Author Topic: Help me destroy my car insurance bill  (Read 20532 times)

Manguy888

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Rhode Island
    • EA Mann, Writer
Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« on: December 28, 2015, 07:04:09 AM »
Hey all - looking for some advice to lower my car insurance bill. Right now we're paying $919 every 6 months for two cars. I'd like to know which types of coverage you think I can cancel or reject. I don't know enough about car insurance to know which categories are necessary and which aren't.

For both cars:
Body Liability                 - $25k/$50k  - $236.60 - can't change, already lowest
Property Liability            - $25k          - $296.50 - can't change, already lowest
Uninsured motorist         - $25k/$50k - $87.40 - can reject coverage
medical payments          - $3k            - $33.70 - can reject coverage
uninsured prop. damage - $25k          - $15.20 - can reject coverage

2008 scion xD - 125k miles on car
  comprehensive - $2,500 ded - $15.90
  collision           - $2,500 ded - $91.10

2011 Honda CRV - 40k miles on car
  comprehensive - $2,500 ded - $25.80
  collision           - $2,500 ded - $117.00

I have enough cash on hand to replace the scion if it were totaled (not the CRV). Thanks for your help!

Axecleaver

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4155
  • Location: Columbia, SC
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2015, 07:24:04 AM »
Cancel the comprehensive and collision on the 2008 car. It's worth about 3500-4k? Even in a worst case scenario where it's totaled, you would get the difference between that and the deductible, or $1000-1500. You're spending $117 a year against the possibility of a total loss. Not worth the expense.

You may also be able to lower rates by estimating your annual mileage at the lower range of what you think you drive. The questions the company asks you when you apply (do you use it for work, do you use it to commute, how many miles do you drive?) are used to estimate your risk.

Finally, make sure to change companies every 1-3 years. The industry practice is to raise rates every year, counting on people to be lazy. This can raise rates as much as 40%. Each company also maintains their own risk maps, so one company may be a lot cheaper in your area.

esq

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 294
  • Location: Humble, TX: World's Biggest Oxymoron
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2015, 07:30:39 AM »


Finally, make sure to change companies every 1-3 years. The industry practice is to raise rates every year, counting on people to be lazy. This can raise rates as much as 40%. Each company also maintains their own risk maps, so one company may be a lot cheaper in your area.

This.  I was shocked at price differences when I shopped around.

soupcxan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 181
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2015, 07:33:27 AM »
Driving around with minimum liability seems foolish. I would not want someone to come after me for +$100k of damages in a bad accident.

Manguy888

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Rhode Island
    • EA Mann, Writer
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2015, 07:57:28 AM »
Cancel the comprehensive and collision on the 2008 car. It's worth about 3500-4k?

Great point - I figured that was the case but didn't do that math. I'll definitely cancel comprehensive and collision on the Scion

Driving around with minimum liability seems foolish. I would not want someone to come after me for +$100k of damages in a bad accident.

Is it foolish? I'd be curious to know what other people think. I don't want to overpay based just on just fear - your argument sounds similar to when people tell me not to do my own home improvement then cite some anecdotal story of someone electrocuting themselves or flooding their house. But I'm not ruling out what you're saying.

FerrumB5

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Location: Illinois
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2015, 08:17:24 AM »
Given that an average new car price is $33500+ (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/05/04/new-car-transaction-price-3-kbb-kelley-blue-book/26690191/), having coverage lower than this number is not a good idea.

Manguy888

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Rhode Island
    • EA Mann, Writer
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2015, 08:29:54 AM »
Given that an average new car price is $33500+ (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/05/04/new-car-transaction-price-3-kbb-kelley-blue-book/26690191/), having coverage lower than this number is not a good idea.

what does the cost of a new car have to do with liability insurance? Or are you talking about "property liability"? I guess when I saw property liability I pictured someone driving into someone's house, but I guess property could also mean the car you hit.

FerrumB5

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Location: Illinois
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2015, 08:37:38 AM »
Property Damage Liability Insurance Coverage. Property damage liability insurance covers the cost of damages to someone else's property after an accident you cause. Most commonly, your property damage will pay out when you are at fault for an accident that causes damage to someone else's car.

