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Old 10-25-2017, 07:36 AM   #61
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We had been with the same auto and homeowner insurance for over 20 years. We rebid it this year and saved $1600. I wish I had done this years ago.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:38 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by folivier View Post
Here in Louisiana we have high auto insurance rates. As an example I just bought a small car to tow behind the motorhome. Paid $3500 for it, basically a cheap throwaway just to run around in and tow. The cheap car will cost $100/year less than the 2011 Tahoe! which is newer, nicer, and worth far more and being a much larger and heavier vehicle could cause more damage in an accident. So in 2 years I will pay as much in insurance as I paid for the darn thing. My agent said because its a new "type" of vehicle for us is why it is costing so much. But he did admit that it probably won't ever go down. I can get cheaper insurance for it elsewhere but lose the multi-car discount.
But down here every other billboard and tv ad is attorneys begging you to sue if you've been in an accident. Oh yeah we also have drive-through daiquiri stands!
Did the insurance include collision and comprehensive? At the price paid perhaps just liability is needed. (unless you financed it). Look at the various coverages on your policy and see what each coverage costs.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:38 AM   #63
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It’s called price optimization. They raise the rate “because they can.” It was in the news a while back.

Price Optimization: Being A Loyal Auto Insurance Customer Can Cost You : NPR
It's not that simple. Auto insurance rates have to be approved by the state's Insurance Commissioner and backed by tons of statistics. I've dealt with these people and they're a lot more focused on any reasons the rates your company wants to use are too high. I've never had anyone question an assumption that might mean the prospective rates are too low.

That said- Company A might have better experience than Company B for people in your rating group (location, car type, age, credit rating, etc.) so shopping around can get you some savings. I see a fair amount of e-Rewards surveys asking about how often I shop for quotes on auto and homeowners insurance so I know companies are interested in who's likely to jump ship. It may be that they take less of an increase than they need for those insureds, knowing that the Insurance Commissioner's staff won't have a problem with that.
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:32 PM   #64
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I just sent this to my insurance agent tonight. I expect a BS answer, but I thought I should at least give him a chance to explain. We are going to be out of the country for 3.5 months beginning in January and I don't want to mess with the auto payments so when we return I will shop around for better rates.

The two cars are a 2014 Subaru Outback and a 2015 Honda Fit. We have filed no claims and our credit ratings are very high. The only thing I can think that has changed is we both turned 60 this year.

+++++

Hello [insurance agent]

I was comparing our prior auto insurance premiums to our current auto insurance premiums.

January - July 2014 Subaru premium = $317.44

January - July 2018 Subaru premium = $417.70

$417.70 - $317.44 = $100.26 x 2 = $200.52 increase


January - July 2015 Honda Fit premium = $367.02

January - July 2018 Honda Fit premium = $474.26

$474.26 - $367.02 = $107.24 x 2 = $214.48 increase

Total: $200.52 + $214.48 = $415.00 increase from three years ago

Are my numbers correct and if so why have our rates increased on our auto insurance policies?
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:52 PM   #65
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I just sent this to my insurance agent tonight. I expect a BS answer, but I thought I should at least give him a chance to explain. We are going to be out of the country for 3.5 months beginning in January and I don't want to mess with the auto payments so when we return I will shop around for better rates.

The two cars are a 2014 Subaru Outback and a 2015 Honda Fit. We have filed no claims and our credit ratings are very high. The only thing I can think that has changed is we both turned 60 this year.

+++++

Hello [insurance agent]

I was comparing our prior auto insurance premiums to our current auto insurance premiums.

