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Safeco Insurance?
Old 02-23-2017, 06:19 AM   #1
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Safeco Insurance?

We have been with Nationwide for 30+ years for auto, home, and (recently) umbrella insurance.

Our 6-month auto premium (one car, two drivers) jumped from $709 to $816. Our long-time agent said we had done nothing to cause the increase. He said it was because the industry has lost so much to "distracted drivers."

I countered that nobody else I knew had seen such a jump. So yesterday, he emailed us a quote from Safeco for $550 for the same coverage, same deductible, but without the "accident forgiveness" feature that we have with our current NW policy. His email said "Home and umbrella quotes to follow as soon as I get them."

Something just doesn't smell right about this. We didn't ask him to find us another company. I haven't called him yet. Wanted to hear from you all, especially since some of you are insurance professionals. Wondering: Why would a NW agent offer us a Safeco quote? What questions should we be asking?

Thanks,

Amethyst
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Old 02-23-2017, 07:57 AM   #2
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For almost 20 years I was with Amica.
They were rated highly.

But 2 years ago I was working at a company that made me eligible to buy NJM.
I compared rates, and NJM were 15-20% lower, so I switched.
I have auto, home, umbrella with NJM.

Never had accident forgiveness. Not sure if it is available in NJ or not anyway.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:10 AM   #3
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Is "he" a true NW agent or an insurance broker that represents NW (among others)? If he really runs a NW agency, then I agree that it is odd for him to push Safeco. If he is a broker, then he doing his job by finding the best deal for you. That said, definitely wait for the home and umbrella quotes. Those could easily go in the other direction and negate any upside you are getting for the auto part. In general, a difference of 300 dollars for the same quote from two different insurers doesn't strike me as out of the ordinary - I have seem MUCH larger.
I view accident forgiveness as a bit of a PR gimmick. Yes, in a particular situation it could be advantageous, but I would not pay extra for it.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:24 AM   #4
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He runs the NW agency we have been with since forever. He is in his 50's, and was already with the agency when we got married and then took over about 20 years ago.

While I do think he has our interests in mind (always has in the past), he is not the world's best communicator. Also, I get the impression he seems to have a love-hate relationship with his underwriters. (Then again, so did the adjuster we had 2 years ago for our basement flood...you'd think the UW's were Nazis to hear him talk). So that is why I need advice on how to ask good questions so I get useful answers.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:40 AM   #5
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If he is a captive agent of Nationwide that is odd, but I think it more likely he is an independent agent who sees a chance to keep a long term customer.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:59 AM   #6
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We switched to Nationwide last year and have a local agent and they also gripe (rightfully so) about the underwriting. I do think they have other lines besides Nationwide but you wouldn't know it from any of their communications with me. We saved on our coverage by joining MD Farm Bureau and using their "Smartdrive" monitor. I think we only had it installed for 3 months but now they want you to leave it in longer (6 months, maybe).
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Old 02-23-2017, 09:33 AM   #7
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We are also MD Farm Bureau members - discount for homeowner's insurance. Never heard of the Smartdrive monitor, will google that.

The farm bureau newsletter is so terrible, I don't even open it any more. I wish they would write more about actual farming techniques, climate change, pest control and less about "what it used to be like to be a farmer." I surmised that the new farming career is: Wait for Grandpa to die; then sell to land developer.
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:40 AM   #8
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Anytime the state insurance commissioner allows a company to increase rates, they're going to go up--no matter whether they've had a run on claims or not. It's just the nature of the business.

And if an insurance company's going to get all your business--auto and homeowners, they're going to start you off on a teaser rate. Homeowners' rates will go up, up, up as their "computer" says replacement costs on your house are increasing greatly. Give'em 4 years, and you'll be insured and paying rates that are 150% what your home is actually worth. But if it burned down, they won't pay you 150% of what it's worth--but will spend too much $ to rebuild.

I try to keep a clean driving record, low claims and a good FICO score and they allow me to jump companies every 4 years or so--after that teaser rate.