FerrumB5

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Location: Illinois
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2015, 08:39:41 AM »
Depending on state/city you live in, there can be a large % of cars that are above 50k easily. Everything above your property liability will be out of your pocket if you are at fault (knock on wood)

reader2580

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 219
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2015, 08:56:13 AM »
Many states will charge you for damage to road infrastructure if they know who damaged it.  I read of someone in Ohio getting over $300 to replace a mile marker on a highway that they hit.  What if you hit one one those big overhead signs and took it out?  Those are really expensive to replace.  Insurance will cover it up to your limit.

I don't what body liability is, but if it covers injuries or death to someone in another car you could be way under insured.  Your liability if you killed someone could be way more than $50,000.

You might be willing to take the risk since you're unlikely to cause an accident with liability above what your insurance will cover.

Knitwit

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 165
  • Location: zone 3, Canada
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2015, 09:48:45 AM »
I'd argue your bodily injury liability coverage is way low. I live in Canada and I carry $5mm in third party liability (combined bodily injury/property). Assuming you are in the US, you might consider increasing that. I have no idea what insurance rates are like in the US, but for me to buy the $5mm policy was only an extra $30 per year than the legislated minimum in my province. Easily worth it for me. YMMV.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2314
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2015, 10:00:40 AM »
Many states will charge you for damage to road infrastructure if they know who damaged it.  I read of someone in Ohio getting over $300 to replace a mile marker on a highway that they hit.  What if you hit one one those big overhead signs and took it out?  Those are really expensive to replace.  Insurance will cover it up to your limit.

I was a witness at a crash (a hit-skip) back a few years ago and was threatened with a lawsuit for replacement costs (around $1200 I believe) on an electronic road sign...  Just because the person that caused the accident skipped, and they couldn't get ahold of the driver of the other car.  My insurance company made it all go away fortunately.  Lesson learned though, don't stop and help at the scene of an accident!

Knitwit

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 165
  • Location: zone 3, Canada
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2015, 10:04:27 AM »
Given that an average new car price is $33500+ (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/05/04/new-car-transaction-price-3-kbb-kelley-blue-book/26690191/), having coverage lower than this number is not a good idea.

what does the cost of a new car have to do with liability insurance? Or are you talking about "property liability"? I guess when I saw property liability I pictured someone driving into someone's house, but I guess property could also mean the car you hit.

Your property liability covers damage to anything other than a person (which is bodily injury liability). As others have suggested, this can include items such as:
  • Any other vehicle you hit - private passenger vehicles can easily exceed $50,000 as suggested by others; some government-owned vehicles like fire trucks, ambulances, etc. can easily exceed half a million dollars in value
  • Anything in that vehicle - equipment, etc.
  • Any privately owned property: fences, houses, businesses (including loss of business claims), etc.
  • Any public property: traffic signs ($100-1000), traffic signals ($5000 and up), street lights ($2000 and up), fire hydrants ($1000 if you nicked the hydrant; $10,000 and up if you rip the hydrant out and cause damage to the underground infrastructure), etc.

Source: I worked in a government insurance branch. Costs quoted are averages of what we regularly collected from insurers for damages caused by drivers.

As you said, you don't want to overpay, and I can completely understand that. I'd encourage you to look over your own finances and calculate what kind of financial hit you can afford to take if you were found at fault for a collision.  I probably buy more coverage than I need to, but it helps me sleep at night.

Manguy888

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Rhode Island
    • EA Mann, Writer
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2015, 10:26:57 AM »
Thanks everyone - this has been really enlightening. When someone in the 'outside world' is trying to scare me into spending more money on something like insurance I usually dig my heels in and argue against it. But when several mustachians are telling me that I should up my coverage then I really have to listen. I still wish people had data to share rather than anecdotes, but I'm taking the point regardless.

I'll likely drop the comprehensive/collision on the scion and increase bodily and property insurance. It'll probably be a wash money wise, but at least my insurance coverage will be smartly distributed.

FerrumB5

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Location: Illinois
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2015, 10:31:55 AM »
What state are you in?
My FULL coverage on 2 cars with pretty high numbers and low deductible (if needed, can dig out numbers) is some $650/6mo. It was ~605 2 years ago. Illinois. Was Geico now Farmers

Manguy888

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Rhode Island
    • EA Mann, Writer
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2015, 10:35:53 AM »
I'm GEICO in Rhode Island.

