Time to Shop Car Insurance. Reason to choose any certain carrier over another?

Joined
Jul 8, 2012
Messages
4,278
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
So, I know "Bob's not the insurance guy", and all that, but, as I shop car insurance, I was just wondering if maybe some of you guys here have been with several different, or, maybe just a few different auto insurance companies, and have a preference for one particular company?

I've been with Travelers, through Zander Insurance Agency, here in Nashville (you may have heard of them if you listen to Dave Ramsey's show). Their claim to fame (or, at least, what's advertised) is that they shop you amongst up to a dozen different insurance carriers to get you the best rate.

My truck has 240,000 miles now, and, while still in good shape, I've made the decision to cut the fat out, and just maintain liability and uninsured motorist.

Of course, we have full coverage on the 4Runner.

100K/300K limits, which, I was told, are sort of "middle of the road" limits.

Neither the wife nor I have any tickets or accidents or any kind of claims, and a recent quote from Zander, through Travelers, was $1284/yr, with full coverage on the 4Runner and just liability and uninsured motorist on the Taco.

State Farm quoted a bit less, at $1178, with the same coverages.

The quote from Zander was an initial quote, without asking them to shop around - just asking them how much it would reduce it just by cutting comp, rental coverage, etc. I have asked them to do some checking and see how much they can get it down from there.

I think we're pretty low risk - I'm 41 and my wife is 27 and pregnant. I figure we should be able to qualify for some pretty good rates.

Anyway, I'm not looking to necessarily compare rates, because everyone's situation is different, and it doesn't really do any good to compare rates. But, have any of you had experience with several different companies, and have a preference for (or an aversion to) any particular company or companies, as far as the service received, or any other reason?

Why should I go with State Farm over Travelers, or Liberty Mutual over GEICO?

I've asked a couple of different agents, and neither could give me any real reason to choose one carrier over another.

Your experience?
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
3,476
We are in different states that are worlds apart with business regulation(s). That matters!! For me in NY what I've found is that the big players offer teaser rates that are excellent but each year they incrementally up your costs and after about 3 years of 4 it's time to move on and repeat, and repeat.

Another factor affecting the big boys, natural disasters. After Katrina hit NO State Farm took a serious bath. So much so that the rest of the countries State Farm insured persons paid heavily over the next few years with rate increases. This came from an insurance agent friend of mine. Otherwise, I'd not have known.

I did find a smaller-sized insurer, NY Central Mutual (NYCM) and they have been excellent for the last 6 or 7 years. But they are hard-core about claims. I had my first claim of damage to a camper Upstate NY (5hr north of my home) and they sent an adjuster to the middle of nowhere over a 2k matter. Loved it!!!
 
Joined
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25,219
Location
CA
I've been with Travelers, through Zander Insurance Agency, here in Nashville (you may have heard of them if you listen to Dave Ramsey's show). Their claim to fame (or, at least, what's advertised) is that they shop you amongst up to a dozen different insurance carriers to get you the best rate.
For an independent agency, I am sure their carriers love them.

My truck has 240,000 miles now, and, while still in good shape, I've made the decision to cut the fat out, and just maintain liability and uninsured motorist.
Adding comprehensive might be worthwhile for $50-$100/yr. You do live in an area where there is potential for severe weather.

Of course, we have full coverage on the 4Runner.
The Travelers premier new car replacement option is for 5 years. Most other carriers are 3 years or shorter. This alone, is a significant selling point:

100K/300K limits, which, I was told, are sort of "middle of the road" limits.
That really depends on your assets. Only you know the answer to this.

I think we're pretty low risk - I'm 41 and my wife is 27 and pregnant. I figure we should be able to qualify for some pretty good rates.
You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but pricing models are very sophisticated and taken into account far more factors than your driving history, age, usage and vehicle type. Territory factors, performance of the portfolio (by state and/or sub-segment), your general loss history across multiple lines, etc.

