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Old 01-03-2012, 08:12 PM   #21
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I shopped last year and I too was pretty pissed off. I had been with MetLife for several decades. I will keep an eye on my new company and get quotes every few years.

I'll never go back to MetLife though. Not only were they jacking up my premiums every year, but they were a pain to deal with. They didn't have local agents so I had to deal with them through an 800 number and had a long menu of items to wade through before speaking to someone.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:44 PM   #22
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I went through this same thing years ago.

Another way to evaluate whether you should drop collision: if you can afford to replace your car, it will probably be to your advantage to drop it. On average at least. Insurance shouldn't be used to try to save money but to protect against catastrophe. But I might think differently if our cars we worth more than 12k.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:07 PM   #23
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My experience with auto insurance was 1) Company's A's rates kept climbing, 2) I switched to lower rate at Company B, 3) then Company B's rates climbed annually, ...
The above is what I have seen also. We just saved $1000 this year by switching. And have better coverage. I knew my annual rate increases felt high, but we were so busy adding kids, removing kids, adding cars, changing cars....it was hard to compare. Once things settled, I went shopping and was quite surprised.

Now to remember to do this every few years.....
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:09 PM   #24
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I'm driving a 2006 Trailblazer and will probably drop collision next renewal, in the Spring. Five to six years is my rule of thumb which comes close to Rewahoo's financial rule of thumb. As far as overall premium quotes go, I get my agent to run some numbers every 3 years or so. A few months ago I got a quote online and it was just slightly below my current premium. Not worth a change.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:44 PM   #25
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I had this same situation a couple of years ago when my local agent moved his office to the next town.

I went with a closer agent (offering the same insurance company) and went with her. Since I was a new client (not a new customer), she went through having the policy (home/car) go back through underwriting, since it had not been reviewed for over a decade.

It came back with a great reduction (many hundreds) after the underwriting review with the same coverage/deductables. What she told me is that policies are not reviewed or go through the underwriting process on a normal cycle, but only if there is a policy change or start of a new policy.

I now have it on my calendar to request a review every few years rather than to have the policy "go stale"...
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:33 PM   #26
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Interesting thread. We've been with State Farm for 20 years, and never seem to get around to shopping for quotes. Mind you, they took very good care of us after the Northridge earthquake (putting us up for a year in a nice rental and paying for all repairs) and just recently gave us $20K for a new roof after a bad hailstorm (that apparently did no damage). We may be coming out ahead on the home front.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:57 AM   #27
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Interesting thread. We've been with State Farm for 20 years, and never seem to get around to shopping for quotes. Mind you, they took very good care of us after the Northridge earthquake (putting us up for a year in a nice rental and paying for all repairs) and just recently gave us $20K for a new roof after a bad hailstorm (that apparently did no damage). We may be coming out ahead on the home front.
Almost same situation here, but my State Farm claims person missed actual hail damage causing me to schedule a follow-up inspection. During the inspection, he asked me what kind of game I was planning.... I politely offered my glasses and pointed out the damaged siding. After the claim was paid, I shopped insurance companies and went with All State for a 30% savings on home and 20% savings on auto - both with same coverage.

Note: The State Farm agent kept mentioning long term customer discounts already built into my rate. I replied, then they have nothing to worry about... but I was a bit shocked as all quotes came back lower.

It pays to shop around.

Good thread Midpack!
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:52 AM   #28
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As my wife is the one who has to call and deal with this "stuff", she has been bemoaning the time spent on hold waiting to talk to someone...

Still, I have forwarded Midpack's post to her, and I will let her decide whether the potential saving is worth her time. Just passing the buck...
I just scanned my home and auto declarations sheets and emailed them to a couple of agents. Time on phone was a couple of minutes.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:10 AM   #29
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I was with State Farm for both homeowner's and 2+ auto insurance from the mid seventies to about 4 years ago. I got tired of the 15% yearly price increases the last few years I was with them. I had never had a homeowner's claim and I was getting "the acident free" discounts on the auto insurance. I finally started checking around and found I could save a significant amount of money going thru an independent insurance agent.

I approached State Farm and let them know that I thought their rates were not competitive and asked what they were willing to do to keep a 25+ year customer. Basically, they didn't care and offered absolutely nothing to keep me as a customer. So I jumped to another company about 4 years ago. I am saving over $400 a year since the switch.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:11 AM   #30
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I dropped all collision insurance about twenty years ago. Even on new cars which I always buy outright but very seldom. For the first 10 years I saved the premiums I was paying for a fund to cover that problem should I have an accident. So far in 20 years I have had one side swipe by someone in a parking lot that cost me $1800. So I banked the next couple years collision payments to get the fund back in shape. I know if I roll one up in a ball when it is new it will cost me, but so far I am way ahead. A friend of mine does a modified version of this be setting a point in time to drop collision. I think he uses 3 years old, 50K mileage, or less then 20K book value. Which ever he hits first. Probably a better plan then mine.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:09 AM   #31
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Relatively minor corollary to my original post. In getting quotes from other big name insurance companies, they are all quoting a little lower on auto, but they are all quite a bit higher on homeowners I can't imagine why, unless the 'multiple policy discount' is all applied to the homeowners with the original insurance carrier. Still deciding how to proceed (forgive the original or switch on principle...though I know it's my own fault ultimately).
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Any Downside?
Old 01-04-2012, 09:21 AM   #32
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Any Downside?