Can't compare easily since this is the first time I've combined coverage with my wife. Before this I had my own insurance for 1 used car with progressive and it was about $500/ 6 months

StacheInAFlash

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 137
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2015, 10:44:07 AM »
Please shop around some more, as that is some garbage coverage for way too much money! I have 10x the coverage with $500 deductibles for about half the price. Obviously, however, insurance is very dependent on things you can't change easily...your age/sex/location and of course your driving record. I know MMM loves geico, but please shop around as that just seems really expensive. I always advise people to go to an independent insurance broker who can take your info and easily feed it through many companies (that are all the companies that don't advertise constantly on tv) to get the lowest cost. 

Manguy888

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Rhode Island
    • EA Mann, Writer
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2015, 10:50:00 AM »
I will definitely shop around - my wife and I both have perfect driving records. Thanks for the tip

lbmustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 926
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2015, 10:53:58 AM »
Do you need medical? I was under the impression that if you had medical insurance you didn't need the medical portion of car insurance (for yourself, not sure about others now that ACA has kicked in).

Manguy888

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Rhode Island
    • EA Mann, Writer
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2015, 10:57:27 AM »
If I'm reading it right, medical is to help cover other people in your car that might not have medical insurance. This seemed like a strange one to me - 99% of the time the only people in my car are my insured family. That might be one to drop - there's an option to 'reject this coverage'

merula

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1612
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2015, 11:07:26 AM »
Add another vote for "drop the comp/coll, but your liability limit is too low".

I do disagree with the recommendation to switch carriers every 3 years, though. Not because I disagree with the premise of "insurance companies raise rates to catch people who are lazy", that totally happens, but because how long you've been with an insurance company can make a huge difference in dealing with claims, or being non-renewed. I work for an insurance company, I was an underwriter until very recently, meaning that I was the one making decisions about who qualified for what credit. (I worked on businesses in a very specific industry, but the principles are the same for personal.)

Here's something that just happened to a coworker, who has been in the industry much longer than me: she was put in charge of buying coverage for her condo association, so she placed coverage with Carrier A. A few years later, the board asked her to see if she could get a cheaper price. She shopped around and was able to find something that brought the premium from $3,000 to $2,700. So they went with Carrier B for the lower price. In the first year with Carrier B, they had a $25,000 loss. Carrier B non-renewed them, meaning they had to go elsewhere to find coverage. They ended up finding it for $7,000 (all other quotes were over $10,000), but if they had stayed with Carrier A, they probably wouldn't have been non-renewed. The carrier was looking at the cost/benefit. Carrier A would have said "Well, they've been a loyal insured for 4 years, we've collected $12,000 in premium so far, so if we keep them they'll probably be loyal, maybe raise the rates a bit." Carrier B said "First year we're on this and there's a crazy loss? This is untenable, we can't be on this risk."

For me personally, I can't say enough about the independent agency system. My agent got me a deal with a carrier who doesn't sell policies online, where if you drive less than 5,000 miles a year the insurance is dirt cheap.

Every few years, I'll ask my agent to look around to see if there's anything else that's better, and also shop the online carriers myself. I've never found anything as good. Also, when I've had a claim, I've had my agent on hand to talk to the company if there are any issues. If it's just you, you're Joe Schmo, what do they care what you think? If it's your agent, and they have millions placed with this carrier, they have a HUGE interest in making you (and therefore your agent) happy.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 01:48:06 PM by merula »

Manguy888

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Rhode Island
    • EA Mann, Writer
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2015, 11:37:05 AM »
anyone have any trusted links to go find an independent agent?

Richie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2015, 12:57:40 PM »
I would recommend checking out The Zebra.  It's not always 100% accurate, but it would give you an idea of what the average person in your situation is paying and the companies you should look at.

https://www.thezebra.com/

lbmustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 926
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2015, 02:00:52 PM »
anyone have any trusted links to go find an independent agent?

Yelp will sometimes have reviews of agents.

Turkey Leg

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 258
  • Location: US
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2015, 02:46:40 PM »
Maybe where we live has extraordinarily low insurance costs, but we've been with State Farm for over 20 years, and our car insurance is very cheap.

We have two cars, each with comprehensive, collision, emergency road service, bodily injury/property damage, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured coverages. The six month premium is:
  • 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring: $198.24
  • 2008 Mazda3 Grand Touring: $210.08

We both have stellar credit and clean driving records. Comprehensive and collision deductibles for both cars are $1000 each. No complaints here.

