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Hopefully there's no one as dumb as me here...
Old 01-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
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Hopefully there's no one as dumb as me here...

I think DW and I are pretty thrifty and can provide many examples, however...

I just got our auto and homeowner policy renewals in the mail, and that coupled with another ER.org thread on auto insurance prompted me to go online and get auto insurance quotes from other major carriers. They quotes came back at less than half what I was paying. In my (lame) defense, I had seen articles in Consumer Reports from time to time of people paying much more for auto insurance than DW and I, so our premiums didn't seem out of line, though those were families.

On the verge of switching, I called our carrier to find out if there were any conditions I should know about cancellations to make sure I didn't have duplicate coverage (and cost) for weeks or months. I was calm but they undoubtedly realized they were about to lose a long term customer (auto insur since 1977, home insur since 1990), so they offered to review. I'll spare you the details but

Our auto insurance went from $1,970/year to $789/yr, same coverage except I increased deductibles which lowers costs (but not that much).

After that shock, I asked to review homeowners. That went from $1,875/yr to $942/yr, exact same coverage.

I don't know whether to be happy or totally pissed, but I am leaning toward the latter. I really thought we were on top of things, but here's a case where I was completely oblivious, and boy do I feel stupid right about now. If you want to call me stupid, you're entitled today.

Most if not everyone here is probably on top of insurance costs, but I share this story to encourage any one who hasn't checked in a while - it might be wise to do so. Though I honestly hope there is no one else here as dumb as me...

I offer all this as a public service announcement.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:34 PM   #2
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Psst. Wellesley Get competitive quotes on your insurance coverages every couple of years to keep your insurer honest.

BTW, I'd suggest you go ahead and switch rather than continue to trust a company who has obviously taken advantage of you.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:38 PM   #3
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Holy Cow!

My wife takes care of all our insurance bills, and keeps saying that we get a "good deal" as we get everything from one agency. Now, I really wonder.

I am cutting and pasting your post into an email to my wife as I write this. My wife is only 20ft away from me, but she has to read your own words.

Thanks for posting!
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:39 PM   #4
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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, so 4) I switched back to Company A, at a lower rate. This time Company A's rates have not crept higher. Their database may show I'll depart if they do that.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:43 PM   #5
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Psst. Wellesley Get competitive quotes on your insurance coverages every couple of years to keep your insurer honest.
No excuse on auto.

Since homeowners insurance was included in our mortgage payment for so many years, we never got in the habit, we didn't even know what portion of our payment went to insurance (though we should have). Lame excuse, but that's why we overlooked it, even after our mortgage was 'mort' about 4-5 years ago. They won't fool me twice...and if I'm the only one here, that's a good thing. It is so easy to check these days with online quotes.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:53 PM   #6
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BTW, I'd suggest you go ahead and switch rather than continue to trust a company who has obviously taken advantage of you.
That other carrier might just do the same thing, if Midpack stayed with them for 25 years. They are all the same.

Why does this remind me of politicians?
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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That other carrier might just do the same thing, if Midpack stayed with them for 25 years.
Of course they will - that's why you have to get competitive quotes every couple of years...
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:37 PM   #8
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I guess it is the same as American voters who keep switching between parties.

Oh well, it is still a lot better than some countries where you can vote for anyone as long as he is from the Communist party.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:52 PM   #9
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Midpack,

As you might have read. I'm going through the insurance thing right now.
What my insurance agent told me to try and hold on to me (after 15 yrs.) was " they are only giving you a new customer rate, and they will be raising it significantly next year" She said to me, "ask them if they are giving you a new customer rate". She said all insurance companies do that. Kind of like cable and satellite TV. You only get a cheap price when your a new customer. Know what you mean about being pissed.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:57 PM   #10
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Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. I put home and auto on the list to look at every year and never/find excuses not to get around to it.



heh heh heh - I'm almost afraid to look since I there has 'got' to be savings there due to my procrastination.
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:02 PM   #11
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Every time I have gotten "competitive" quotes, the "competitor" does sneaky things like offering me a $500 deductible vs. the $250 deductible from our long-term insurer. They all have so many ways to carve up the premium into little pieces, it's unbelievable. I even tried spreadsheeting, to do a proper comparison, and gave up.

