Can AARP get you good insurance rates?

March 17, 2009 4:40:48 PM PDT
Many seniors on a fixed income are looking to save money any way possible, especially now with our slumping economy.AARP offers auto insurance to members through the Hartford Insurance Company. But is it a sure way to save? In a commercial for auto insurance through AARP, a police officer pulls over a man and tells him he's paying too much for car insurance.

Consumer Reports' Money Adviser took a look to see if getting car insurance through AARP is a good deal for members. Using four different driver profiles, Chris Fichera got rate quotes from AARP and compared them with quotes from other insurers.

"It turns out that AARP saved us money in just one out of four cases," he reported. "In all the other cases, we got a lower quote from a competitor."

In some cases, the competitor's quote was much lower. Consumer Reports' profile of a hypothetical 64-year-old man with a spotless driving record got a rate quote from AARP of $908. But Amica Mutual quoted $660 which was a savings of $248.

In another instance, AARP offered a rate of $2,059 while Geico's quote was $1,330. The savings there was $729.

"AARP auto insurance does offer some nice benefits, like 12-month rate protection instead of the typical six months," Fichera said. "But to make sure you're getting the best rate, you have to do the legwork and compare rates between different companies."

One way to make that legwork easier is to use a Web site, like INS web or Esurance that compiles several different rates for you. That can help you stay in the driver's seat when it comes to savings.

When you're shopping around for car insurance, Consumer Reports says in addition to AARP, it's a good idea to check policies offered by other groups you belong to. For example, the USAA for military families, as well as unions and trade groups, are all possibilities for a good insurance rate.

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