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Shopping for home/car insurance
Old 05-21-2004, 07:46 PM   #1
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Shopping for home/car insurance

I just got the recent rate increases for my home insurance and it getting to the point that I think is rather steep. I insure through State Farm and combine my homeowners and car insurance with the same company thinking I will get a little discount. I've pretty much examined the deductables and various clauses and am pretty much where I want to be with those things.

I'm interested in just shopping around for rates. My experience and that of my associates is that State Farm is expedient with claims and doesn't do obnoxious rate raises and cancelations after ordinary claims. I also get some sort of rate reduction for X years accident free.

My concerns with shopping around would be that I've heard bits and pieces about other insurance companies being difficult with claims and/or raising rates and cancelations with minor claims. Is there a rating service like consumer reports for these sorts of things or am I just over concerned?
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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance
Old 05-21-2004, 09:03 PM   #2
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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance

I used State Farm for many years. After reading about some of their tactics and having problems with them myself, I switched to Pekin which only covers four midwest states (Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana). I was surprised to learn that the auto premium with a 16 year old driver was less than we were paying State Farm for a policy without the teen driver. Coverage was the same. I checked around and as near as I'm able to tell, they are OK to work with if there is a claim. I don't trust any of them, however. If you do a Google search it may turn up the names of some companies that have a lot of angry customers. When I was checking a couple of years ago, I noticed these names seemed to pop up a lot: State Farm, Farmers, Allstate, and Safeco. Good luck!
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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance
Old 05-21-2004, 09:31 PM   #3
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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance

According to my consumer reports index, a homeowners article was done in 1999, september issue, page 16 and an auto one done October 2002 on page 19. I think they did ratings as well as pricing on those.

I also saw a "bay area consumers" magazine about 10 years ago when I first shopped for insurance in CA that did some insurers ratings.

I went with Farmers then, and stayed with them since as they were something like 3rd in claims satisfaction (out of hundreds) and 2nd or 3rd in average cost. Filed one home claim which went great, and two claims for windshield damage, no problems there either. Even when I've picked up a ticket here and there my rates didnt go up. Home went up a lot 2 years ago due to the big mold problems. Agents have been pretty good. My fiancee and parents are with them as well. Aside from some hilarity when my dad tried to insure his golf cart, all has been smooth.

A google of insurance ratings brought a lot of links.
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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance
Old 05-22-2004, 07:57 AM   #4
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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance

I shopped around last year and ended up switching from Nationwide to American Express. Saved 20% on auto and 40% on homeowners, for the same coverage.

Here are some web sites that might be of interest:

JD Power's web site for homeowners insurance satisfaction:
http://www.jdpower.com/cc/homes/insu...nceRatings.jsp

JD Power's web site for auto insurance satisfaction:
http://www.jdpower.com/cc/auto/insur...nceRatings.jsp

Customer satisfaction ratings for auto insurance:
http://www.carreview.com/Auto,Insura...S_1823crx.aspx

A site that rates how well insurers pay claims, based on surveys filled out on the web site.
http://www.badfaithinsurance.org/indexdetaillist.html

Consumer Reports ratings of insurance shopping web sites:
http://www.consumerreports.org/main/...Efolder_id=735

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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance
Old 05-22-2004, 08:28 AM   #5
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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance

I would be very careful in selecting the smaller insurers.

I recently heard on the news about a lady in California who saved several hundred dollars a year on Homeowners insurance by switching to a smaller carrier. She did not find out until after the wildfires (and her house was destroyed) her new coverage only covered a portion of her previous policy. You want to make sure that you will be made whole after a catastrophic loss. A home is a huge investment.

If you do choose to go with a smaller carrier, do some research concerning their financial health. A.M. Best is a good source of this information. Insurer bankruptcies continue to occur today.
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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance
Old 05-23-2004, 06:30 AM   #6
 
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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance

I insure the truck, the Jeep and the bike through
GMAC. I've had 2 claims, both handled right and
quickly. Honestly, they have been 100% on everything.
Kind of amazing.

John Galt
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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance
Old 05-23-2004, 05:21 PM   #7
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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance

Be careful with American Express. I was with them for 7+ claim frees, then had a claim to due a tire blowout that caused some serious damage. If your car has 120K miles on it, AMX only pays to replace parts with another part that has 120K miles on it. And since those are rarely available, they end up paying for 10% of the new part that was installed.

This varies by state, as some states have outlawed the practice.
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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance
Old 05-23-2004, 08:44 PM   #8
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Re: Shopping for home/car insurance

I've never done business with any division of american express and enjoyed the experience.

Their credit card people were jackasses of biblical proportions, and their investment people never, ever executed a single transaction without some form of screwup.

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