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Auto Insurance -- Here we go again ...
#1417476 Tue Jul 20 2021 02:14 PM
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 5,155
J
Unrepentant VW Lover
Just thought I'd reiterate a few lessons learned while they are all still fresh in my mind.

Our regular auto policy was coming due (tomorrow, actually). As I do every few years or so, I recompete our policy just to make sure I'm getting a best rate. Turns out I hadn't done this in 7 years. Yikes, it was time!

So, with my current policy in hand, I solicited quotes from 4 of the major auto insurance firms. I made a spread sheet of the coverages to make sure I was comparing equally ("apples to apples"). This is very important as none of the policies quoted compared directly. All needed "translation" to put them in directly comparable terms (the Excel spreadsheet makes it easier for me).
\
Also, since the last time I did this, my state has passed new laws regarding "Uninsured Motorists" versus "Underinsured Motorists" (with an optional "Enhanced Underinsured Motorist" coverage now being available ...).

It took some back and forth with agents from all 4 companies to finally get the quotes directly comparable ...

Bottom line: I switched companies because I am saving more than $400 annually.

Lessons learned/relearned:

1. Know and understand your policy
2. Know and understand your own driving history and abilities (just how much coverage do you actually need?). For example, Given my driving history and financial situation, I do not require a low deductible. I can go with a higher deductible. Makes a big difference.
3. Know what changes have been made in your state's insurance laws (i.e., UM versus EUIM -- which to choose and how it impacts your rates)


BOTTOM LINE --- REMEMBER -- LOYALTY MEANS *********NOTHING********** WHATSOEVER to an insurance company. They say it does. It doesn't. If you think it does, you need to run comparisons of your own. If you've been with a carrier for more than 5 years, make them re earn your business. Shop around and make them compete. Let them know you are comparing quotes. They may even ask to see other quotes or your current policy. That's fine. Dollars to donuts, you will save money, even if you don't switch (you may be very surprised at the discounts and savings your carrier suddenly finds you newly eligible for ... wink )

Ok, class over. Just wanted to share what I learned --- that it pays to research and shop around.

John.


John

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
— C. S. Lewis


'49 Chevrolet 3804

Re: Auto Insurance -- Here we go again ...
John Milliman #1417479 Tue Jul 20 2021 02:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,039
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
A good reminder, thanks John.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2) “Emily”
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe “Clarence”



"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!
USAF 1965-1969 Weather Observation Tech (I got paid to look at the clouds)

Re: Auto Insurance -- Here we go again ...
John Milliman #1417480 Tue Jul 20 2021 02:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 7,001
W
'Bolter
I sold auto insurance for a few years and the agents would gloss over the features that are not compatible with the competition. There are no real apples to apples as John stated. I will say in the question of loyalty there is a small measure of it. I have been with the same company since 1974. I no one at least one claim they would have totaled the car but it was worth fixing and they did and I drove it for 10 more years, 20 altogether and only sold it because a guy I worked with needed a car and could not afford much. ohwell


Ron, The Computer Greek
I love therefore I am.

1960 MGA Roadster Sold 7/18/2017
1954 3100 Chevy truck in the Gallery
2017 Buick Encore
Pix on Photobucket
Re: Auto Insurance -- Here we go again ...
John Milliman #1417481 Tue Jul 20 2021 02:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,002
H
'Bolter
Ditto to all the above- - - -fortunately, I do business with an independent insurance agent who has been doing a good job for us for 20-something years, and he does the shopping around. We've changed insurance carriers on automobile and homeowners' policies twice in the past 10 years. I've got one hard and fast rule- - - - -"Anybody but Progressive!" The "why" of that decision would get the PC Patrol's lacy panties in a wad!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Auto Insurance -- Here we go again ...
John Milliman #1417517 Tue Jul 20 2021 07:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,347
Ex Hall Monitor
I used to compare every year and always ended up staying with the same company. I've not compared for a while so I probably should. One thing to be said about the price of premiums is you shouldn't make that the sole deciding factor. The owner of the shop that did the restoration of my 38 is also a friend. He's told me the cut rate insurance companies that spend millions on advertising are cheap for a reason. They demand the use of cut rate repop parts that usually don't perform as well as brand name. They also often refuse to pay for comprehensive repairs and demand cheap at all costs. He's got a list of insurance companies he no longer will deal with. I realize that Loyalty doesn't mean a lot to most large companies of any kind but with insurance, like a lot of things, you often get what you pay for. I'm not saying to not shop around but I AM saying to not make price your sole deciding factor.


