Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Worth it to switch insurers?
Old 05-19-2015, 06:18 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Worth it to switch insurers?

I am struggling with a decision over whether to switch insurance carriers. I have been with the same top shelf carrier for 4 years and never bothered to shop the package. The renewal came this year with a few hundred dollar price bump. I decided to shop it, so I called an independent agent. The incumbent carrier quoted the whole thing at $2830 for the year for home, auto and umbrella. The independent agent gave me the best quote from another insurer of $2466 for the year. What makes me pause is that the current company is really top shelf for financial strength, claims paying customer satisfaction, etc. I have had a couple claims and the experience has been as hassle free as possible. The competing bid is from a company that is rated average to slightly below average for claims handling experience (financial strength meets my requirements). Would you make the switch for $364? No telling whether the new bid will still be nice and low after year 1.
__________________

__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-19-2015, 06:22 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Big_Hitter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: In the fairway
Posts: 4,092
I wouldn't do it
__________________

__________________
Swing hard, look up
Big_Hitter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2015, 06:30 PM   #3
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
I wouldn't do it
I wouldn't either. About twenty years ago DW was rear-ended and our insurance company was great to deal with on the payments for physical therapy associated issues, and then collecting from the other insurance co.

So if one company has a much better rep for claims handling but at a higher premium I'd pay it. Think about possibly having to deal with all that stuff from a hospital bed. Which company do you want to be dealing with?
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 12:15 AM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 2,946
I would probably go back to current insurer and see if they could improve thier quote. I just went through the same exercise and ended up switching, but it was much more than ~$360 savings and the coverage was better. I don't have the skill to critique the strength of my new and old carriers, but they are both top shelf in my opinion. I had similar very good claims experiences with the current carrier on two incidents and I am generally inclined to be a loyal customer. Thier premium statements, payment plans, web account services, etc. were awful but an old fashioned phone call to the agent was always well received. I went through the discount double check with them but the discounts never quite kept up with the increases. Finally, I shopped the rate and the new carrier is about equal on the auto and 50% cheaper for better coverage on the home. I don't have an umbrella. This confirms my new found beleif that it does not pay to be loyal to an insurer.
__________________
...with no reasonable expectation for ER, I'm just here auditing the AP class.Retired 8/1/15.
jazz4cash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 12:49 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Lakewood90712's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,316
I would stay. If the rates climb again next year without a claim, shop then.
__________________
“The finance industry is 5% rational people and 95% shamans and faith healers.” - Charlie Munger
Lakewood90712 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 12:55 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,251
Heck, just my home insurance went up $1400 this year..... I did not switch but am thinking about it... just getting too high...

I would not switch for $300ish.... but if you think about it that is a pretty good percent... maybe get another quote from a top shelf company and compare....

Do you get anything back if you do not make a claim That could be a difference... (I assume not since you probably would have mentioned it, but just asking in case)...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 05:03 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,446
No. I care about quality customer service and prefer to maintain long-term relationships with good companies.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 05:16 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,396
That would be a tough one for me. On one hand I do value financial strength and good claim service but on the other hand we have very few claims... no homeowner's claims for the last 10-15 years, never a claim on any riders and very few auto claims. The cheapo in me might be tempted to go for the 15% savings.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 07:22 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,198
That's a tough call, because home and auto insurance is a lot like health insurance, you never really know how it's going to work until you need it.
You are never immune to a natural disaster or another texting,inattentive driver. So not having a claim history means nothing really.
We have huge insurance bills because of our business,crop insurance, health insurance, farm property and liability, auto. I cringe when I see the money they collect. But they give stellar, instant service. However our married daughter has the same company for just home and auto. She is in her mid-30s and a life long customer. She got into a bumper car experience on the interstate from someone trying to switch lanes and literally hitting the bumper of the car in front of them. Involved about 8 cars total. Only accident she has ever been involved in. She was fine, but as you can imagine there was lots of fingerpointing and her insurance really stepped up for her.

I agree with the idea of sitting down with your present carrier and fine tuning some of your coverage to save money. We try to do this annually and always find something to twerk.
Unless the independent agent you worked had a copy of your insurance policy I would not assume identical coverage was quoted.
__________________
ivinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 07:34 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florence, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 2,085
I don't think it hurts to change insurance companies from time to time.