Manguy888

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Rhode Island
    • EA Mann, Writer
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2015, 06:44:48 AM »
I have a general sense that RI is more expensive than most states for insurance, but no hard proof.

That zebra link is solid gold! In five minutes I'm seeing some quotes for more coverage than I have now at under 100/month. Right now I'm paying closer to 150.

If one of these actually comes through and I save some cash I'll report my findings here. Thanks again for the help everyone

Manguy888

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Rhode Island
    • EA Mann, Writer
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2016, 10:08:05 AM »
Guys and gals - THANK YOU.

I used the zebra website, which got me in touch with an allstate agent who quoted me....

(drum roll)

$390 / 6 months.

This is almost a third of what I'm paying now, and it has a more reasonable level of coverage (100k liability, 50k property). Based on some advice here, we also dropped collision on the Scion.

In working through this, we also changed our homeowners insurance, saving an addition 100 per year.

Great example of the forum working its magic. I'm a cheapskate, but had anchored 900/ 6 months in my mind as a reasonable rate and hadn't ever questioned it.

Get out there and shop your rates, people!

gatorNic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • Age: 44
  • Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2016, 10:29:58 AM »
Don't know if it has already been said, but you should always make sure the mileage per year is correct.  It is a big difference maker in rate.   They will put up an average of 12K mileage per year by default.  If you are doing less than that it can mean significant discounts.   Since moving to SF we take more public transportation.  Our annual mileage is more like 3K. 

TheInsuranceMan

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 392
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2016, 01:23:23 PM »
Cancel the comprehensive and collision on the 2008 car. It's worth about 3500-4k?

Great point - I figured that was the case but didn't do that math. I'll definitely cancel comprehensive and collision on the Scion

Driving around with minimum liability seems foolish. I would not want someone to come after me for +$100k of damages in a bad accident.


Is it foolish? I'd be curious to know what other people think. I don't want to overpay based just on just fear - your argument sounds similar to when people tell me not to do my own home improvement then cite some anecdotal story of someone electrocuting themselves or flooding their house. But I'm not ruling out what you're saying.

Okay, I have to chime in because of the questions above in regards to carrying low liability limits and being sued.  In my past life, I worked in what is called Uninsured Motorist Subrogation, which means I had to collect money from people that carried low liability limits, such as yourself, who were in bad accidents that exceeded their limit.  It wasn't a fun job.  Insurance companies, depending on what state, can come after your property, and after you civilly for those damages that exceeded your limit.

It isn't worth it.  Have you quoted what the increase is to move that to 50/100 or 100/300 (I carry 500/500)?  And not carrying UM/UIM is also a bad idea, in my mind.  What happens if you get hit by someone that isn't insured?  You get laid up in the hospital, they have no coverage to pay your bills, and you have 25k per person, 50k per occurrence.  That doesn't go far when something bad happens.

So, while I'm really trying to educate what can happen, it does come across as selling by fear, which I don't want to do.  You just need to be educated about what CAN happen if you cause an accident that has substantial payout and exceeds your liability limits, and how they will hook you with that.  If you don't own any property, and already have bad credit, then who cares.  But, if you like your credit score, and don't want to be put in collections by an insurance company for a loss like this, I'd recommend increasing the liability limits.

I do not disagree with dropping coverage on the 2008, if you can afford to replace it if you cause the accident that totals it.  That is a no brainer, but low liability limits isn't a great idea either.

**So, I rambled a lot, and it appears to be convoluted.  Ask questions if you have any specific ones that pertain to UM, UIM, or carrying low liability limits**

merula

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1612
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2016, 01:29:54 PM »
I agree with everything TheInsuranceMan said.

Also, gatornic is correct. Mileage matters. And sometimes people/carriers won't believe you when you say you drive <3,000mi/year, which is where those mileage trackers can help you, if you're willing to have your driving habits tracked to save money.

Meowmalade

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1560
  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Like "Marmalade". Not like an ailing French cat.
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2016, 02:56:12 PM »
TheInsuranceMan, thanks for your inputs.  It's really great to hear from someone who has worked in the industry and to hear your own coverages!

