As a single mother of one, Lourdes Robles-Velazquez has to watch every penny.
She spends her money judiciously. She trims the fat from her budget. She cuts out luxuries.
But she’s never had the option of canceling her car insurance, even when she could barely afford it. That’s not a luxury. In most states, everyone who drives is legally required to be insured.
“With car insurance, you have to have it,” Robles-Velazquez says. “There’s no way you can get around it.”
She reached a point where something had to give, though. She couldn’t afford her premiums anymore. Her insurance — with Liberty Mutual at the time — had to cover two Toyota Priuses that she and her daughter drive.
“Being a single mom and a student, [I am] always trying to find ways to save money,” she says. “I was trying to find car insurance that wasn’t that expensive, but it’s hard if you don’t have anyone to explain the different types of plans to you.”
Robles-Velazquez has to juggle a lot of bills.
She just celebrated her 60th birthday, and has a 25-year-old daughter. She’s an office manager at a nonprofit mental health agency in San Jose, California and attends nearby Santa Clara University, studying to be a counseling psychologist.
Looking for an answer to her car insurance problems, she found a solution through a Facebook ad.
Doing the Comparison Shopping for You
That’s how Robles-Velazquez found Gabi, a service that compares auto insurance policies. Gabi shopped around for her, collecting rates from the 20 largest auto insurers in her home state of California.
Once Robles-Velazquez linked her insurance account to Gabi, it immediately:
- Scanned her existing insurance plan.
- Analyzed which coverage she had.
- Compared other major insurers’ rates for that same coverage.
- Found her a better rate and offered to help her switch on the spot.
She didn’t even have to fill out any forms.
“[Gabi] gave me a couple of quotes, including one that brought the price down,” Robles-Velazquez says. “I switched [companies] immediately and started to save some money.”
How much money? Insuring two Toyota Priuses, she’s saving $80 a month, which adds up to $960 a year.
Since she signed on with Gabi two years ago, she’s changed insurers twice to save money. Following Gabi’s suggestions, she’s moved from Liberty Mutual to Allstate to Mercury Insurance.
“Right now, I’m paying $125 a month for both cars,” she says. She used to pay about $205.
Gabi says it finds an average savings of over $460 per year for more than 60% of its customers.
Gabi isn’t just some glorified search engine. A licensed insurance broker, it maintains its own database of policies from top auto insurers. That’s how it does a real apples-to-apples comparison of car insurance policies, using the same coverage levels and deductibles you currently have.
It will also recommend getting more or less coverage, based on your current insurance plan and usage.
Gabi is available in Arizona, California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Ohio.
Never Shop for Auto Insurance Again
Because it’s an insurance broker, Gabi wants to win over customers for the long term. So if rates ever change and you can get a better deal from a different insurance company, Gabi will suggest you switch insurers again.
Another thing: Shortly after signing on with Gabi, Robles-Velazquez was in an auto accident. It wasn’t her fault. Another driver ran into her car.
“Gabi took care of everything,” she says. “I gave them the information, and they dealt with the other insurance company.”
Now she’ll never have to shop for car insurance again. Gabi has her policy on file. As her life circumstances change, it’ll continue monitoring for potential savings on her behalf.
Mike Brassfield (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He’s waiting for Gabi to get going in Florida.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
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