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

Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
512
Location
South of Metro Atlanta
There are way too many factors that go into pricing...age of insured and location being included. I'm a young(ish) male (31) and I pay $550 every 6 months for the two vehicles in my sig (not the bike...separate policy). I have 500K in liability and $30K medical each person, but I opted for the $1K deductible. My coverage is better (minus the deductible of course) and I pay less even though I assume I am quite a bit younger than you and therefore a "higher liability". Why? My guess is because I live in ND. I only say all this to point out that it's really hard to compare rates person to person.

Ahh yeah, ND versus the Atlanta metro area, that is full of great, well-meaning people. :)

Also, I have over $300k in liability when you count the umbrella that is tied to everything. Having the $1k deductible might be saving you some, I bet it's not over a $100 savings per 6 mo for me.

I'd say $550/6 mo for two cars is a good deal in today's dollars. I paid nearly $90/mo for everything I've owned for a long, long time and have just now gotten into the $50/mo category, and I have some serious discounts.

I think after you've hit 30, age doesn't matter much.


One thing I'd love for insurance companies to do is offer deep, deep, deep discounts if you pass a comprehensive driving exam based on written testing and simulator testing, NOT monitoring your driving habits. Let's see some real world reactions and habits. I don't care if you take a turn too hard or run 82 mph on the interstate when there's not much traffic. I care if you play with your phone in the left lane on the interstate....
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
685
Location
North Dakota
Wait 'till the kiddo grows up. Adding a 19yr/old and 3rd cheap vehicle to my policy changed that $1200 to $3600.
Hence my plan for my 1 year old boy when he hits 16: his car will get him to work, to earn money to pay for the increase in insurance, to allow him a car to get him to work. It's a beautiful cycle 😂
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
512
Location
South of Metro Atlanta
My State Farm agent has also told me this -

If you have an Umbrella policy (and your auto insurance is with SF), if you HAVE a minor in the household (under 25), doesn't matter if they are on your auto policy, your umbrella doubles in premium price. If that minor causes an accident and is on your insurance, your Umbrella is then cancelled. If they have a 2nd chargeable accident before 25, your auto policy will be cancelled.

Once you are cancelled, you move to 3rd tier insurance companies and premiums.

So my advice to all who have teenagers - get them their own policies and good luck. I honestly don't see how those that pay for their kids insurance do it. I've heard anywhere from $125/mo for basic liability on a $4,000 car to $500/mo for these kids that get handed the keys to a $60,000 Jeep or SUV.
 

JTK

Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
14,758
Location
Buffalo, NY
In my particular case, my 19yr old is my daughter and she reimburses me the difference. My boys? Lawd have mercy. They will have to somehow get their own. I can't/won't take the risk.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
1,786
Location
MO
State Farm for me was over $1500 a year higher on the house with a $5k deductible vs the $2500 I have now with Farmers and comparable on the autos. The umbrella was more expensive too. I need to call a few companies for quotes as I’ve had Farmers for a few years now.
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
947
Location
Crown Point, IN
From a body shop side of things State Farm is one of the betters ones to deal with. Most of the fly by night companies are a joke to deal with. Progressive, Allstate, Gieco will do everything they can to save a penny. We have had many instances where for example we ordered a used head light from the local yard that’s in nice shape for $300. Allstate comes back and says well we found a headlight 7 states away in Georgia for $275 and you have to use that one or the body shop will owe us the difference of $25. We have to play the game. So a week later the used light from Georgia showed up UPS all sun faded and not useable, not surprised. Then we go back to using the nice condition headlight from the local yard for $300 that we should have used in the first place and we just lost a week over a piece of junk part. Stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.

With Allstate the estimate has to be over 100% of the value of the vehicle before they will even consider totaling it. Most other companies it’s around 75%.

Erie insurance has been easy to work with and doesn’t give us much issues at all.

