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Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-16-2004, 08:17 AM   #1
 
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Shop 'til you drop

Another good way to battle rising prices and inflation
is "shop everything". I certainly did not do this when
I was in full "Captain of Industry" mode, but now I have the time and I am real motivated. Case in point............My house insurance just came up for renewal. I shopped it last
year but the savings were small and I had been with a local agent (and friend) for a long time , so I stayed put.
This year I went out to 4 agents/companies for quotes,
and only found about a 10% savings. I suggested to my agent I was going to switch. They found another
company that was over 20% under the rate I had been billed. Then, they suggested if I switched my auto
coverage they could discount it even more. I had
already shopped that to death and liked who I was with,
but told them "have at it!". To my surprise the auto
coverage came back 25% under where I was, and that knocked down the house coverage another 15%.
When I got all done I saved around $300 per year
on insurance which I had already shopped all over God's green pea patch. The lesson is: There is always a better deal out there. I am counting on this to counter inflation once my dear wife hangs up her briefcase.

John Galt
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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-16-2004, 10:52 AM   #2
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

I heartily agree that saving costs on annual expenditures like insurance (and property tax if you live in CA) is the sure winner to beat inflation and FIRE.

When I updated my car insurance from Statefarm to Liberty, my rates went from $810 to $570 with better coverage. That saves about $6000 in my portfolio and means one month less of work. So, the time it takes to search for the best quotes is a pittance compared to the savings in real terms.

That is, as long as those initial rates aren't teasers.




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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-16-2004, 12:26 PM   #3
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

Does anybody know how we could find out if the initial rates are teasers or not?

Savings on repeated, regular expenditures is worth the time shopping for them. It might be even MORE important for those of us still trying to save up.

Anne
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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-16-2004, 01:30 PM   #4
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

Another way to cut insurance costs for a few: If you have a teen who will be attending college 100 miles or more from home, be sure to tell the agent. My car insurance premium dropped significantly because of this.
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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-18-2004, 12:02 PM   #5
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

There is some benefit to sticking around though.

My insurer just last year added another 10% discount to all my policies for "persistency".

I did however play around with the numbers when I recently merged insurances with my newly minted wife. We were able to list her home as a "second home" which removes the need for liability coverage on it as we're both covered under my primary home insurance. We upped the deductibles on home and car while increasing liability and ended up saving some money overall.

Shopping around helps...although I've found that in general the cheaper companies do it by disposing of customer service.
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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-18-2004, 03:23 PM   #6
 
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

Re. "disposing of customer service", we switched about everything from GMAC to Metlife. The savings was significant, but GMAC was absolutely outstanding
in customer service. Hopefully, Metlife will be as good,
or better yet, we will have no claims.

John Galt
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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-18-2004, 06:08 PM   #7
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

Yeah, my auto policy just came up for renewal and Liberty Mutual wanted to jack it up a couple hundred to 1800 a year (!) for two cars, one of which is liability only and the other is a safety-mobile. That got me to snap and shop around. GEICO, which recently re-entered NJ offered me the same coverage for $1250. That's the easiest money I ever made, and tax free to boot.
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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-20-2004, 10:01 AM   #8
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

Quote:
Another way to cut insurance costs for a few: If you have a teen who will be attending college 100 miles or more from home, be sure to tell the agent. My car insurance premium dropped significantly because of this.
Bob,

I too have a kid who is attending college, and is somewhat under that 100 mile distance. I had hoped to get some sort of a reduced rate to continue to carry the insurance on her car, but no luck with State Farm. I guess they figure being under 100 miles, the kid might come home more frequently than just on school breaks,so the car will be driven more than just"occasionally". Its my hope that we can find some other situation to reduce the cost.

gwix
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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-20-2004, 12:26 PM   #9
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

gwix,

My company has a good student rate - as did State Farm when I was with them. I don't recall the minimum GPA required (3.0 maybe??). But the distance from home discount is quite a bit more than the good student discount, and we can't get both simultaneously.
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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-20-2004, 02:22 PM   #10
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

GWIX,
I just got out of the "insure the kid car" biz. A couple of other State Farm savings I found are:
Good Student Discount--3.0 gpa
Good Driver Discount--for the under 25, complete a course, watch a video and be citation free--think it is worth maybe even 20%. Takes a bit of effort on the student's part but worth some change
Make sure your annual mileage for student car matches student use and it is insured in the location were car is--assuming of course it has lower rates. (for us that alone saved $300 py--urban Seattle vs east Wash farm country.)
And of course, keep the deductibles high
nwsteve
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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-20-2004, 05:56 PM   #11
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

nwsteve,

yeah we have all the discounts having been with the
State Farm folks for 25 plus years, but we sure still pay
them what I consider to be an awful lot of money. Luckily my 21 yo son is now off the policy..boy that helped a lot, but my daughters 92 Honda still runs almost
$100 a month just for the liability coverage.
If the kid is 100 miles away and only uses the car on
"school breaks" it cuts it in half. Unfortunately she is
just north about 70 miles so not quite enough.

gwix
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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-20-2004, 06:03 PM   #12
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

gwix,

I switched from State Farm when my teen daughter got her license. After switching, I was paying less WITH a teen driver than I was paying State Farm WITHOUT a teen driver.
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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-20-2004, 07:55 PM   #13
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

I've noticed my homeowners insurance has gone up alot the last few years. This year I increased the deductble from $500 to $1000. It saved me $350 a year. Since Ive never had a claim in 24 years I figure I'll come out ahead.
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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-20-2004, 09:14 PM   #14
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

A lot of states now allow 5000 and more on home and 2500 or more on cars.

I carry 5000 on my home and 2500 on my cars. Same as my insurance agent. I figure he knows something.

Savings are about 25-28% on each policy over 1000/500 deductibles.

Of course, I've never had a significant car accident and I only filed one small home claim and in retrospect wouldnt have filed that one if I knew then what I know now...
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Re: Shop 'til you drop
Old 10-22-2004, 01:23 PM   #15
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Re: Shop 'til you drop

Regarding home insurance, I changed my deductible from a fixed $500 to a 1% of coverage (which works out to $350, currently) and my premiums dropped from $1100 to $650 per year. You might want to ask your agent if a similar adjustment is available for you.

Rich
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