And merula, thanks for confirming that being a loyal customer can pay off when you need to make a claim.  I would rather pay more and know that the insurance company will take good care of me if I need to make a claim, rather than look for the cheapest insurance available and then have difficulties when I need their help.

I've been with AAA for over ten years and mostly stuck around because my personal agents (both in Austin and now in Portland) have been fantastic.  I called my agent a couple days ago to see if there was anything that I could do to lower our auto rate, and he said that there was a new product available for preferred risk drivers.  Turns out that it lowered the yearly cost for our Prius from $1300 to $600, and this included the same high coverages and also a drop in the deductible from $1000 to $500!  This included an "early shopper" discount since we didn't wait until right before we needed to renew.  So it may be worth it to call in with your existing insurance and just ask if there's anything they can do to lower your rate.  (Also, we have a $1 million dollar personal umbrella policy for any really catastrophic liability over our existing policies.  Certainly helps me sleep better at night!)

Edited to add: Agent just sent me new policy to sign online.  The discounts listed are: advanced shopping discount, loyalty discount, membership discount, multi-policy discount (home), and payment plan discount (paying in full). 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 03:03:09 PM by Meowmalade »

Manguy888

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Rhode Island
    • EA Mann, Writer
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2016, 07:04:58 PM »
All of your points are well taken. I'm really lucky to get input from people who have worked in the industry. Forums like this still seem like pure magic to me.

The Allstate plan that I'm signing is 50k/100k. It's not the highest one I can buy, but is more realistic than my original bare-bones coverage

llorona

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 97
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2016, 08:36:54 PM »
Do you own a house? If so, you might be able to save money by going with the same insurance carrier for your home, auto, and umbrella insurance.

Manguy888

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Rhode Island
    • EA Mann, Writer
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2016, 05:39:48 AM »
Do you own a house? If so, you might be able to save money by going with the same insurance carrier for your home, auto, and umbrella insurance.

In switching car insurance, I also switched my home insurance to the same company. I don't have umbrella insurance (not sure what it is actually)

MrSal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 889
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2016, 06:37:07 AM »
Shop around pays off!

I switched companies 3 months ago...

I had recently bought a new car for us a 2001 Honda and my wife just put the insurance the agent gave her.

The premium was 800 dollars per 6 months plus 600 dollars year for home owners insurance.

I shopped around and ended up with Farmers insurance.

2 car policy with 50/100/50 coverage along with underinsured coverage that is stackable and some other perks. We chaged our homewoners as well to Farmer's. All in all our premium is now 200 dollars 6/months for the cars and 240 dollars per year on homeowners insurance.

I was amazed with farmers especially on the homeowners part, any other insurance couldnt even come close to their price even with same coverages.

So far they have been super correct with me (I was charged initially 275 for the house and 250 for the cars but 2 months later they said I had a right to a lower premium so they sent me two checks giving me the difference).

TheInsuranceMan

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 392
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2016, 07:35:46 AM »
All of your points are well taken. I'm really lucky to get input from people who have worked in the industry. Forums like this still seem like pure magic to me.

The Allstate plan that I'm signing is 50k/100k. It's not the highest one I can buy, but is more realistic than my original bare-bones coverage

Did you at least have them quote you at 100k/300k?  I bet it doesn't cost you another $30-$50 a year.
I had someone PM me a few questions, so I looked up what I pay...(clean driving record, wife and I as drivers - both 27 years old when policy renewed)
500/500 on my F150 (yearly):
Bodily Injury: 94.44
UM: 12.24
UIM: 23.96

100k of property damage: 81.98


And moving my property liability was like $30 a year to increase from 300k to 500k...which I should probably do...

FLBiker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1794
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Canada
    • Chop Wood Carry FIRE
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2016, 07:38:40 AM »
I'd also suggest looking into group options.  Our current car insurance is through my university's alumni association.  It was significantly cheaper than anything else I could find.  That said, they keep raising the rates so I'll be shopping around again soon.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 23238
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2016, 07:50:28 AM »
Sell one of the cars.

merula

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1612
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2016, 08:15:54 AM »
Do you own a house? If so, you might be able to save money by going with the same insurance carrier for your home, auto, and umbrella insurance.

In switching car insurance, I also switched my home insurance to the same company. I don't have umbrella insurance (not sure what it is actually)

An umbrella is a policy that goes over your auto and liability policies (and, in the case of commercial insurance, over other things like employers liability) and provides extra limits and sometimes broader coverage.