This just happened to a friend of mine and I have seen it multiple times lately with Allstate and progressive
My friends wife was driving and some one with progressive pulled out in from of her and bam. Her car gets towed from the accident site to a tow yard. Then progressive decided it needs to go to IAA that’s two hours away. Another tow. Progressive then decided that we’re not sure if it’s a total or not so it needs to go to a shop to be torn down, inspected, and have a shop write an estimate. Another two hour tow back to a local body shop. So now progressive wastes the body shops time and they declare it a total. Meanwhile my friend and his wife are stuck in a rental car for almost 30 days not sure what to do because they are not sure if their car will be totaled out or not. Then the insurance company has the nuts to tell them that they need to return the rental because it’s been now 30 days. Insurance doesn’t care that they dragged their feet for almost 30 days.
 
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Astro14

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16,225
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Virginia Beach
Can you use USAA? They are one of the best. Low rates and great service.
I was with USAA for over 30 years.

I thought they had low rates. I was paying $4,000/year for insurance on 5 cars with multiple drivers. I have a perfectly clean record. No tickets. Last accident was 2004.

I called GEICO. Same exact coverage in every respect. Every detail. $1,650.

I asked USAA if they could match, or at least come close to, GEICO.

NO. Straight up. No negotiation. No consideration of 30+ years of being a member. When I asked why not, they stated, "We have better service and what we charge is allowed by Virginia".

Well, allowable and reasonable aren't the same. Furthermore, having someone call me by my rank, after being lost in a phone menu for 15 minutes sure isn't "better service". Finally, in that accident, 17 years ago, USAA really lowballed my car. Gave me just over half of KBB. Denied my appeal. I don't consider that "better service".

I left USAA four years ago.

Never looked back.

No need to. I still haven't had an accident or ticket, and even with one more car, I still pay half of what I previously did at USAA.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
3,081
Location
Ontario, Canada
Best advice to use an insurance broker. They tend to know which companies to use for best coverage, best price, depending on what your priorities are. Best part, all my various insurance policies are with different companies for different reasons, but I get the same discounts as having all my different policies with the same company.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
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3,081
Location
Ontario, Canada
With Allstate the estimate has to be over 100% of the value of the vehicle before they will even consider totaling it. Most other companies it’s around 75%.
That‘s just the differenice between standard replacement insurance and “full replacement” insurance. I would be leery of full replacement insurance just for this reason. Would you want a car back fixed that required 95% of the value in repairs? Have seen it several times.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2020
Messages
265
Can you use USAA? They are one of the best. Low rates and great service.
No, they DO NOT have low rates. I'm a retired officer, and I had them for over 41 years since I was a newly commissioned Ensign in USN. They kept sneaking up the rates a little bit each year. I quit them finally, and got the same coverage from a Pennsylvania company for LESS THAN HALF of what USAA charges. Who in the hell do you think pays for those obnoxious USAA TV commercials? Joe Biden? Don't drink their Kool Aide. I say move on.
 
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Joined
Dec 11, 2020
Messages
265
I was with USAA for over 30 years.

I thought they had low rates. I was paying $4,000/year for insurance on 5 cars with multiple drivers. I have a perfectly clean record. No tickets. Last accident was 2004.

I called GEICO. Same exact coverage in every respect. Every detail. $1,650.

I asked USAA if they could match, or at least come close to, GEICO.

NO. Straight up. No negotiation. No consideration of 30+ years of being a member. When I asked why not, they stated, "We have better service and what we charge is allowed by Virginia".

Well, allowable and reasonable aren't the same. Furthermore, having someone call me by my rank, after being lost in a phone menu for 15 minutes sure isn't "better service". Finally, in that accident, 17 years ago, USAA really lowballed my car. Gave me just over half of KBB. Denied my appeal. I don't consider that "better service".

I left USAA four years ago.

Never looked back.

No need to. I still haven't had an accident or ticket, and even with one more car, I still pay half of what I previously did at USAA.
I had a similar experience with USAA, they think you're stupid and not doing your homework to get a better rate. It's not the same company that I started with when I got my commission in the USN
 

Sam_Julier

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May 22, 2012
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Connecticut
I left Geico for Liberty Mutual last year. I had been with Geico for over 10 years and was quite happy with them. Liberty Mutual was 25% less including home owners insurance. A local broker helped me.

