If you’re currently on the hunt for car insurance, and/or love all things relating to car insurance (and who doesn’t, am I right??), I got something for you that might help :)
(If you’re not in the car mood today, avert your eyes now and check out this fun little ditty instead! –> “Smart“, by Shel Silverstein.)
I just partnered up with a new (to me) company trying to make the whole insurance searching and “locking in” part easier for people, and me thinks you might find it helpful as well.
They’re called The Zebra (where you can find insurance “in black & white” – zing!), and they’re pretty much a *search engine* for car insurance.
You fill out some data, hit submit, and then it’ll load up a bunch of companies it thinks will be your best options which you can click through and go on your way. And since they’re independently run and not associated with any insurance companies, they’re free to be nice and transparent.
But what I REALLY LIKE that they offer, mainly just because I love taking polls/quizzes/games and seeing how good I’m doing, haha, is their Insurability Score™ tool. Which analyzes a bunch of data you enter, and then spits out how “insurable” you are to companies. As well as how to improve your standing if you happen to not score as high as you’d like :)
Here’s a clip off their site:
“Car insurance companies use more than 43,500 factors to calculate your risk and determine your rates – but they don’t tell you how they do it. The Zebra formulates a number from 400 to 950 which represents your individual level of risk and the financial vulnerability you create for insurance companies – your Insurability.”
I just took the quiz right now (of course), and here’s what it pumped out for me:
Beautiful! Haven’t changed or looked for different insurance in approximately 20 years (USAA for life, baby!), but it was fun to see where I fell in case the apocalypse ever hits ;)
What was really cool though, was that they show you *how your rates change* with every question you answer as you’re filling it out so you can see how they all play a part. The goods, the bads, and the so-so’s.
I missed it the first time I took the questionnaire (it’s in the upper right hand corner of the site), but I started over and retook it again, just so I can take notes and give y’all the play-by-play ;)
Here’s how it went down, with the starting point being $141/mo for the “Minimum” plan which the below changes are based off… I also included my answers in the first set of parentheses, along with the changed rate as I went along in the second set of parentheses so you can see how it affects one another.
Here we go!
- How much do you drive yearly? (< 7,500 miles) — dropped by $7.00 ($134.00)
- Where do you live? (added address) — increased by $11.00 ($145.00)
- When were you born? (added bday) — dropped by $14.00 ($131.00)
- Married? (yes)– dropped by $9 ($122.00)
- Credit score? (excellent) — dropped by $41!! ($81.00)
- Level of education? (bachelor’s degree) — dropped by $3 ($78.00)
- Own or rent home? (rent) — $0.00 difference (fascinating! thought it would lower it?)
- How long have you been insured? (chose longest period) — dropped by $13 ($65.00)
Then there was a speed round, along with a bunch of check boxes you can check which made it hard to follow/determine all the price changes – but here were a handful more questions I answered:
- Any accidents, tickets, or claims in the past 3 years? (nope)
- Moved in past 2 months? (yup!)
- Currently employed full-time? (yup… at least full-time income :))
- Active duty military or veteran? (nope)
- Do you pay in full at the start of your policies? (nope – but I know it saves you $$$ when you do!)
- Do you set up auto-pay from bank account? (yes – also usually saves you money)
- Do you go paper-less? (yes)
After all was calculated the final rate it spit out was $98/mo, down $43.00 from the original $141.00 we started at. Not nearly as good as my USAA rate of $63.56/mo!, but it’s pretty hard to compete with them and one of the reasons I’ll never stray :) (Though within minutes after completing the form I did get an email which I suspect was not a coincidence from Geico offering me $63.43/mo — beating them by a whole 13 pennies! Haha…. Good try, Geico!)
Then when you’re finished filling out the tool, it passes you your Insurability Score™, along with a more detailed *report* that goes along with it.
Here’s what mine looked like:
(I probably should have lied on some of them so you can see how it recommends changes, but I really wanted to see my score, haha… You can check out their main Insurability page though to see examples of other reports :))
Oh, and then here’s an example of what the “search engine” dashboard looks like too if you want to see what that looks like (I got consumed by the insurability stuff!):
They also have resource pages on all the major insurance carriers out there if you want to compare, which could give you another way to help make your decision easier. Just for fun, here’s one of the pages I randomly selected ;) –> USAA vs Gieco.
**Look interesting? Check out your Insurability Score here**
Lastly, here’s a fun “myths” page that threw me for a loop because I got a third of them wrong!! :)
Which of these do you think are true, and which do you think are false?
- You can negotiate your insurance rates
- Your abilities/disabilities (i.e. vision, mobility) affect your quoted rate
- The color of your car impacts your insurance rate
- Parking tickets affect your insurance rates
- You have to wait until your policy term ends to switch insurance companies?
Here’s the answer key: they’re all FALSE :)
Crazy, right?? I got the parking tickets one and the color of the car totally wrong – which I could have SWORN affected your rates!! I literally would have put money on it. And I now blame my dad for all those times he denied me red cars just because of insurance, haha… YOU WERE WRONG, POPS!!
At any rate – there you have it.
- If you’re looking for help finding new car insurance, give The Zebra a try: TheZebra.com
- If you’re bored or just want to see if you can beat my Insurability Score, you can take their quiz here and then rub it in my face ;) — thezebra.com/insurability-score
A quick warning that there *is* a bunch of data you have to fill out though, as well as providing your email address (which I told them to change so more people would test it out!), but outside of that it’s a pretty neat thing to see. Especially as most insurance companies tend to keep us in the dark about this stuff.
So yeah – car insurance! Something you hate to pay for, until the day you don’t! ;)
Whether you check Zebra out or not though, let us know how much you’re currently paying for car insurance, as well as who you use and why! Just fill out this sentence here so we can all compare easier:
“I drive a _______ in the state of _______, and it costs me $_____/mo through _______. I use them because _________.”
Here’s mine: “I drive a 2008 Lexus RX350 in the state of Maryland, and it costs me $63.56/mo through USAA. I use them because they’re cheap, reliable, and have excellent customer service.”
This post was in partnership with The Zebra, meaning I was compensated to talk about them today… Something I only do for companies I like and think will help our community here! Loved their insurability analyzer the second I saw it, and thought it was a fantastic exercise to take whether you’re in the market for insurance or not. It’s always good to know where you stand in the different areas of your financial life!
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!