We hear this all the time. In fact, just yesterday I saw this exact question from two different people on Facebook's "Looking for Recommendations" feature.
Who's the cheapest insurance company? Followed by a bunch of people saying how much they pay.
Here's the truth about that...No one knows what company is the cheapest (not that you should base your decision totally on price, but we'll address that in a future post).
Just because person A pays X for their car insurance, doesn't mean that you will pay the same amount. Even if both of you have the exact same car and the exact same driving record. You might pay the same, but I doubt it.
You see, every insurance company classifies your risk (and that's what we are to them, a risk) differently. No matter what type of neighbor they claim to be, or what kind of hands they have, or who's side they are on (see what I did there?), all insurance companies see you as a giant stack of statistics based on a ton of demographic information. Every company computes that information differently. Along with that, they all have a "sweet spot" for the type of risk they like, and base their pricing on that.
Go ahead and take advice from friends about who they are with, but if you want to know rates, you need to talk to an agent...You need to talk to multiple agents if you are serious about finding the best fit for you. No insurance agent can quote your business with every company. Some can only price out your policies with one company, some can do multiple companies. Me, I can price your policies with over 20 companies.
Oh yeah, make sure when you are shopping that everyone is comparing things the same. Ask questions, find out what all those numbers on the page really mean. Just because you have "insurance" doesn't mean that the entire accident you cause will be paid for. They are called liability limits for a reason...more on that in a future post.