So, you’ve heard the commercials for AAA auto insurance. It sounds good, and you go online to check them out. And immediately get annoyed. There is no single AAA site. Why? Because AAA is a federation, a not-for-profit group, of 84 automobile clubs throughout the United States and Canada. Although best known for travel information and various member services, most of the clubs do offer auto insurance, but there is no single “AAA Insurance Company.” Site visitors are taken to the correct information for their state.
The insurance coverage you’ll find detailed there is offered through a variety of insurers, including some that are owned and operated by AAA member clubs. You won’t, however, find a pricing schedule of rates or options. If you want to know what AAA insurance costs, you’ll have to use the applicable site and ask for a rate quote. Many drivers see that as AAA simply trolling for your contact information, but that’s not really the case. Due to their affiliation with multiple insurers based on region and even locale, they have to have your specific information to calculate a potential premium amount.
Is AAA the cheapest auto insurer for good drivers? It’s hard to say, but they are certainly highly competitive in their pricing structure and they place a heavy emphasis on safety. All member sites include information on defensive driving courses and, subject to location and availability, insurance offerings include discounts for such things as:
– passive restraints (air bags),
– anti-theft devices,
– garage parking, and
– driver training.
Other industry standard discounts include those for multiple policies, multiple vehicles, and customer loyalty. Also, customers who switch from another insurer qualify for accident forgiveness on their next fender bender (subject to a review of their prior driving history.) Offered coverage includes comprehensive other than collision, collision, bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection, uninsured / underinsured motorist, and rental reimbursement.
Membership, does, of course, carry other benefits, like roadside assistance, the resources of a full-service travel agency, the road trip plans or “tics” so beloved by many members, and even identity theft monitoring. Memberships are priced in tiers, from “classic,” through “plus,” to “premier,” with differing mixes of benefits attached to each. A $20 new member admission fee applies, with each of the plan tiers costing $52, $82, and $105 respectively. Adding am “associate” to the membership costs $27 at the classic level and $45 otherwise.
From 2005 to 2009, auto insurance rates fell steadily in the United States. This began to change, however, in the closing months of 2010 and most experts agree prices will continue to climb in 2011 due to a number of competing factors and the increasing use of credit scores to determine insurance rates. If you’re one of those people who have regarded AAA as a group for “old folks,” it may be time to reconsider. This is not the time to just renew your auto coverage on reflex. Getting a quote from AAA is simple, there are many benefits to membership, and you may well find their auto rates more than competitive for your area, especially if you do have a clean driving record.