You're not buying enough liability limits right now for anyone to sell you an umbrella. Generally speaking, the minimum for personal is $300k CSL, and $500k will get you a better deal. Then the umbrella is another $1m limit (or more) on top of that.

Umbrella is a specialty of mine, but, full disclosure, I don't buy one myself. I don't have the assets or the exposure (16 year olds driving motorcycles, backyard pool, commercial ventures, etc.) to justify it. Plus, umbrella tends to be insanely profitable for carriers. Industry average is that about 30-40% of umbrella premiums received are paid out in losses. Compared to loss ratios around 70% for homeowners and personal auto, that's insanely good.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5742
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2016, 09:11:19 AM »
I've been with AAA for over ten years and mostly stuck around because my personal agents (both in Austin and now in Portland) have been fantastic. 

Long story that I don't really want to try to type out on a smart phone, but I definitely would not recommend AAA. When I left Allstate, my agent said "you'll be back in a few months. They're going to do something to screw you over in a month or two. I used to be an underwriter there." Boy, was he ever right. I've had to try to reestablish insurance from my dad's hospital room after they really screwed me over.

Conjou

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 120
  • Location: Wherever I want to be
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2016, 09:34:27 AM »
Many states will charge you for damage to road infrastructure if they know who damaged it.  I read of someone in Ohio getting over $300 to replace a mile marker on a highway that they hit.  What if you hit one one those big overhead signs and took it out?  Those are really expensive to replace.  Insurance will cover it up to your limit.

I was a witness at a crash (a hit-skip) back a few years ago and was threatened with a lawsuit for replacement costs (around $1200 I believe) on an electronic road sign...  Just because the person that caused the accident skipped, and they couldn't get ahold of the driver of the other car.  My insurance company made it all go away fortunately.  Lesson learned though, don't stop and help at the scene of an accident!

That's outrageous, and the effect that it has in not wanting to stop to help people is one of the many ways our litigious, insurance based culture is destroying community. That said, to the many good suggestions already offered about shopping around and dropping comp when the math shows you to, I would add get a bicycle and get rid of the pain in the ass cars. ;)

Manguy888

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Rhode Island
    • EA Mann, Writer
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2016, 09:40:42 AM »
Sell one of the cars.

I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old and my wife and I both work. We have a 5 year plan to go to 1 car, probably when the Scion dies, but until then we'll keep using two.

Tremeroy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2016, 10:01:06 AM »
My two cents (and what I practice with my own coverages):

Get the highest liability coverages you can (property, body, & uninsured) for all of the reasons cited by others. An accidental auto collision should not put your FIRE savings at risk.

You should be able to drop the medical payments coverage. It is redundant with your body liability coverage.

For the cars where you do want comprehensive / collision, pick the highest deductible that you can afford. It looks like you've already taken that step ($2,500).

Here is what my coverage looks like (through eSurance. I will not even attempt to defend the 2014 Jeep purchase, just as I've given up trying to convince the SO to "divest" of it.

Liability

Bodily Injury Limits   $250,000/$500,000                                          $274.10
Property Damage Limit   $100,000                                                     114.00
Medical Payments Limit                                                                      I decline
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Limits   $250,000/$500,000              19.00
Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Limits   $250,000/$500,000        4.00

2004 Volvo s60
Comprehensive Coverage & Deductibles                                       No coverage
Collision Coverage & Deductibles                                                  No coverage

2014 Jeep GRAND CHEROKEE LIMITED
 
Coverage   Terms   Premium
Comprehensive Coverage & Deductibles   $2,500                               $38.00
Collision Coverage & Deductibles   $2,500                                         94.00

Premium Summary
2004 Volvo S60                                       $177.05
2014 Jeep GRAND CHEROKEE LIMITED         366.05
6-month total (all cars)                                    $543.10

Paul der Krake

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5854
  • Age: 16
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2016, 10:10:30 AM »
It's not true for all quotes, but for many companies, the marginal cost of adding more liability is really small. Like, $20 more for 6 months to go from 50/100 to 100/300.

It would be interesting to know the threshold at which the opposite counsel will start digging up to see if there are any assets to be seized, and the type of assets they would go after.

therethere

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #44 on: January 07, 2016, 10:28:58 AM »
Some auto insurers actually charge LESS or no charge for higher amounts of liability. They figure that people looking into the cost of 100/300k liability are more responsible drivers than those looking to get the minimum coverage. Go figure.

