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Debunking the Car Insurance Trick Ads

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Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency...

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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trick or treat

There are a lot of gimmicks out there designed to sell car insurance, which is largely a pretty boring product.

What we’ve seen a lot of lately are the, “one TRICK to get $9 car insurance” ads, alongside our personal favorite “What insurance companies don’t want you to know…”

It may not be you, but thousands of people click on these silly ads every day. Part of being “The Truth” forces us to debunk these ridiculous claims.

There are two contributing factors that perpetuate this ridiculous phenomenon and the other similar Internet marketing ploys, such as “Personal Trainers Hate This Guy, and “One silly trick for losing 100 pounds in one week.”

Piles of Cash to be Made

Insurance companies and Internet brokers are fighting tooth and nail for your insurance premium dollars in this multi-billion dollar industry. Yes, there is a TON of money in insurance folks.

And the Internet has become the final frontier for insurance marketing. There are companies who act solely as middlemen to aggregate insurance leads to be sold to various companies.

Some insurers build an image (whether accurate or not) by bombarding you with television and radio commercials 24/7/365, while others, with smaller budgets, have to make do by attracting you in other more clever ways.

[How much insurers spend on advertising.]

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Human Nature and Greed

Human nature is at play here as well. Both on the “seller” and “buyer” side. Let’s face it. These ads would have disappeared altogether a while back if they weren’t fooling people regularly.

The individuals and companies who post these ads are shamelessly driven by greed to get you to click the link. We say “shamelessly” because there is really no merit whatsoever to these advertisements.

The television and radio ads you see from the national chain insurers are really no better. Advertising has become more and more sensationalized over the years as we become desensitized to all of it.

Bigger and better is a constant. Insurance companies have “dumbed” down their ads to the point where your buying insurance from a Gecko or believing State Farm will issue an insurance policy for you after you have backed your vehicle up a pole twice and driven through your garage, all in the same year.

Try calling one of these companies and asking if they will issue a policy for you after having three accidents in one year…good luck with that.

[How much does insurance go up after an accident?]

Just be sure to have the phone number of a local independent insurance agent handy as well, as they will actually be able to get you a policy under those rather dire circumstances.

Consumers are partially to blame here as well. Again, we’re the ones clicking on these ads as our greed, or need to pay our iPhone bill with a limited income, compels us to believe in the impossible to try to save money on something we perceive as largely useless.

It’s well known. Insurance is a complete waste of money and certainly isn’t cool (although Allstate’s Mayhem campaign may prove different with a $500,000 ad budget), that is, UNTIL YOU HAVE AN ACCIDENT.

TTAI is on a personal mission to help everyone understand this concept. The right insurance policy can save you from financial ruin in the event of an accident. And it doesn’t have to be issued by a “cool” company.

Why These Insurance Trick Advertisements are Ridiculous

The Chicago Cubs have a better chance of winning the World Series than you do obtaining a car insurance policy for $9 per month.

You’ve got to read the fine print here. First of all, the $9 monthly car insurance premium is probably only valid for a single male, 45 years old, driving a 1998 Ford Taurus less than 2,000 miles per year, with no tickets and accidents, an 850 credit score, liability only coverage (no uninsured motorist coverage) who pays the policy in full upfront, and lives in Lost Springs, Wyoming.

If you don’t meet those exact requirements, your $9 monthly payment may actually be $39 per month. Oh yeah, excluding the “policy fees,” which will likely be about $12 per month in addition to the premium.

As far as a “trick insurers don’t want you to know,” nothing could be more ridiculous. Insurers generate their own premiums, so they’re certainly not tricking themselves.

You have to ask yourself why they would offer that premium if they didn’t want to sell insurance for that amount? Why wouldn’t they just raise that premium to $20 per month and move on?

Here’s why, this claim is complete garbage, and merely a tactic to get you “in the door.”

You best bet to is to obtain insurance quotes from all types of insurance companies, not just the ones who reel you in with ridiculous claims of cheap car insurance.

Perhaps you’ll find that a lesser-known, yet financially stable company, will offer you the best car insurance coverage at the lowest price.

Read more: How car insurance rates are determined.

(photo: AForestFrolic)

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