Why should I go with State Farm over Travelers, or Liberty Mutual over GEICO?
For the most part, Personal Auto has become commoditized unless we are discussing the AIG Private Client, Chubb Masterpiece, etc. policies. On minor claims I think most carriers are fairly competent in handling them. The differences become more evident when you are battling a large policy-limits loss and some carriers will have better in-house expertise (plus better legal liaisons). Also, I am personally skeptical of placing coverage with any carrier that uses third party adjusters to handle their claims.

With that said, there are some minor differences in coverage enhancements amongst the major writers. Whether or not that matters, is dependent on your needs and your preferences.

There are definitely a few carriers that I personally avoid if possible, but to each their own.
 

CKN

Joined
Oct 14, 2014
Messages
7,194
Location
Utah
For an independent agency, I am sure their carriers love them.


Adding comprehensive might be worthwhile for $50-$100/yr. You do live in an area where there is potential for severe weather.


The Travelers premier new car replacement option is for 5 years. Most other carriers are 3 years or shorter. This alone, is a significant selling point:


That really depends on your assets. Only you know the answer to this.


You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but pricing models are very sophisticated and taken into account far more factors than your driving history, age, usage and vehicle type. Territory factors, performance of the portfolio (by state and/or sub-segment), your general loss history across multiple lines, etc.


For the most part, Personal Auto has become commoditized unless we are discussing the AIG Private Client, Chubb Masterpiece, etc. policies. On minor claims I think most carriers are fairly competent in handling them. The differences become more evident when you are battling a large policy-limits loss and some carriers will have better in-house expertise (plus better legal liaisons). Also, I am personally skeptical of placing coverage with any carrier that uses third party adjusters to handle their claims.

With that said, there are some minor differences in coverage enhancements amongst the major writers. Whether or not that matters, is dependent on your needs and your preferences.

There are definitely a few carriers that I personally avoid if possible, but to each their own.
Some Internet only based companies are absolute nightmares to deal with the event of a claim.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
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1,713
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MD
Keep looking and look at how consumers in your area rate carriers. There's little benefit if you get a low rate and then have a company working against you if you file a claim.
 
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CKN

Joined
Oct 14, 2014
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Utah
I have heard the service is good, but when they quoted me they were much higher than anyone else.
USAA isn't the cheapest around. I don't know how this rumor gets passed around. They do however take very good care of their clients.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
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High Country of Western NC
Last time I insurance shopped I actually talked to my local body shop guy to get his impression of what companies were the best and easiest for him to work with. I also asked him about likelihood of a company using non-OEM replacement parts. Might be worth you time to talk to the folks that deal with car insurers every day.
 
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For my family, USAA's rates are competitive. Rates vary a lot depending on your details and family members: age, gender, history, location, etc.
 
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I have heard the service is good, but when they quoted me they were much higher than anyone else.
I use USAA for many things and it had been a few years since I even paid attention to premiums and so I had two independent agents run quotes for auto, home, and umbrella, and to my surprise, USAA was the cheapest by several hundred dollars per year.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
11,790
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MA
I have Geico. Basically I just go by price, I rarely have a claim so the service they claim isn't that big a deal. Plus I did once get insurance at 11pm at night, they are 24 hours. Did it on a drive back after buying the car, did it all over the phone. I haven't shopped around lately but I did once and most places were more money. Once place was lower by about $50 but they had a $100 first year discount that would go away in the second year so it wasn't worth switching over and back again.
 
Joined
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4,965
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Cali
Have State Farm on the house and all our vehicles, been with them forever. ;)
 
Joined
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19,325
Location
Silicon Valley
Just came out of a claim against another driver, with "Anchor General" using 3rd party claim adjuster. 1 week job of minor bondo and paint turn into 2 weeks, because of the incompetent adjuster.

For me AAA is the cheapest, Geico is way higher, and Progressive in the middle. Home insurance is another story and I actually get lower price splitting everything up, even between my 2 homes to different companies (1 Mercury for SFH, 1 Progressive for Condo, and auto to AAA). The only conclusion I found is everyone is on a scale between 1 (we need to drop this guy) and 10 (this guy sold his car but forgot to cancel his auto insurance) and every insurance company set the boundary of their risk bin at different point. So you may be in a higher risk bin in one company but low risk bin in another, use that to your advantage.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
686
Location
MO, USA
So, I know "Bob's not the insurance guy", and all that, but, as I shop car insurance, I was just wondering if maybe some of you guys here have been with several different, or, maybe just a few different auto insurance companies, and have a preference for one particular company?

