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Putting auto insurance out to bid
Old 04-25-2008, 05:50 PM   #1
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Putting auto insurance out to bid

I have been on several websites to quote my auto insurance. I have been getting several quotes that range from 30% to 50% less than my current rates. Of course I will no longer have a personal agent to talk to. My current ins. is with State Farm. The lowest internet quote I got was from Liberty Mutual. Anyone have any experience with buying insurance this way?
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Old 04-25-2008, 05:51 PM   #2
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Oh yes, before somebody raises this question- I was very careful to input the same coverage that I currently have.
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:07 PM   #3
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Switched to progressive 3 years ago reduced my annual cost by about $800. I expected that by going with the low price online system and giving up my agent I was giving up service. I've had two claims since switching and they were so fast, thorough and over the top accomodating it was almost annoying.
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:09 PM   #4
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Been doing "non-agent" (phone then on-line) Auto and Home insurance for about 35 years now. Never a problem.
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:46 PM   #5
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Just be careful. Some insurers will quote "loss leader" rates for 6-12 months before raising them, hoping you'll be too lazy to switch.
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cashflo2u2 View Post
I have been on several websites to quote my auto insurance. I have been getting several quotes that range from 30% to 50% less than my current rates. Of course I will no longer have a personal agent to talk to. My current ins. is with State Farm. The lowest internet quote I got was from Liberty Mutual. Anyone have any experience with buying insurance this way?
We did the same thing -- looking for a better rate for our auto insurance and decided to go with Liberty Mutual two months ago. Apparently, we should do this every year since insurance companies tend to raise rate every year.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:03 PM   #7
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Yes, we have 2 cars and we're talking some serious bread here.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:04 PM   #8
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Call your agent and tell them you'd like a better rate.

You might be surprised.
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Old 04-26-2008, 05:43 AM   #9
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I switched our home, auto, umbrella policies last year....

I had All State... The controversial law suites against them motivated me to begin looking... State Farm has a number of them also.

I saved some money!
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:33 AM   #10
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I've been using on-line insurance for car, home and umbrella for years - no problem. Recently I got a road chip in the windshield so I called them to say I was planning to take it in to one of these places advertising free chip repairs and they said no problem, but if you use our preferred vendor they'll come to your house and do it at your convenience for no charge, which I did.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:01 AM   #11
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Call your agent and tell them you'd like a better rate.

You might be surprised.
You're right, but they usually won't come down as low as the online companies like Progressive, Geico, etc. There tends to be a pretty big gap between online companies and the brick & mortar companies.

When I made the switch several months ago, my brick & mortar agent really tried to talk me out of it big time. Almost as bad as canceling a credit card over the phone!
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:28 AM   #12
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For the semi-comatose and above, its always been my belief that a car insurance salesman offers no value whatsoever.

Example: Recently switched to the big evil progressive. I told my agent I was leaving his services, wished him luck, etc. How did he respond? First he tells me I will regret it because I cannot contact a personal agent. Lets see... last time I needed him, it was saturday and he didn't call me back. I can call Progressive's 1800 number any time night or day.

Second, he tells me that if I have a claim my rates will 'skyrocket'. Well, progressive publishes a table telling me upfront what my rates will be if X happens. Not to mention, I'm pretty clean, so I'd rather save $400/yr anyway.

Third, he claims that if I go to Progressive,Geico, et al. that I will never again be able to obtain coverage from full-service companies. What a bunch of baloney. You can see why they are going the way of the dodo-bird.
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:12 AM   #13
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Call your agent and tell them you'd like a better rate.

You might be surprised.

I actually gave my agent a copy of the quote. Instead of the usual glad hand and big smile he looked at it and said "have nice day" and walked away. btw, as far as I can determine, the agent has absolutely nothing to do with the pricing of the policy. He's just a producer of business. He can only suggest changes in the coverage to affect the price up or down.
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:16 AM   #14
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I actually gave my agent a copy of the quote. Instead of the usual glad hand and big smile he looked at it and said "have nice day" and walked away. btw, as far as I can determine, the agent has absolutely nothing to do with the pricing of the policy. He's just a producer of business. He can only suggest changes in the coverage to affect the price up or down.

Of course I am talking about a "captive agent" one that represents only one company. If you have a "free agent" one that can represent any company, they can bid it out among several companies.
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:37 AM   #15
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If you go on a particular company website for a quote they require you to put in your SS#. I have yet to do that. I wonder what others think of that?
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:22 AM   #16
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Many insurers have several levels or types of policies, even when they're just with one company.

I had an old farmers agent. Dad was the farmers district manager who was the escalation point for claims disputes. That seemed like a pretty good agent to have. When we moved a few hours away, it became a pain in the butt to resolve problems and do some transactions since I couldnt just stop by the office.

So I checked with a local farmers agent. He said farmers had other more stringent but cheaper policy types. Not super new but he said the old agents usually just stuck with what they knew and didnt get their customers into some of the newer stuff.

We switched to him and he redid the policies, we ended up with increased coverage and a big cut off the bill. What a pain in the butt though. He had to pay a commission to the old agent, who wasnt in agreement with the transfer. Seems what *I* wanted wasnt really in question. It ended up going up to his dad for arbitration and the change got put through. Then the little SOB kept going in for the next six months and changing the agent # back to his.

Unfortunately for, I moved back to the area he serviced and had he not dicked me around on the agent transfer, I might have gone back to him.
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:58 AM   #17
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If you go on a particular company website for a quote they require you to put in your SS#. I have yet to do that. I wonder what others think of that?
I've had the same concerns also. Anxious to see how others feel.
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Old 04-26-2008, 12:56 PM   #18
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Been with USAA for over 20 years (phone/online). I've never had an agent and I've never had a problem with either homeowners or auto insurance. They are virtually always available.
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Old 04-26-2008, 12:59 PM   #19
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I just went on AIG's website and the SS# is optional. Most are not. The generic auto insurance websites where I got my first comparative quotes it is optional.
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:59 PM   #20
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The lowest internet quote I got was from Liberty Mutual. Anyone have any experience with buying insurance this way?
Unfortunately I found that if you have an umbrella policy - your home and auto need to be with the same company.

So I found it to be an "all or nothing" - same company with home/auto/umbrella

Others find same ? Thanks.

Actually having all in same place is convenient -I just want the best rate.
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