Telling You
Since you are paying money out every year for your motorcycle insurance, you would be wise to keep in semi-regular contact with your insurance agent, broker or direct underwriter. It may not seem like it, but you do have control of how things go on your policies and if you need to make changes it’s absolutely your right to seek those changes. Ask questions and if you feel the explanation isn’t satisfactory then keep bugging people until you are satisfied.
Insurance companies don’t automatically switch customers from old programs to new ones that will save them money.
Most every motorcycle insurance company will adjust rates every 18 months or so. They do this because actuaries (bean counters) look at losses and need to spread the pain of those losses across the board to everyone in order to keep making money. To believe that this is a business of “break-even” is plain silly. We are a capitalist society and without profit people don’t work. That said, when your renewal comes and you suddenly are looking at a 25% increase in you premium, don’t yell at the agent. They are simply the seller of the policies. Agents have no control over rates. What they do have control over is moving things around.
What most agents don’t tell you and what most insurance companies won’t tell you is it is possible that you can simply be in an outdated program. Insurance companies don’t automatically switch customers from old programs to new ones that will save them money. Actually, they are banking on the fact that you aren’t paying attention to the policy and just continue to pay it year after year. Smaller agencies don’t rely on expensive management systems to remind them who is up for renewal and when. It’s in your best interest to call your agent before the renewal and to not automatically pay the renewal offer. In many cases your agent or broker can keep you with the same insurance company, but often it’s just time to move along to the next company offering a better rate.
Agents and brokers are here to help you save money. It’s their job to make sure that underwriting headaches are kept to a minimum, but mistakes do happen and most can be corrected without huge hassle to all parties. VINs get messed up, lien holders are recorded incorrectly and in some cases completely wrong motorcycles are added or subtracted from policies. You shouldn’t get frazzled when these things happen. Agents are human and errors happen. A solid agent will quickly get things corrected.
At renewal call your agent to make sure what you are paying is still the best deal going. You may have to move from one company to another as rates and underwriting demands change. It’s not a big deal, but it only works when you communicate.
Kirk Harrington is a longtime rider and avid motorcycle enthusiast, and he’s one of the nation’s only specialized motorcycle insurance agents, operating from his location north of Atlanta, Georgia.