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Need Help with Auto Insurance Info
Old 08-17-2004, 09:10 AM   #1
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Need Help with Auto Insurance Info

I'd like to know if anyone can make suggestions where I can cut out some of my auto insurance. I have 2 teenage boy drivers in my family, and me.
We have full coverage with high deductibles on all 3 cars, and are paying 3500.00 a year. The reason I kept full coverage is that we all drive each other's cars at times, and I was concerned about one of them getting in an accident.

2 of the cars are worth 10,000 or more, and the other is less than 4,000. All are in good condition, both mechanically and the body.

Are there any components of the insurance that I can drop? I know lots of people only keep PLPD, but is that safe with teenage drivers?
Thanks for any help, I'd love to lower my bill.
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info
Old 08-17-2004, 11:12 AM   #2
 
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info

Hello KB
Your rate seems very high, unless you are living in an urban area.
My advice is that you first of all call your insurance agent and ask him the question.
Secondly, you should call around other insurance companies, and compare rates. It has been my experience that rates vary signicantly between companies.
Finally, and this will not help you with children at home, but others might be interested, The Hatford has a program that they operate through AARP that is VERY inexpensive. I saved 55% by switching from Allstate to them. The problem is that all licensed drivers in your home must be 55+.
Cheers,
John Lee
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info
Old 08-17-2004, 11:22 AM   #3
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info

KB, I don't carry collision/comprehensive on cars worth less than $5000. I take my chances. If your kids are good students, make sure you're getting the good student rate. Likewise, if any of your kids are away at college you can get reductions, but they often don't tell you this. I don't carry medical because I have health insurance and seldom transport anyone who doesn't. You definitely want to keep under-insured/uninsured - I wouldn't drop that.
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Old 08-17-2004, 11:37 AM   #4
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Other suggestions.

The biggest improvement you could make would be to divest yourself of the male teen drivers. But let's resign ourselves to the fact that this may take another five years or so. (My parents moved a lot when I was a kid but I was always able to track them down...)

Insurance companies give teen discounts for having good grades and for driver education courses. If this is deemed by the teens to be too much trouble, then THEY can pay the extra premium $$ (problem solved).

When the teens go to college (hopefully in a different ZIP code) then the company may offer an "infrequent driver" discount.

No motorcycles, or they pay their own insurance for that indulgence.

If the cars are older than five years then I'd drop all collision & comprehensive insurance.

You could try other companies. USAA has greatly loosened their family membership requirements if you ever had service or if you're even remotely related to someone in the military. It could even be as easy as having one of the teens join an ROTC unit (which might also help with a lot of other issues!).

GEICO can shave quite a bit off a premium, and they'll offer an additional 8% discount if you hold Berkshire Hathaway stock (the "B" share costs less than your annual premiums).

Some insurance companies will give you a rate break if you also insure your home & personal property with them. This research project has a high hassle factor; be prepared to spend hours on the phone discussing coverage features & rates.

Finally, if you're living in NJ (for gosh sakes, WHY?!?) I just read that GEICO & USAA are expanding their coverage now that the state has eased up on its requirements.
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info
Old 08-17-2004, 12:03 PM   #5
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info

Thanks for the responses.

I do live in an urban area in CA. I can not get the ins through AARP because my kids had had their licenses less than 3 years. The quote through GEICO was substantially higher, I already tried every company I could think of and this one was lower, probably because I was with them before adding kids and second and third cars..

I do have low mileage on all cars, I work from home and kids don't drive too far yet. All card are more than 5 years old, and I think I will drop the collision/comp on at least the cheapest car. My oldest pays all of his ins, the younger is still in HS and pays about 1/3 depending on his grades. My oldest just started college but lives at home, so I have at home them for a few years, anyway.

I'll call the ins company and see what else they can offer.
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info
Old 08-17-2004, 01:04 PM   #6
 
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info

I don't know if AIG provides coverage in your state but earlier this year, their quote for me beats both GEICO's and Allstate's by $100-$120+. I don't know whether my financial history in CC and mortgage with Chase may factor in the low rate or not as the solicitation to receive a quote identifying me as a former mortgage customer and the current car ins. policy identifying me as a Chase CC customer.
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info
Old 08-17-2004, 01:08 PM   #7
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info

I have AIG.....they just bought GE Casualty ins, which is what I have.

THey were the least expensive, I'm just trying to whittle the price down as low as possible. I think I have the highest deductibles they offer, I'll doublecheck that too.
My problem is having 2 teenage boys. It'll be a long time before they turn 25.
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info
Old 08-17-2004, 01:19 PM   #8
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info

I've got AIG and they've consistently been lowest for priced insurer for the last 7 years. I found that the $500 deductible was the best price break point. If I went to the $1000 deductible I would have saved something like $5 or $10 / 6 months. Considering that no accident has been below $1000 (5 hit and runs in 7 years on parked cars) it didn't seem worthwhile to go to a higher deductible. You should make sure that you get all the special reductions that are available. They've got them for education, being in a certain profession, fraternal organizations, etc.
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info
Old 08-17-2004, 01:26 PM   #9
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info

My experience is mostly with State Farm in Texas, so California may be different.

When I was under 18 and sharing cars Mom's collision covered her car when I drove it, so she had full coverage on her car and liability only (well, UM and PIP too) on us kids' cars. The insurance card noted "drivers over age 16 in same houshold covered" or something like that.

As an adult I've had occasion on vacations to drive someone else's vehicle or have someone else drive mine for part of the trip. The two times I asked, the owner's collision would cover their car, and the driver's liability would over other involved parties.

Just a month ago a friend in Texas had a kid (17, not related) test drive his car before buying but totalled it, and oddly enough the kid's liability paid for my friend's car but my friend's insurance (not sure if it's collision, comprehensive or liability) covered the public utility truck the kid hit. (Apparently there was a law change in Texas this year applying specifically to test drives.)

Anyway, my point is to go visit your insurance agent, sit down and cover the various scenarios if you have full coverage on your car and liabilty only: what happens if your kid wrecks your car? What happens if you wreck your kid's car? What happens if your kid--without your premission--allows a friend to drive his car/your car and wreck it? etc... I doubt it's necessary to maintain full coverage on the kids' cars to protect yours.
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info
Old 08-17-2004, 01:33 PM   #10
 
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Re: Need Help with Auto Insurance Info

Quote:
"My problem is having 2 teenage boys. It'll be a long time before they turn 25"

KB... I hear you. I'm expecting mine to take care of it themselves long before the age of 25 : In the mean time, you probably already plan this in but make sure they get a "B" or better average = 20% discount. Driver training education (available in most HS) = 10% discount.
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