I've been with Travelers, through Zander Insurance Agency, here in Nashville (you may have heard of them if you listen to Dave Ramsey's show). Their claim to fame (or, at least, what's advertised) is that they shop you amongst up to a dozen different insurance carriers to get you the best rate.

My truck has 240,000 miles now, and, while still in good shape, I've made the decision to cut the fat out, and just maintain liability and uninsured motorist.

Of course, we have full coverage on the 4Runner.

100K/300K limits, which, I was told, are sort of "middle of the road" limits.

Neither the wife nor I have any tickets or accidents or any kind of claims, and a recent quote from Zander, through Travelers, was $1284/yr, with full coverage on the 4Runner and just liability and uninsured motorist on the Taco.

State Farm quoted a bit less, at $1178, with the same coverages.

The quote from Zander was an initial quote, without asking them to shop around - just asking them how much it would reduce it just by cutting comp, rental coverage, etc. I have asked them to do some checking and see how much they can get it down from there.

I think we're pretty low risk - I'm 41 and my wife is 27 and pregnant. I figure we should be able to qualify for some pretty good rates.

Anyway, I'm not looking to necessarily compare rates, because everyone's situation is different, and it doesn't really do any good to compare rates. But, have any of you had experience with several different companies, and have a preference for (or an aversion to) any particular company or companies, as far as the service received, or any other reason?

Why should I go with State Farm over Travelers, or Liberty Mutual over GEICO?

I've asked a couple of different agents, and neither could give me any real reason to choose one carrier over another.

Your experience?
2 cents here bundle home and auto, even if you live in an Apartment. The savings are good.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
186
Location
South of Metro Atlanta
I’ve never understood those that shop around. I’ve tried to and no company has ever come close to what I pay State Farm.

I’ve tried several times through the 33 years I’ve had my own policy through SF (since I was 17), SF is generally 1/2 of what all these other companies quote me.

Here’s my current premiums-

2014 Tundra $300/ 6 mo
2019 Highlander $345/ 6 mo
2015 RX 350 $400 / 6 mo

All have the same coverage.

$300k property liability
$500 deduct collision
$200 deduct comp
$5k medical per person

We have $300k in liability because it’s required under the Umbrella. They say the RX is high because it’s a policy that was started the latest (some gobbly gook, tied to a car we initially insured in 2012???)

Anyway, most of you are paying twice what we are for less coverage. And I constantly gripe to SF my rates are too high in that I’m not the problem on the roads.

Note that I get an unreal amount of discounts through SF that no one else will give. I get 25% off the top because I was accident free for at least 10 years. I’m grandfathered into that, it won’t go away.

As I said, we also have an umbrella that gives a discount across cars and homeowners. We also have homeowners that gives a multi line discount to the cars. Also have a boat with them. So they get 6 fat checks a year from us but we are paying about 60% of what it seems most people do for it all.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
367
Location
Midwest
We use State Farm and bundling does bring in more discounts (we also use them for homeowner's insurance). We also recently started using their "drive safe and save" which should drop rates even more. This is the bluetooth device you keep in your car and link to your phone's app. If you don't mind this (some privacy-minded people hate it), it's actually pretty useful. My wife and son are also on it and we can all check each other's driving. It not only shows a map of every trip you take (so if you're sneaking off without wanting your wife to know, this wouldn't be good) and grades each trip based on five factors: acceleration, cornering, braking, speeding, and phone use. The better your driving score, the steeper the discount. From the research I've done, even a horrible driver will still save 5% by using it, and if your driving is excellent, you can safe >30%. There's several youtube videos talking about the pros and cons, might be worth researching.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2014
Messages
5,443
Location
Ca.
Best car insurance I had was Mercury.

When I started bundling whole packages it was all over the map.
 
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