My homeowners rates have gone up 20%-30% every year--according to their computerized model of replacement cost. After 3 years my house was insured for 60% more than it's worth. and I'm being charged "by the thousands". But if my house was totaled and not rebuilt, they'd not be paying the amount I'm insured for--but the "depreciated amount." Premium increases are never ending.

My state has a Gulf Coast, and insurance is often priced state by state by their loss ratios. I'm 350 miles from the Gulf, and any hurricane is not going to hurt me--though I'm paying like it will. It's difficult getting insurance in my state, with many companies not taking on new homeowners' policies due to past years' loss ratios.

I have two homeowners' policies with one company, and they raised my daughter's car insurance 100% after a $3K accident. I moved her to another insurance company at normal rates. Because I didn't have but one car insured (along with homeowners), the company raised my 12 year old pickup truck insurance $550--almost double a normal rate. I fired my insurance company and went with a big national company saving over $1K a year.

Insurance is a necessary evil. That doesn't mean we have to stay with an company when they make unreasonable demands on our pocketbook.
__________________
Bamaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 07:42 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,268
These companies know full well that you don't want to leave. Its a hassle and there's always the fear of the unknown. All of them take advantage of that. Insurance companies, cable, internet, phone. They all do it. If you were a new customer and got a quote from the company you currently have, you can bet your quote would be lower than it is now. This irks me. They have no loyalty so neither do I.

I switch all the time, but I do so knowing that the new company will raise my rate later. Usually not the second year but always the third. Then I start looking to move again. I would move if I were you but if you do, do it knowing you will be on this musical chair ride forever. As long as the new company is a well known national brand, I would move in a heartbeat.
__________________
utrecht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 07:51 AM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 524
I would shop more than one other option and perhaps look for a similar "top shelf" company to compare. I think a lot of regional insurers are out there, thinking about homeowners insurance in particular and they can also give good customer service.

The most well known insurers spend a ton on advertising and the policy holders are going to pay the cost. I think independent insurance agents can find viable options for sometimes significant savings. For many years I was with State Farm for home and auto, but they are just too expensive and I also find them somewhat arrogant when ask them to how they justify up to a 30% premium for the same coverage.
__________________
***********
My motto is.... "a dollar saved is better than a dollar earned. I don't pay tax on the dollar I saved."
Tom52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 08:01 AM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
Golden sunsets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 734
We just went through this and ended up staying with our current insurer after tweaking a couple of things. I think it was a useful exercise to shop it but I probably won't do it again for a few years. One thing I learned is there are a few benefits of our current policies that would not be available in a new policy from the same company and likely the competition. These provisions are grandfathered into our existing policies.
__________________
"Luck favors the prepared mind"
Pasteur
Golden sunsets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 09:56 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden sunsets View Post
We just went through this and ended up staying with our current insurer after tweaking a couple of things. I think it was a useful exercise to shop it but I probably won't do it again for a few years. One thing I learned is there are a few benefits of our current policies that would not be available in a new policy from the same company and likely the competition. These provisions are grandfathered into our existing policies.
After 4 years you might not have a lot of "grandfathered" benefits, but it is amazing how much verbiage gets changed from year to year.

Brewer one thing you might do it to ask your present company how you are "rated" on your policy as per risk personally, they now factor many things into your "risk" factor not just accidents, claims, or location.

We found out something about this on our last vehicle review when we were thinking of lowering some of our coverage. Our agent told us our rating was so good that we could drop our coverage 50%, but only save about 5% on the cost.
A lot of posters seem to think insurance companies are the enemy but it's not fair to compare them to cable or cell phone providers, we have to use them.And having a company fight your claim because they are worried about their reserves is a little more serious then bad cell service or overpriced cable.