January - July 2014 Subaru premium = $317.44

January - July 2018 Subaru premium = $417.70

$417.70 - $317.44 = $100.26 x 2 = $200.52 increase


January - July 2015 Honda Fit premium = $367.02

January - July 2018 Honda Fit premium = $474.26

$474.26 - $367.02 = $107.24 x 2 = $214.48 increase

Total: $200.52 + $214.48 = $415.00 increase from three years ago

Are my numbers correct and if so why have our rates increased on our auto insurance policies?
I could see the agent blaming the increase on the weather, or the rise in claims in your zone, or maybe even the ole "well the cost of replacement parts and labor has risen", anything but greedy shareholders and board members. They raised our rates when they found out DW drove more than 10k miles annually. If I don't submit the annual mileage the rate automatically goes up. It's like the old trap when my wife asks "do I look good today?" waiiit a second...TRAP!
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:07 AM   #66
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greedy shareholders
Wait a minute, I resemble that remark :-)
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:35 AM   #67
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My Geo Vera earthquake insurance jumped to 700 a year (65k deductible) so I added it to my USAA auto, home, umbrella, instruments policy (lowered deductible too) and it creeped up from 179m to 229m. Supposedly only added 400 yr so something else must have gone up too. But not the amounts your stating. My PGE balanced plan also jumped to 127 month but I'm building a hell of a credit so I guess I'll stop paying in spring again
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:25 PM   #68
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The electric company here (PP and L) will be installing digital 'smart meters' on everyone's house. You can't refuse it. They send a wireless signal out to the company periodically to track your usage. I don't want a new meter since my old analog meter still works fine. And get this, they will be tacking on another $15 fee per month, that will last several years, to pay for these stupid unnecessary smart meters. Someone's making money on this, but not the homeowners, that's for sure. Currently they read the meter remotely somehow, anyway. No one walks around reading your meter every month, so they're not saving on labor. What bugs me is that you can't opt out. Supposedly you will be able to track your usage down to the hour, and figure out what appliance uses the most energy. I still don't want it.
No analog meter can be read remotely. They are today typically equipped with add on transmitters that allow a slow drive by for reading. Analog meters wear out and must be replaced periodically and 99% of the time, the homeowner isn’t even aware it happened except that they lost power for a short period. Smart meters will reduce operating costs by eliminating those meter reader employees and because they also allow instant determination of outages and problems that may be locally present. Much less time searching for the location of the problem. As mentioned, they will allow time of use rate billing. They also eliminate power theft which is more widespread than most people are aware. There are a significant number of benefits. Your claim that they are tacking on a $15/mo fee for several years specifically to pay for them is the first I’ve ever heard of that high a cost pass through. (In 30 seconds, a google search showed that the increase is $0.69/mo, gradually rising to peak of $6.50, then dropping again, through 2030. The search also showed they are required to change the meters because the state changed the requirements for meters, forcing them to do it. ). No utility can just raise its rates because of inefficient plants or deciding to install new equipment. All rate changes are proposed and approved by a state corporation commission who's sole purpose is to balance cost with reliable power. Electricity could be much less expensive if everyone didn’t insist on it 99.99% of the time. Historically, electric rates have risen nationwide less than any other utility. Most peoples bills have gone down adjusted for inflation thanks to more efficient appliances , computers & TVs, LED/CFL lighting and energy efficient homes. And why would you think any utility is in the business of saving customers money? It would be in any electric utilities best interest to have you use as much power as possible all the time. But instead, they operate on published guidlines to promote reduced usage to limit the need for new plants and generation. Is there ANY business where that is their charter? They provide a regulated service with a defined limited profit. No utility can make as much as they want because they are a regulated local monopoly. If you think you can make your own power cheaper, you are welcome to do it. Believe me, PP&L will not miss you. Your rant is silly.
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:36 PM   #69
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Your claim that they are tacking on a $15/mo fee for several years specifically to pay for them is the first Ive ever heard of that high a cost pass through.
That surprised me too.
I have a friend who w*rked for a utility until he retired. He once told me that about ten years ago they got a pitch from a company making the newer smart meters and they looked into it carefully. Despite the personnel cost savings from fewer meter readers, they concluded that they would break even just about at the end of the projected useful life of the meters, so they passed on the deal. There was never any possibility of passing the cost on to the customers.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:13 PM   #70
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Late to the dance but I'll join in now.


About car insurance, I've had some sharp increases this year, mainly in the costly coverages of BI/PD Liability and No-Fault. What hasn't happened over the last few years is a gradual decline in my Comp and Collision rates. With my previous car, those rates went down as my car aged, especially by its 10th year. Comp has been pretty low and stable, but Collision remains high. UM, the Uninsured Motorists coverage, has actually declined a little over the years.


My co-op maintenance charge has risen at about the inflation rate. This charge includes lots of things such as property taxes, interest on the co-op's mortgage, and general physical upkeep of the buildings and land.


My 3 main utilities, cable TV, Internet, and landline phone, have risen a lot over the years. They now cost me more than my auto+home insurance. Electric has been fairly stable.


But it's my health insurance which has been the most volatile over the years, especially once I ERed 9 years ago. I saw raises of 50% in the first 2 years, then I went underinsured for a few years until the ACA came around. I then paid more but not as much as I did when I first ERed. Now, the rates are rising a lot again. I will be paying the same for my HI as I will for my co-op maintenance charge.


My total monthly expenses, barring any unforeseen major health issue, will exceed $2,000 a month for the first time in 2018.
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:39 AM   #71
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That surprised me too.

I have a friend who w*rked for a utility until he retired. He once told me that about ten years ago they got a pitch from a company making the newer smart meters and they looked into it carefully. Despite the personnel cost savings from fewer meter readers, they concluded that they would break even just about at the end of the projected useful life of the meters, so they passed on the deal. There was never any possibility of passing the cost on to the customers.