The other thing that keeps us with current insurer is first accident forgiveness. Other insurers would make us wait a year or more to get it.

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Old 01-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #12
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I check every year and I've hopped from AAA to Amica to Farmer's to Citizens. Right now it looks like I'm going back to AAA. I cranked up the deductibles to 2500 on the home and 1500 on the cars a few years back.

Last year Citizen's jerked me around by going back and making me prove I was insured when I started the policy and that my medical insurance was what I said it was - 10 months into a 1 year policy.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:07 PM   #13
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Here's a question: At what point does it make sense to drop auto collision insurance? (looking for serious answers, thank you very much). (As always, silly ones are OK too, as long as I get some sensible ones).

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Old 01-03-2012, 07:11 PM   #14
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Midpack, I believe it was you who steered me right by complaining to my internet company which lead to a rate reduction. I will follow through this summer when my policy comes due, to check around. My only concern is I backed into a car and did $500 worth of damage about 8 months ago. I wonder how long companies hold that against me when rate checking.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Hopefully there's no one as dumb as me here...
Not at all, I'm happy to pass the torch!

Think of the money you've "wasted" as the ransom/blackmail that you've paid for the blissful ignorance of avoiding all those hours on the phone talking to customer "service" reps. In other words you've stayed away from the time sink of a minimum-wage job that nobody enjoys.

I have to admit, I'm really enjoying online quote sites that actually give online quotes.

That auto insurance thread started a long discussion at Hale Nords, too, and unfortunately I'm going to have to pull on a lot of strings with Tricare before we figure it out.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:15 PM   #16
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Midpack, I believe it was you who steered me right by complaining to my internet company which lead to a rate reduction. I will follow through this summer when my policy comes due, to check around. My only concern is I backed into a car and did $500 worth of damage about 8 months ago. I wonder how long companies hold that against me when rate checking.
Yes I remember, we've done very well paring back expenses on Internet, TV, phone, groceries, etc. How I missed home & auto insurance is hard to fathom (forest-trees) but lesson learned. Painful to share here, but if it helps someone, it's worth it...
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:17 PM   #17
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Here's a question: At what point does it make sense to drop auto collision insurance?
When your toes are safely out of the way.

OK, seriously: the rule of thumb is when the cost of collision and comp is 10% or greater than the value of your vehicle (for example, your car is worth $6,000 and your collision and comp premium is $600 or more per year). But for some that may be less than 10% - I think I dropped it on my 2004 Chevy last year when it was around 8%.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:32 PM   #18
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This is something I have watched very closely since retirement. Every buck counts and I will not let insurance companies take me to the cleaners. I learned the hard way some years back. Found out one thing. There is no such thing as insurance company loyalty. And I think you have to watch the come on of having your home owners and auto insurance with the same company. Don't always get a lower rate. A few years back when I signed on with Progressive on auto insurance, I got a really low rate and Progressive told me it was because no body could beat them on rates for retirees with top credit ratings. Well, guess what, when I hit an age plateau that didn't fit their tables, they jumped my rate about $500/yr. I shopped around and ended up with 21st Century. I'll stay with them until they jump my rate and I'll shop again.

I just switched home owners this year also.

Really good thread here by Midpack. Everyone should listen up!
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:52 PM   #19
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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, so 4) I switched back to Company A, at a lower rate.
Yep, this is my experience also. My guess is that Company A will start raising rates on you again after a short period of time. All the major insurance companies play this game, unfortunately (as it's obviously very profitable for them). You really do have to monitor your insurance costs closely, and when they do increase too much, call and threaten to switch insurers unless they give you a better deal.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:00 PM   #20
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Think of the money you've "wasted" as the ransom/blackmail that you've paid for the blissful ignorance of avoiding all those hours on the phone talking to customer "service" reps...
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...
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