Price Comparison Shoppers vs. Discount ShoppersApril 29, 2016
At this point in human history, and particularly in America, price comparison has become a part of our everyday lives. We compare prices for nearly everything we buy because of a fear that we’ll pay more than something is worth. But there’s a fine line between price comparison and hunting for a discount like it’s Bigfoot’s lost cousin.
Am I “Good with Money” or a “Crazy Couponer”?
Anyone who’s ever seen the difference between MSRP or “retail price” and the “sale price” of an item knows that it’s a really bad idea to accept the price of retail goods at face value. If you blindly purchase something at retail price, odds are exceptionally good that you have overpaid for that item—whether it’s a car, a Burberry jacket, or a can of name brand soup.
That’s why we habitually seek out discounts. Many of us are willing to wait an extra week or month for the price of an item we like to drop. That’s part of being a good consumer. On average, consumers who wait for an item to be discounted save between 30-50% on that item. It’s a great deal and that money you saved by purchasing discounted items is money in your pocket. By seeking discounts you are increasing your buying power.
But what happens when discounts are your primary focus? What happens when the effort required to receive a discount outweighs the financial cost of paying full price for the item. You probably remember those “Extreme Couponing” reality tv shows. Do you think that spending hours and hours per week clipping coupons for discounts is worth it?
Compare Prices: the Smartest Way to Shop
The benefit of price comparison is pretty universal. We can’t speak for every industry or market, but in car insurance—where prices don’t seem to be too different from each other at a glance, price comparison can save you 32% right off the bat. That means before you even make a purchase, you maximize your savings when you compare prices.
When it comes to auto insurance price comparison, you can lose value really quickly.
To compare prices for auto insurance you as a consumer have had two options:
- Go to a broker’s office and spend an hour or two going through your personal information to get quotes from a handful of insurance companies.
- To manually go to as many insurance company websites as you can stand and enter all of your information into each one.
These approaches present two immediate problems. First, you’ll likely not be able or willing to invest the time it takes to get 5 or more quotes. This means that you could be missing out on a much better price. Second, the amount of time it takes to get 5 or more quotes would greatly reduce the value of the discounts you might receive through price comparison alone.
It’s a catch-22. Almost…
A Little Self-Promotion
This is the problem we were created to solve. You need to get a wide selection of quotes to choose from and you need to get them with a minimal amount of time invested.
At compare.com, our process isn’t discount oriented. Oh, you’ll still get the discounts you’re used to seeing car insurance companies offer, but that’s not our goal. Our goal is to allow you to enter your information one time to get multiple quotes you can compare prices side by side. Ok—pitch over. If you’re interested, you can start comparing quotes.
Now that we’ve talked about price comparison as a means of getting a greater value from car insurance, let’s talk discounts.
Why Discounts Won’t Make Your Car Insurance Cheaper
Discounts simply don’t make your car insurance cheaper. Every auto insurance company out there offers the same set of core discounts and then an additional set of discounts that are unique to them. All said and done, their discounts will likely be very similar. What isn’t similar between brands is how they determine your rates.
You want to know a secret about car insurance?
Every company has a unique way of determining how much you pay for auto insurance. It’s called “rating” and it’s an incredibly complex process—so complex that we’d both fall asleep this instant if we started explaining it.
That’s why price comparison is your best bet. As long as you compare two identical types of coverage and all your personal and vehicle information is the same, you’ll see the difference between one company and another. To get the most out of your price comparison you can read our guide full of tips on how to compare auto insurance rates to find the best value.
Don’t be a Crazy Couponer
When it comes to car insurance, you can compare prices to get the best value. Worrying about discounts for car insurance amounts to being a crazy couponer that spends hours each week cutting coupons for products they wouldn’t normally use. Any discounts you qualify for are likely to be available from most auto insurance companies.
So stop wasting money and stop wasting time. Maximize your value by comparing auto insurance quotes for free at compare.com.
Auto Insurance Buying Guide
Buying auto insurance can be a confusing and disoriented process. We want to make sure that our users can make informed choices about their car insurance, selecting from as many options as possible. Read our Auto Insurance Buying Guide to educate yourself before you start a quote.