We switched over to smart meters about 3 yrs ago and it seems like the local utility and PUC are not utilizing any new capabilities. At least the didn't stick us with a huge fee and no time of use billing so far.
I can't believe our utility doesn't run the new smart meters in a more consistent cycle. I assumed with the ease of collecting readings, the # of days/ billing cycle would be more consistent. Our billing cycles range from 28-33 days which is a huge difference for the extreme temperature months. They don't seem to be able to calculate a level payment plan either but I do my own.
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:52 AM   #72
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You mean...you don't read the monthly notices about how well you're doing compared with "comparable efficient homes in your neighborhood"?

Complete with smiley and frowny faces, depending on whether you used more or fewer KW's? (What are we, six years old?)

And facetious suggestions of how you can save more KW's, which correspond to things you already do?


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We switched over to smart meters about 3 yrs ago and it seems like the local utility and PUC are not utilizing any new capabilities.
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:59 AM   #73
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I had complained to our insurance agent about rate creep and recent jumps, especially on my 2002 Subaru, which was costing nearly $1000/year to insure, even though I haven't had any accidents or tickets and have less than 47,000 miles on it. Our agent referred me to a company rep, who essentially said 'sorry but that's the way it is'. We shopped around, and got the same insurance elsewhere for about half as much. Saved so much that we decided to put earthquake insurance back on our house. Wish we'd done it sooner.

I suppose there's a formula actuaries use to determine the profitability of raising rates until customers bail vs. keeping rates down to retain customers.
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:41 AM   #74
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We switched over to smart meters a couple of years ago. It was optional but the power company charges the folks who didn't switch an additional fee. I don't remember the monthly amount but it might have been $15.
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:59 AM   #75
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You mean...you don't read the monthly notices about how well you're doing compared with "comparable efficient homes in your neighborhood"?

Complete with smiley and frowny faces, depending on whether you used more or fewer KW's? (What are we, six years old?)

And facetious suggestions of how you can save more KW's, which correspond to things you already do?


Ha! I do look at those and do see the inconsistencies in the report. We're all natural gas but get compared to homes that heat with electricity. The 3rd party that prepares those reports is a public company that gets paid through the conservation surcharge we all pay. Think they'll credit me for postage if I opt out of snail mail notices?
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Old 12-14-2017, 11:06 AM   #76
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My total monthly expenses, barring any unforeseen major health issue, will exceed $2,000 a month for the first time in 2018.
That's amazing! How terrific that you have been able to cut costs like that. Time to pat yourself on the back.
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Old 12-14-2017, 11:11 AM   #77
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I had complained to our insurance agent about rate creep and recent jumps, especially on my 2002 Subaru, which was costing nearly $1000/year to insure, even though I haven't had any accidents or tickets and have less than 47,000 miles on it. Our agent referred me to a company rep, who essentially said 'sorry but that's the way it is'. We shopped around, and got the same insurance elsewhere for about half as much. Saved so much that we decided to put earthquake insurance back on our house. Wish we'd done it sooner.

I suppose there's a formula actuaries use to determine the profitability of raising rates until customers bail vs. keeping rates down to retain customers.


Sometimes I think the instance companies figure the longer you go without a claim, your odds increase of having one so they jack up rates to off load the risk. Crazy I know but it sure feels that way sometimes.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:26 PM   #78
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Sometimes I think the instance companies figure the longer you go without a claim, your odds increase of having one so they jack up rates to off load the risk. Crazy I know but it sure feels that way sometimes.
It isn't crazy. As someone above said, it is the "smart people" playing with big data and daring you to change. They call it "price optimization."

Link to NPR article on this subject:
https://www.npr.org/2015/05/08/40359...r-can-cost-you
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:16 PM   #79
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I too live in Texas which also has high property taxes.

My home and car insurance also goes up every year... so much so that now my home and car insurance combined is more than my property taxes !!

The only break is... Texas property taxes go down at age 65. But the money I saved there goes to pay for my higher insurance.

.
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:10 PM   #80
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You mean...you don't read the monthly notices about how well you're doing compared with "comparable efficient homes in your neighborhood"?

Complete with smiley and frowny faces, depending on whether you used more or fewer KW's? (What are we, six years old?)
One of the attractions of the house we're living in is that it's heated with natural gas, cheapest around here and most other places too. While we don't get a comparison in the bill with other houses, we don't hesitate to crank up the heat when we feel chilly.

Knowing we like it warmer than most other people, when the house was built we paid extra for house wrap (an option at the time but standard now) and extra insulation in the attic. I looked, and it seemed to be about three feet of the stuff in there!

The highest gas bill we've ever received was $350 during an exceptionally cold winter. And to us, it's worth every nickel.
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