Isn't it pretty much a given that a company with good and prompt customer service and a good history of paying claims promptly and fairly will cost a little more then a company that doesn't have such a good reputation? I mentioned we have an excellent rating with our company. In 35 plus years of farming we have made our fair share of claims...nothing was ever negligence on our part, just part of everyday farm life and they had never raised our ratings or been anything but excellent about paying our claims. This is worth some loyalty in my world.
__________________
ivinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 10:07 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
PhrugalPhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: DC 'burbs
Posts: 119
I wouldn't refer to the insurance companies as evil (they do nicely enough in my portfolio), what Utrecht said is true. They (or most anyway) will raise rates as a matter of policy, although they are not supposed to do that. Price Optimization: Being A Loyal Auto Insurance Customer Can Cost You : NPR

I changed 2 years ago when my insurance rates rose too much. Changing saved me almost 50%. Within a few months the letters started (about one a month) from the old company saying they now "found" ways to give me a lower rate if I would come back. I just renewed with my new provider, but I may price check with the old one when I come up for renewal next time.
__________________
PhrugalPhan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 10:46 AM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Castro Valley
Posts: 400
I would absolutely change and I have. Over the last 40+ years of being insured, I have experienced virtually no difference in insurance providers.


In my 30 years of having Home Insurance all I have done is write a check. In my 40+ years with Auto Insurance, I have had many carriers and all claims have been almost exactly alike.
__________________
jkern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 11:00 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,560
We had a policy with a well known insurance company, been there for years. When I went to an independent broker they found something a little cheaper. The gal explained I would get a better rate when my last accident was off my record. Huh, I was rear ended? Turns out the scumbag agent never sent in the paperwork to Nexuslexis so I would never see better rates. Agent refused to make it right. We finally got a letter from the adjustor to dispute the accident. Sometimes it's not the company but a cheating scumbag.

🐑
__________________
MRG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 11:01 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,872
I'd be interested how you managed to get an apples-for-apples quote.

Some years ago, I went insurance shopping, due to large rate increases without having had any claims. First, I asked our current carrier if they could do better on rates. Sure they could...if we raised our deductible or dropped collision insurance.

Next, I spreadsheeted our existing policy declarations in order to (I hoped) compare them one-for-one with another company's. But each company sliced/diced its decs slightly differently, so it was hard to feel confident about comparisons.

Amethyst
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 12:17 PM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 698
About 2 years ago, our insurance took a bigger jump. As a cursory check, I got online quotes and was shocked that one quote was almost half. As a courtesy, I ask our independent agent for a quote and another company they deal with closely matched the low online quote. We switched, but there was a little worrying about having an accident for fear they'd drop us if we did. So I just paid our third year premium and I have no more fear we'll be dropped than if we stuck with the old company. Our savings are in the area of 50-60%, so we have a long way to go before I do a serious check again.


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
akck is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 12:22 PM   #20
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,406
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
I am struggling with a decision over whether to switch insurance carriers. I have been with the same top shelf carrier for 4 years and never bothered to shop the package. The renewal came this year with a few hundred dollar price bump. I decided to shop it, so I called an independent agent. The incumbent carrier quoted the whole thing at $2830 for the year for home, auto and umbrella. The independent agent gave me the best quote from another insurer of $2466 for the year. What makes me pause is that the current company is really top shelf for financial strength, claims paying customer satisfaction, etc. I have had a couple claims and the experience has been as hassle free as possible. The competing bid is from a company that is rated average to slightly below average for claims handling experience (financial strength meets my requirements). Would you make the switch for $364? No telling whether the new bid will still be nice and low after year 1.
10 years of savings = $3.6K, that's a lot of money and worth a change if the new insurer is financially solid. Can you go back to your current insurer if the new rates rise suddenly on renewal, or service turns out to be unacceptable?
__________________

__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Health Insurers have already won walkinwood FIRE Related Public Policy 321 10-27-2009 01:51 PM
Insurers offer to stop charging sick people more REWahoo Health and Early Retirement 15 04-02-2009 07:44 PM
PMI and other insurers twaddle Stock Picking and Market Strategy 9 11-09-2007 02:49 PM
Healthy? Insurers don't buy it Khan Health and Early Retirement 125 01-06-2007 01:51 PM
Mortgage holder orders homeowners to change insurers Nords FIRE and Money 6 07-06-2006 12:37 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:07 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.