I'm curious if anyone has a story to report, where they switched to save money, but then were not happy with the new carrier.

Like Midpack, I've been 'dumb' about this (actually, not so much dumb as lazy, and a bit afraid to change, which is probably 'dumb' anyway ).

I have had State Farm for decades, the few claims we've had were processed reasonably well (no complaints from me). You never know until you have a claim.

Like some others, I might just wait until the last one is out of the house. Situation changes every few years with kids in/out and/or away at school, hard to compare every scenario.

I'll take this time to remind others of this tip (I know the last time I posted a few people were unaware or forgot):

TIP: If your kid is away at college and leaves their car at home, inform your agent. We got a considerable discount for this, and they can still use the car anytime they are home for w/e, holidays and the summer (in our case, school must be > 100 miles away, IIRC). You might need to call and update this each fall.

-ERD50
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:28 AM   #33
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Relatively minor corollary to my original post. In getting quotes from other big name insurance companies, they are all quoting a little lower on auto, but they are all quite a bit higher on homeowners I can't imagine why, unless the 'multiple policy discount' is all applied to the homeowners with the original insurance carrier. Still deciding how to proceed (forgive the original or switch on principle...though I know it's my own fault ultimately).
Since switching to Allstate several years ago, no one has been able to come close to their rate for homeowners insurance, but every couple of years I have found cheaper auto insurance (which Allstate has been able to match). Even though you have the issue with your current company not giving you a good rate until you asked, the best combined rate for homeowners and auto would be hard for me to pass on (unless another combined quote is in the ball park).
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:17 AM   #34
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. . . but every couple of years I have found cheaper auto insurance (which Allstate has been able to match).
Price matching--another (minor) pet peeve of mine. If Company B can profitably match the rate of Company A, then why don't they quote you that rate to begin with? Why do we have to go through this little game? Better for everyone (and for the establishment of a competitive marketplace) if everyone just gave their best price for the features you want.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:25 AM   #35
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Price matching--another (minor) pet peeve of mine. If Company B can profitably match the rate of Company A, then why don't they quote you that rate to begin with? Why do we have to go through this little game? Better for everyone (and for the establishment of a competitive marketplace) if everyone just gave their best price for the features you want.
Maybe because they couldn't afford to match those lower prices on everyone unless they were gouging benefiting from higher prices charged to many (most?) of their customers?
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:28 AM   #36
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Price matching--another (minor) pet peeve of mine. If Company B can profitably match the rate of Company A, then why don't they quote you that rate to begin with? Why do we have to go through this little game? Better for everyone (and for the establishment of a competitive marketplace) if everyone just gave their best price for the features you want.
Price discrimination allows them to make a small profit on you (if you ask for a discount or a price match) and a larger profit on a non-price sensitive customer. And that small profit on you may not occur in the first year but they assume on average once they have a customer they can jack up the rate to profitable levels before they ask for more discounts or shop their policy.

Same reasoning as how coupons still allow businesses to make a profit by price discriminating (ie lowering price for price sensitive market participants but letting non price sensitive market participants pay full price).
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:39 AM   #37
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I switched auto insurance when I got married... my wife is from another country and did not have a local drivers license (she did have an international drivers license, but I guess that is not good enough)... the old company was going to increase premiums from about $700 every 6 months to about $3,500

I was going to go with AAA, but when I was about to get the policy, the lady said 'your wife does not have a local drivers license'... I said 'I have been telling you this all along'.... they then wanted to more than triple the rate....


Finally went with Progressive who did charge me more, but maybe 20% more instead of 300% to 500%.... wife got her local license and they dropped the rate... my rates have declined every year, mostly because the cars are getting older...

Changed my home to a compay that is listed with Progressive.... and got a good rate (most companies were not writing here at that time because of all the hurricanes).... and my rate has move very little....
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:48 AM   #38
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It's not all about the lowest price. I have a great agent who I have known for 20 years and we talk frankly about my policies every year. I could get insurance a little cheaper with Progressive or GEICO but then I am locked into 1-800 no help..........
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:07 PM   #39
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I have had State Farm Auto for 20+ years and State Farm Homeowners since I bought a place 4 years ago. I am a bit ashamed to admit that I have NEVER shopped for a better rate. I have been happy with State Farm and assumed my rates were pretty good based on asking friends and family what they were paying. Seemed that with auto at least, I always had better pricing.

Currently single two vehicles and a newer condo in Ohio.

Vehicle 1 - 2011 Chevy Cruze. Paying $440 annually. ($500 deductible)
Vehicle 2 - 2001 Chevy Corvette. Paying $360 annually. ($500 deductible)

1,650 sq ft condo. Paying $525 annually.

Thought this seemed pretty good?
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:10 PM   #40
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My aunt worked in the insurance industry for years and has always said to get quotes every time you renew.
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