Save a life, adopt a senior shelter pet.
The three main causes of blindness: Cataracts, Politics, Religion.
Name your dog Naked so you can walk Naked in the park.
Re: Auto Insurance -- Here we go again ...
John Milliman #1417558 Tue Jul 20 2021 10:17 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 981
K
'Bolter
I got boned but will be looking next year when my policy comes due.I got my bill in April and it was due in may paid it two weeks before ,truck car and houses. The one car my son drives is principal driver and have been changing the address we’re he lives throughout his school .changed the address when I paid the bill .Got a call a few days later advising may Need separate policy for car ,not problem already paid thought it was just a paper thing .A month goes by I get a cheque and it had no explanation just a cheque .Called and they said reimbursed for the car they will send new bill oh I can pay over the phone only it was about 500 more .There is more .decided enough is enough canceled the car took it for safety gifted it to my son he got insurance for the same price before the address was changed ,just cost extra for the change in licence.Wrong I got a cancellation charge about 180 from insurance company .New company for next year is on the list


kevinski 1954 GMC 9300 Welcome to the virtual Garage [stovebolt.com]
Re: Auto Insurance -- Here we go again ...
John Milliman #1417580 Wed Jul 21 2021 02:06 AM
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 5,155
J
Unrepentant VW Lover
Well, as to which companies to solicit quotes from, that's up to you. My selection was The Travelers, USAA, Geico and State Farm.
Ron, I am a veteran and USAA was my first insurance company as a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman with his first car. We've had homeowners insurance with them. I've had car policies with them off and on over the years. Loyalty??? Nada. Insurance companies don't know that word. Insurance companies are not in business to take care of their customers. Insurance companies are in business for the same reason every other company is in business -- to make profits. They do this by selling (assuming) the least amount of actual risk for the most money they can get. Which is fine .... as long as you understand the game. And which is why you *HAVE* to make them compete against each other.

And yes, you can compare apples to apples. But you have to understand your policy and you *have* to make the companies put their quotes in *your* terms. If you allow them to hide things in their insurance gibberish, they will take advantage of you. You HAVE to make them put things in equal terms. They will if you make them. You don't have to be a jerk about it. All the people I dealt with were friendly and fully understood what I was doing. We were all friendly and professional. And they all seem appreciative that I was allowing them an opportunity to earn my business. It was all good. A LOT of work, but all good and well worth it.

This is real money at stake. OUR money. Nothing personal, just business. You don't have to feel bad about firing an insurance company. They truly won't notice you're gone.


John

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
— C. S. Lewis


'49 Chevrolet 3804

Re: Auto Insurance -- Here we go again ...
John Milliman #1417600 Wed Jul 21 2021 12:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,186
M
'Bolter
Ditto to all John said. If one's not spreadsheet savvy, or uncomfortable with the necessary conversations to do a proper comparison, then at least make a list of important policy components on a Big Chief table with a number 2 pencil and start comparing.

I went through the same thing a few months ago and it can be a bit overwhelming.

Good Luck,

RonR


1951 3600 with Clark flatbed, T5, 4.10 rear
1970 340 Duster
1990 5.0 V8 Miata (1990 Mustang Gt Drivetrain)
1951 Farmall Super A



Re: Auto Insurance -- Here we go again ...
John Milliman #1417653 Wed Jul 21 2021 09:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,475
J
'Bolter
Whatever you do, please don't overlook a personal umbrella policy. You might pay as little as $150~$200 for an extra $1,000,000 or maybe even $2,000,000 in liability limits. Depends on a lot of factors. Your age, the amount of limits you carry on your personal auto policy, the number of vehicles you own, what kind of vehicles they are, whether you have teen or youthful drivers covered on your policy...plus other factors relevant to your homeowner's policy and your property. The bottom line is this coverage applies in excess of your personal auto and homeowner's policy limits. Ask your insurance agent if you have any questions about this.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Auto Insurance -- Here we go again ...
John Milliman #1417678 Thu Jul 22 2021 12:16 AM
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 5,155
J
Unrepentant VW Lover
Excellent point, Jon -- Thanks for adding that!


John

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
— C. S. Lewis


'49 Chevrolet 3804


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