Backwards I know. But I've seen it in my own case and also had it confirmed by one company.

Meowmalade

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1560
  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Like "Marmalade". Not like an ailing French cat.
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #45 on: January 07, 2016, 10:42:21 AM »
I've been with AAA for over ten years and mostly stuck around because my personal agents (both in Austin and now in Portland) have been fantastic. 

Long story that I don't really want to try to type out on a smart phone, but I definitely would not recommend AAA. When I left Allstate, my agent said "you'll be back in a few months. They're going to do something to screw you over in a month or two. I used to be an underwriter there." Boy, was he ever right. I've had to try to reestablish insurance from my dad's hospital room after they really screwed me over.

Whoa, I would like to hear about this when you have more time.  AAA took care of me for the car when I was in an accident that was not my fault.  Allstate (the other person's insurance) really screwed me over with the settlement (whiplash that took a year to heal) and the agent handling my case actually mocked me and said I was getting "feel-good" doctor-ordered massages!  If I hadn't moved out of state I would have pursued it in civil claims court.  So I would never go to Allstate just on principle, but I'm wondering if there's a list of better companies to look at?

Duchess of Stratosphear

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #46 on: January 07, 2016, 11:10:15 AM »
This is great info! I think I'm inspired to check into an independent agent. So how do those agents make money? Would that be hidden in my premiums somehow?

merula

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1612
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #47 on: January 07, 2016, 12:27:00 PM »
This is great info! I think I'm inspired to check into an independent agent. So how do those agents make money? Would that be hidden in my premiums somehow?

Independent agents get paid on commission. How much varies by line, but generally around 15%. That's why you hear things like "Save 15% on your car insurance by going to thiscarrier.com today!"

The problem with that line of thinking is that selling insurance over the internet isn't free. There are a lot of costs, some of which the carriers involved are only just realizing. So it's not a matter of "If I buy insurance through Carrier A's website, I'll get it for X, but if I go to an agent representing Carrier A, it'd be 1.15X."

And just to note, "independent" agents refer to those who work with multiple carriers, and are therefore a kind of personal shopper for insurance. If you hear "[Carrier name] agent", those agents are dependent on only one carrier and while they'll give better service than a website, they don't do any shopping for you. The biggest examples of this are State Farm, Allstate, Farmers and American Family.

Carriers that don't have their own agents but work with independent agents include Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, Travelers, USAA, among many many others.

Any reputable agent would be happy to share how much commission they're getting on your policy.

StacheInAFlash

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 137
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2016, 03:11:58 PM »
This is great info! I think I'm inspired to check into an independent agent. So how do those agents make money? Would that be hidden in my premiums somehow?

Independent agents get paid on commission. How much varies by line, but generally around 15%. That's why you hear things like "Save 15% on your car insurance by going to thiscarrier.com today!"

The problem with that line of thinking is that selling insurance over the internet isn't free. There are a lot of costs, some of which the carriers involved are only just realizing. So it's not a matter of "If I buy insurance through Carrier A's website, I'll get it for X, but if I go to an agent representing Carrier A, it'd be 1.15X."

And just to note, "independent" agents refer to those who work with multiple carriers, and are therefore a kind of personal shopper for insurance. If you hear "[Carrier name] agent", those agents are dependent on only one carrier and while they'll give better service than a website, they don't do any shopping for you. The biggest examples of this are State Farm, Allstate, Farmers and American Family.

Carriers that don't have their own agents but work with independent agents include Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, Travelers, USAA, among many many others.

Any reputable agent would be happy to share how much commission they're getting on your policy.

And because those independent agents get paid on commission, with presumably a larger commission when initially signing someone up rather then when they renew (no idea if that is actually true, but I'd think so), they'll be more than happy to shop you around when the 1st company you picked jacks up your rate after a year or 2. You continue to get lower rates and they continue to get a nice commission for signing you up to a new company, win-win as long as the rates continue to be less or comparable to online rates you could find  yourself.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5742
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Help me destroy my car insurance bill
« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2016, 05:59:15 PM »
I've been with AAA for over ten years and mostly stuck around because my personal agents (both in Austin and now in Portland) have been fantastic. 

