Author Topic: strategies for low insurance rates  (Read 387 times)

TheGibberingPotato

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strategies for low insurance rates
« on: October 10, 2020, 11:18:05 AM »
Recently our insurance rates jumped considerably; +50%!  We are with Travelers, located in Delaware, which we get via a small local provider.

A lot of that is because I got a speeding ticket ~1 year ago.  It was a small infraction (+5 mph over) but nonetheless has caused a large increase in our auto policy.  I think these go off of your record after 2 years, so I have 1 year until then if I understand correctly. 
Our homeowner's went up a bit as well, but we're not sure entirely why.  Our area did have a random tornado recently (uncommon in DE).  Also, there was a fire across the road last year which burned down a house.  I guess these things increase risk.

We are located somewhat in the 'country', no fire hydrants on the street.  We can get some fire alarm services in place to reduce insurance rates.  We can do some defensive driver courses.  Etc...

Nonetheless, I am pissed, and motivated to shop around.

As I understand it, it's common for insurance companies to give you a lower rate to get you in the door and then hike the rate later, and hope that you're lazy.  As such, for those willing to go through the hassle, there is a benefit to shopping around on occasion.  Is this logic accurate?

Also, I came across this website policygenius.com on a thread on this forum.  Company that gathers quote from many companies to find you the lowest.  Seems legit from what I've searched.  I guess this is just an online version of a local broker, which is what we currently have.  Thoughts?

Any thoughts on how to approach this? 
The leg work on this is a pain in the ass, but it seems worth it given that our total insurance rates (home + auto + umbrella) are beginning to go about $5000/year.

AMandM

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Re: strategies for low insurance rates
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2020, 12:20:15 PM »
After being with Geico for 20+ years, I was motivated to do the PITA legwork when my teenage son got his licence and our auto premium jumped by $2k a year. I used policygenius and in fact it wasn't that much of a PITA after all. I scanned the coverage pages of our current policies and emailed them, so policygenius could quote equivalent coverage, and they gave us three options. We ended up with lower total premiums than before DS got his licence.  (We shopped auto & homeowner's together, though they gave us some unbundled options as well.)

TheGibberingPotato

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Re: strategies for low insurance rates
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2020, 07:36:08 PM »
thanks for the confirmation on policygenius!

ChpBstrd

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Re: strategies for low insurance rates
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2020, 09:20:28 AM »
I shop around every 3 years due to the inevitable increases you've described. I usually save $300/y on homeowners + auto every time I switch.

The legwork is a PITA, particularly because each insurance company has a slightly different set of info they want. I recommend making a spreadsheet of all the info required for the first quote, add to it any new fields requested in the 2nd quote, repeat for the 3rd, etc. and eventually you have all the info in one place and can request the next 4-5 quotes almost effortlessly. Best of all, 3 years from now when the teaser rate has expired, you only have to update your spreadsheet and then sling out a bunch more quote requests.

Budget 8-12 hours of labor to change insurance, and expect to save at least $300/y for the next 3 years. That comes out to a crazy good hourly rate, tax-free. Beyond 8-12 hours or ~6 quotes you face rapidly diminishing returns.

Note that some companies like Allstate will actually send an exterior inspector, who will nitpick about things like your porch's height from the ground or moss growing on your roof. So there is a risk of having to spend $ on home improvements. It's worth asking if an inspection is involved. I once ended up buying new stair railings for ~$500 as a consequence of changing insurance to save $300/y, which was a good improvement, but impacted my savings.