We currrently have 2 cars and 1 house with State Farm, and they're very expensive. Allstate has 2 cars and 2 houses, and they're substantially cheaper. My new house is with Essurance, Allstate's online cut rate company, and they are less than half the rate of State Farm--but very conservative on underwriting. I may eventually end up with Essurance before it's over as I'm selling one house.
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Old 02-23-2017, 12:10 PM   #9
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Nothing nefarious here. Nationwide agencies that are larger than avg get access to selling Safeco and other Independent Agency companies thru a relationship that Nationwide established quite a few years ago. Safeco is owned by Liberty Mutual and is their Ind Agency carrier.
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Old 02-24-2017, 08:52 AM   #10
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A good agent will shop your account when you ask or give them an indication that you are unhappy with your current carrier. They can't take the time to shop each customer's account every year but will do it when they think you are unhappy. Some customers won't change companies over a price change but will after a poor claim experience that soured them on their carrier. An independent agent will normally represent a number of companies, both personal lines writers and commercial lines writers. Some companies do both but some only do one type of business. Liberty Mutual writes both personal and commercial in some states but also owns Safeco as a personal lines-only writer. Nationwide owns Allied Insurance Company also.

If your agent feels that you would be better served by moving to Safeco and you can save money on a total account basis then you might want to switch. Occasionally on a claims dispute situation, a company may do more for you if your agent can point out to the company that you have been a long-time customer and that they should treat you better. sometimes that doesn't mean anything and it gets you nowhere.

No agent or company can be the cheapest every year, so it is best to look at the long haul experience.There is always someone out there that is cheaper today, but it is not sustainable in the long run. Kind of like loss leaders at the grocery store. if they sold at that price every day, they would go broke. A company can grab market share by lowering prices for a year or two, but that will come back to haunt them over time, it just isn't sustainable and they will have to revert to the mean or go broke.
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Old 02-24-2017, 02:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
We are also MD Farm Bureau members - discount for homeowner's insurance. Never heard of the Smartdrive monitor, will google that.

The farm bureau newsletter is so terrible, I don't even open it any more. I wish they would write more about actual farming techniques, climate change, pest control and less about "what it used to be like to be a farmer." I surmised that the new farming career is: Wait for Grandpa to die; then sell to land developer.


Funny. I was tempted to go to a meeting but I know for sure I'd be out if my element. Membership gets a discount at BJs wholesale and a bunch of other places. Here's my thread about the Smartdrive gadget.

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru....php?p=1655865
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Old 02-24-2017, 02:59 PM   #12
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You could do an online quote with Geico, just enter whatever values you have for your current policies, or phone them for a no obligation quote.

It cannot hurt, and could save you a lot.

Being more than 5 yrs with any company is asking to be overcharged.. I know as my relative an insurance agent did it to us
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Old 02-25-2017, 04:59 PM   #13
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We have Safeco with everything, house, auto and umbrella. We use an independent agent in NH. You might ask about bundling all your insurance with Safeco to get the best rate. They are the cheapest of all companies here. We upped our homeowners deductible to $10,000 and it cut our insurance cost in half to $400.
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Old 02-25-2017, 05:28 PM   #14
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Count me as a Safeco advocate as well. Daughter totaled her three year old Honda Fit and the Safeco settlement check was for $2,000 less than I paid for it, including sales tax and we carry a $1,000 deductible. Rates did not change after her accident either. This was her, ahem, sixth at fault accident but first with this carrier. Thank goodness she's on her own policy now - because she had another fender bender today.
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:42 PM   #15
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Being more than 5 yrs with any company is asking to be overcharged.. I know as my relative an insurance agent did it to us
Interesting comment. I've been with AAA for at least 30 years. We've challenged their increases over the years but never really shopped around. Just a personal thing, I don't like change and I know that for the few things we've had go wrong over the years (stolen car, accidents . . .) they've done us well. I also know they're financially secure. I guess it wouldn't hurt to shop but it would have to be with a rock solid company. Any suggestions?
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