Can I Get Better Insurance Rates Through an Association?

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Being a card-carrying member of an association like AARP or AAA has its perks, including discounts on everything from food to travel.

As it turns out, though, one area where you might not save is insurance. That may sound weird, given how heavily such associations advertise insurance offers – at least until you read articles like this recent one from Consumer Reports, which points out that AARP Services, “the for-profit arm of the nonprofit membership organization…collected almost $657 million in royalty revenues from the sale of insurance and other products and services in 2009.”

Big business for them, but not necessarily a big discount for you – turns out insurance may even be more expensive through an association. Consumer Reports found it varied from person to person. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has the details in the video below, so check it out and then read on to learn the best ways to save on insurance.

As Stacy said, insurance discounts are hit-and-miss. One Consumer Reports staffer saw a 3-percent discount through an association, while another saw a 14-percent price hike. When I got an online auto quote from AAA , despite my membership, the best rate offered was about 1 percent higher than my current policy,which is from the same company AAA uses – Progressive. Thanks for nothing.

At least there’s a lesson here. When it comes to saving on insurance, never make an assumption. Always shop it, and do it regularly. You can try it right now with our insurance search tool, which can help you find rates on auto/motorcycle, health, home, and life insurance policies. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners can point you to state government resources on insurance too.

Need more ideas to save? In The 5 Golden Rules of Saving on Insurance, Stacy explains his approach, breaks down his policies, and offers some great advice – including keeping notes so you know what you have, what you need, and can make easy comparisons across policies. We’ve also recently written about several kinds of insurance:

If you have a specific question about insurance, you can always drop Stacy a line. Your question, and the answer, might end up in a column like this one: Ask Stacy: How Can My Car Insurance Go Up Like This?

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