Long story that I don't really want to try to type out on a smart phone, but I definitely would not recommend AAA. When I left Allstate, my agent said "you'll be back in a few months. They're going to do something to screw you over in a month or two. I used to be an underwriter there." Boy, was he ever right. I've had to try to reestablish insurance from my dad's hospital room after they really screwed me over.

Whoa, I would like to hear about this when you have more time.  AAA took care of me for the car when I was in an accident that was not my fault.  Allstate (the other person's insurance) really screwed me over with the settlement (whiplash that took a year to heal) and the agent handling my case actually mocked me and said I was getting "feel-good" doctor-ordered massages!  If I hadn't moved out of state I would have pursued it in civil claims court.  So I would never go to Allstate just on principle, but I'm wondering if there's a list of better companies to look at?

Here is the long, torturous AAA story.  I will warn you I am emotionally in a bad spot right now due to family issues, so my anger towards AAA is probably exaggerated.  (I'm trying to be fair here.)

A few months ago I went through the process of re-evaluating insurance.  We were under insured and paying way too much for it with Allstate.  I am FIRE and I am really seeing the damage that not having enough liability insurance could cause.  I talked to probably over 10 different insurance companies -- a bit of torture in and of itself.  I got quotes from all of them.  I decided on AAA.

I worked with the agent, whom at the time I thought pretty highly of.  I greatly increased home and auto liability and at the same time got a $2M umbrella.  I was in no rush.  I had insurance.  I waited and got everything through their approval/underwriting.

When I called my Allstate agent he said "I'm going to keep all your data on file and just put that on hold.  I used to work there as an underwriter.  It was common practice to find a loophole/problem and have to rewrite the policy after a few months."

Fast forward a little...  I'm in another city a couple of hours away from home tending to my dad that's been in ICU for almost a month now.  I've been doing 12+hour shifts at the hospital while living in a crappy run down motel, eating peanut butter sandwiches.  My mental state is not just questionable -- it's raw.

AAA calls and says they have "a little problem."  Several actually.

First off, one of my cars VINs doesn't match the standard normal VIN of 2015.  Yes.  I knew that.  It's 40 years old and made in England.  The current VIN standard didn't exist.  And AAA new that up front.  My policy was approved with that VIN in it.

Next, they can't verify the value of my house because it isn't listed in the county tax rolls.  Yes.  I knew that.  And AAA knew that when I signed up.  We talked about it.  I provided photos of it being built and a link to it on google maps.  It's there.  Send someone by to inspect it for chrissakes.

Next, they can't verify the location of the nearest fire plug because the fire department "doesn't know about my house."  Well, that's extremely odd.  I live a half a mile from the fire department.  It's rural and it's a volunteer department.  They could walk there in 10 minutes or drive in 1.  Again: send someone to inspect it. 

Her "solution" was for me to take a photo of the fireplug.  If a photo was all you need, google streetview has one.  But I left the hospital and drove there and back to get her a photo.

I provided the photo... and I knew exactly what the next problem was going to be, so I also provided her documentation on the next problem.  About 5 years ago a braindead standard was decreed in Texas.  All fireplugs had to deliver 250 PSI for 30 minutes (or something similar to that.)  If they didn't, they were declared "out of service" and painted black.  Note: there is no "in between" status.  It either delivers full pressure or it is out of service.  Rural water companies did not want the responsibility to test every fireplug and they did not want the liability if the fireplug delivered 240PSI ... or delivered enough but for too short of a time.  So every goddamn rural fireplug in the county was painted black.  Note: now there is no possible way for a fireman to determine the difference between "best I have" and "broken".

So, I also provided documentation of why the fireplug is black.  I provided news articles and some of the OpEds that went out as to why this was just the most stupid thing ever.

Now: I guarantee that AAA has policy holders in the state of Texas that have black fireplugs.  They're everywhere in the rural areas.  But that didn't matter.  All of these factors were too much.

I went crawling back to Allstate (whom I also have a long list of bad experiences with).  I did it because I needed auto insurance right damn now.  And I had to do it all from the ICU waiting room.

TL;DR: any complicating factor will get you canceled from AAA at a moment's notice. They are likely to leave you in a bind at the worst possible time.  That agent that was awesome and helpful will just say "I'm sorry, goodbye".

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!