I make a point to check my rates every 3 years.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2020
Messages
265
Go to the General and save some time, or so they say. General Insurance is supposed to have good rates for people who can't chew gum and walk at the same time. However.....a friend of mine had a spotless record for over 15 years got General, and he was real happy with the rates and the service. It's worth a shot.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
470
Location
Long Island, NY
I'll have to shop again. Have USAA currently. With 2 kids and father in law on the coverage, USAA was cheapest but still an arm/leg/testicle. Service was always good, I have homeowners, life, cars, renters, credit cards, had car loans with them.

Wife had State Farm when we married. Paid extra for glass coverage. 2 windshields in 2 months due to rocks in road construction areas. They said one more claim and we have to drop you, no if's and or buts. Why was she paying extra?

USAA same # or more claims driving in construction and mountains in winter with heavy rock sanding etc. USAA answer, many of our members in same area have same issue, not unreasonable claims. No upcharges (besides the glass coverage) no notice of being dropped.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
13,467
Location
MA
I have not read all the replies, but what I did was, call an Agent who is a broker.
They will get quotes from one dozen Insurance Companies.
Every year, they should shop around again.

Be smart - save money.
You should also call Geico directly also. They don't sell through insurance brokers. Brokers usually get a 10% cut in commission so in theory Geico could be cheaper, but they do advertise a lot.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2020
Messages
265
I'll have to shop again. Have USAA currently. With 2 kids and father in law on the coverage, USAA was cheapest but still an arm/leg/testicle. Service was always good, I have homeowners, life, cars, renters, credit cards, had car loans with them.

Wife had State Farm when we married. Paid extra for glass coverage. 2 windshields in 2 months due to rocks in road construction areas. They said one more claim and we have to drop you, no if's and or buts. Why was she paying extra?

USAA same # or more claims driving in construction and mountains in winter with heavy rock sanding etc. USAA answer, many of our members in same area have same issue, not unreasonable claims. No upcharges (besides the glass coverage) no notice of being dropped.
My decision to leave USAA was based on the recommendations from two body shops. Both shops told me that USAA is cheap skate as all get out, trying to get body shops to use aftermarket parts whenever possible. I know from experience, that I have paid extra out of pocket to get OEM Toyota parts when USAA was insisting on the body shop use aftermarket parts. They try to steer you to known lousy shops to get your car fixed. Also, their rates were insane. Was paying $1200 per year MORE at USAA, and I had a spotless record. That was for two cars, and me and my wife, both mature drivers ( i.e. old farts older than 65). They think you're too dumb to figure it out for yourself that you're getting hosed. For the record, we went with Erie Ins Co.
 

john_pifer

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 8, 2012
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4,759
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Nashville, TN via Memphis
My decision to leave USAA was based on the recommendations from two body shops. Both shops told me that USAA is cheap skate as all get out, trying to get body shops to use aftermarket parts whenever possible. I know from experience, that I have paid extra out of pocket to get OEM Toyota parts when USAA was insisting on the body shop use aftermarket parts. They try to steer you to known lousy shops to get your car fixed. Also, their rates were insane. Was paying $1200 per year MORE at USAA, and I had a spotless record. That was for two cars, and me and my wife, both mature drivers ( i.e. old farts older than 65). They think you're too dumb to figure it out for yourself that you're getting hosed. For the record, we went with Erie Ins Co.
Just to be fair, isn’t it an industry-wide practice for auto insurance companies to attempt to minimize costs this way, especially when they think they’re dealing with a customer who’s unscrupulous or asleep?

Are there any auto insurers who specifically advertise the use of only OEM parts, or using the most expensive shops?

I have understood that the language “preferred body shop” tends to be translated as, “a shop the insurance co does lots of business with”, which *may* mean a repair of lower quality, but not necessarily. It may just mean that the insurance co gets a deal due to volume.

Due diligence on the part of the customer is needed. As with most things where you’re paying for a service, short cutting is likely if you don’t ask questions and demand no less than excellent work (because most people DONT ask questions, or care, and they know they can get away with it).
 
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