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View Poll Results: How Do You Get Your Insurance (Home, Auto, Umbrella)?
Traditional via Captive Agents (State Farm, Allstate...) 57 37.75%
Direct (Geico, Progressive ...) 48 31.79%
Independent Agent/Agency 40 26.49%
Other 6 3.97%
Voters: 151. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-16-2017, 05:40 AM   #21
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Always use an independent agent and shop every 3 - 4 years. Currently with Farmers Mutual. And, always high deductibles ... I hate paying premiums
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:24 AM   #22
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USAA since forever. I've never been offered better rates from anyone else. Their service can be a bit spotty at times, but 98% of the time it's outstanding.

The only times I've been away from USAA were when I was stationed overseas where they don't operate. In those cases I used a local agent who worked through Lloyds of London. Always came right back to USAA when I returned to the US.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:33 AM   #23
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My brother is our agent.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:47 AM   #24
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State Farm for my car for the last 31 years, when I bought my first car. State Farm for my apartment since 1999 after having it insured by Allstate from 1990-1999 (a friend at the time was an agent so I gave him my business; after we drifted apart, I switched to SF).
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:11 AM   #25
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Independant agent but last year went with State Farm for everything. At the time their prices were competitive. But when we added a 3rd vehicle the cost for that one alone was more than the other 2 combined! So we recently switched back to the same indie agent we've used for over 30 years and are now saving $2000/year with top quality companies.
SF has a business model that I don't care for, give us all or nothing apparently.
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:31 AM   #26
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I was with Allstate forever, but when we moved to FL I ended up having to go with an independent agency for homeowners. Since we have 2 homes and have the screwy FL homeowners situation, the independents seem to work best. I've got Federated National and Lexington for the houses, and I've still got Allstate for cars and landlord (1 house). State Farm for landlord (2 houses). USLI for umbrella. It's all a PITA, and I'd love to get under a single insurer again, but that won't be happening while we have our primary residence in FL.


Edit: I wanted to get Farmers because they have that great dum de dum dum dum dum dum jingle and good commercials, but they were too expensive. Too bad.
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:38 AM   #27
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I have GEICO for car and Traveler's for home (basically, the same company).
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:41 AM   #28
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Erie for the past 15 years. Way cheaper than independent agent we had 20 years prior, saved $4000 first year alone for home, autos, umbrellas and rentals.
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:50 AM   #29
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We used GEICO exclusively early on, during the 80s and 90s. Then I started shopping around every couple years. We went through several companies, mostly swapping between Liberty Mutual, Progressive, Travelers, and GEICO... whoever quoted the lowest number that year. It wasn't unusual to have auto at one and homeowners at another if that was the lowest combo. Everything was handled by phone or online, no agents.

Then about 5 years ago, we purchased umbrella for the first time and also acquired two rental properties. So things began to get more complicated. I hooked up with a local Farmer's agent. He was very knowledgeable and for the first time ever, I felt like I truly understood what I was buying, how much I needed, and why. Much different experience than calling a 1-800 number. The rates are about the same but I like having access to an agent who obviously knows the business and knows me personally. But now he's been transitioning the business over to his son who is not as knowledgeable and does not return calls or emails in a timely manner.

So I think it's time to start shopping again. I just recently contacted a local independent agent, as I've never gone that route before. So far the experience is quite good, similar to the Farmer's agent. But they work with carriers I've never heard of, which makes me a little nervous, and I haven't seen any quotes yet, so we'll see.
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:11 AM   #30
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Just went with independent agency this past year in anticipation of not always being around to do it myself once we retired and started hitting the road.
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:34 AM   #31
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:39 AM   #32
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I've been with the same State Farm agency for 39 years. It's changed hands one time. I never met the first agent and have only met the 2nd agent once. My experience is the agent does next to nothing. The office staff does all the work. My one encounter with the agent didn't go very well. I was there talking to one of the office staff about a wreck my daughter had. He came strolling by, introduced himself, and proceeded to try to sell me an IRA. I basically told him to get lost.

The few times I've tried to get quotes from others, it turned out that what I had was cheaper with all the discounts. But, once my DS is finally off the family payroll, I'm going to re-shop my insurance. All of it.
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:55 AM   #33
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I do not use tied agents. I use an independent agent and every couple of years I direct her to shop the coverage.

Prior to this agent, I used a tied agent/State Farm because the guy was in my flying club and I llked him. After SF jacked my rates a couple of times, I shopped on my own. My cost to buy from my friend turned out to be over $1000 per year. That's the first time and the last time I used a tied agent. Some friend!

Online is difficult because we have three cars, two houses, a boat, some scheduled jewelry, and an umbrella. When that's all bundled we get offered substantial discounts; trying to piece it together on the internet is something I don't have the patience to do and which would eliminate the potential to bundle. Maybe there would be a savings? I will never know.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:58 AM   #34
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I have been getting Auto/HO from USAA for nearly 50 years. Now it's just automatic each 6 months (auto), 3years (HO). No agents, no phone calls, no online questions.
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:28 PM   #35
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I was with Amica for years. Loved them. But they refused to insure our house.. . So I switched to AAA... But they refused to insure our granny flat when we converted it to a rental unit (but covered it for years when my in laws were living there) and refused to do an umbrella for us because of the granny flat. The issue is that we live across the street from a deep canyon that is considered to be at risk for wildfires. So most of the traditional home insurers had various excuses to deny us. Farmers came through and they've been great. I'm especially annoyed with AAA since they seemed to evolve and adapt their reasons to dump us after years of coverage and no claims....
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:41 PM   #36
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I get my auto insurance, and as of this year, home insurance, through BCAA. I have critical illness and LTC insurance through my professional association. Health insurance through provincial government.
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:51 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
I was with Amica for years. Loved them. But they refused to insure our house.
So much depends on who you are, where you live, your history, etc.

Someone here was raving about Amica recently and how much they saved when switching from USAA. I said what the heck, and got a quote from Amica. It was almost exactly double what I pay USAA for precisely the same coverage. You just never know.
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:54 PM   #38
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The only insurance I pay for is HI for the two kids $1200/yr and worth every penny! Had a car for 5 years without insurance, Had the radiator stolen twice so maybe it cost me $500 out of pocket. No homeowners on my Penthouse as the only thing that can happen is a major earthquake. No umbrella as if you tried sue anyone, everybody would just laugh!
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:28 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by brucethebroker View Post
Exact same situation with my Allstate agent. Plus, he spent the first 10 years of his career as a claims adjuster-that really helps! 25 years plus.
I am like everyone here as far as spending years paying 2 Insurance companies and never checking rates. I now look at rates every year and have saved 40% on my premium by shopping around. I don't mind paying extra for good service, but not 40% more.

Even if you stay with your existing company, you can use the competition to try to improve your rates.

VW
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:55 PM   #40
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I use an independent agent who also happens to be a very good friend. Never had a claim until this past May. I was at a dead stop for a construction zone when I was rear-ended by a drunk driver traveling ~55 mph. Saw her coming and tried to get out of her way so suffered only a glancing blow that still totaled my vehicle. I called my agent from the accident scene and he had an equivalent rental car ready for me within an hour of the accident. He also called the insurance company and had the assigned claim manager call me first thing the next morning. I had a great experience considering the circumstance.

My point is, while I believe my agent has secured me the best tailor-made coverages at the best possible price (and he shops it regularly), more important is the individualized service I receive when it's most needed.
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