Author Topic: Home/Auto Insurance Question  (Read 2650 times)

bh2115

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Home/Auto Insurance Question
« on: April 03, 2018, 02:05:22 PM »
Hello Fellow Mustachians,

I could use some advice for those that have gone through shopping home/auto insurance in the past. We've had State Farm for our home and auto for the past 10 years but since my wife and I moving into a new home next month I feel like it's a good opportunity to shop around to ensure I'm getting the best rates. Any advice in going through this process or things to consider? It seems fairly straight forward but I want to make sure that A) it's worth my time since it'd be much easier just calling up State Farm and rolling our home insurance to them and B) I don't sign up for the lowest number then realize I didn't have the same coverage.

Thanks in advance!

jlcnuke

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Re: Home/Auto Insurance Question
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 02:18:09 PM »
Write down what coverages you have now. Evaluate them to see if they are still appropriate (you may need more, you may need less, they may be fine). Then call around (either literally or just online) and shop for the best prices you can find with reputable companies. I literally just cancelled the renewal of my car insurance today because Geico's new rate for my renewal made me remember I hadn't shopped around in a couple years, so I *would* have been paying them $711 to renew for another 6 months of coverage, but instead I am starting a new policy with Progressive for $510 instead (with lower deductibles and the same coverage levels or better).

Remember, just because that "was" the coverage you needed, doesn't mean it hasn't changed. Home insurance policies sometimes leave your coverage the same, despite market forces meaning your home is worth more than the coverage will provide if needed, so it's good to reevaluate your coverage *needs* as well, as opposed to just "sticking with the same".

merula

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Re: Home/Auto Insurance Question
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2018, 03:32:32 PM »
FYI, I have 10+ years working in the insurance industry.

I would recommend finding an independent agent and getting a bunch of quotes. An independent agent is different from State Farm or Allstate in that they work with several different carriers and so can shop around for you. If you have an idea of what coverages you want, you can provide that up-front. I've had my insurance with the same carrier for nearly 10 years and I've never been able to beat the price either from in-house agents like State Farm or DTC places like Geico, because the carrier I'm with allows me to note that I don't use my car to commute and I drive less than 7,500 miles per year.

You didn't ask this, so it may be moot, but I've had this discussion more time than I can count so I'm going to throw it out there: you almost certainly don't need an umbrella policy.

bh2115

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Re: Home/Auto Insurance Question
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2018, 05:37:21 PM »
Thanks to both of you. This is exactly the information I was looking for - have a great day!

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Home/Auto Insurance Question
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2018, 08:48:02 PM »
About 25 years ago we were shopping for car insurance. I called 23 body shops in the area and asked them "Which insurance company gives you the least hassle, seems to legitimately pay for what the policy says they will?"

They consistently told me the same 2 companies. We bought auto from one company, as well as our home, and an umbrella policy.

I am not going to say who it was because it was so long ago and because doing so made for some interesting phone calls and think maybe you might like the calls too.

The guy we bought our insurance from still mentions what I did!  We had a major car accident 10 yrs ago, and we have no complaints about how they handled it.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Home/Auto Insurance Question
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 12:03:13 PM »
About 25 years ago we were shopping for car insurance. I called 23 body shops in the area and asked them "Which insurance company gives you the least hassle, seems to legitimately pay for what the policy says they will?"

They consistently told me the same 2 companies. We bought auto from one company, as well as our home, and an umbrella policy.

I am not going to say who it was because it was so long ago and because doing so made for some interesting phone calls and think maybe you might like the calls too.

The guy we bought our insurance from still mentions what I did!  We had a major car accident 10 yrs ago, and we have no complaints about how they handled it.

This is wonderful advice.

boarder42

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Re: Home/Auto Insurance Question
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2018, 01:17:48 PM »
i disagree about calling auto shops and asking who gives you the least hassle - as long as your going with a large insurer just pick the lowest cost for the same coverage.  basing insurance based on the service provided not cost doesnt really make a lot of sense IMO.  unless costs are equal then considering the service should come into play.   

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Home/Auto Insurance Question
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2018, 01:46:53 PM »
About 25 years ago we were shopping for car insurance. I called 23 body shops in the area and asked them "Which insurance company gives you the least hassle, seems to legitimately pay for what the policy says they will?"

They consistently told me the same 2 companies. We bought auto from one company, as well as our home, and an umbrella policy.

I am not going to say who it was because it was so long ago and because doing so made for some interesting phone calls and think maybe you might like the calls too.

The guy we bought our insurance from still mentions what I did!  We had a major car accident 10 yrs ago, and we have no complaints about how they handled it.

I remember 2 of the questions I asked:
1.If the windshield gets hit by a golf ball, and there's a crack, do they replace the whole windshield or replace it only if the crack is on the driver's side.(Some sort of 'fix' if it's on the passenger side)

2. Are after market parts used or official  Ford parts?

My brother owns a body shop and knows the difference between the 2. I am willing to pay more if I have to.

3 of the shops I talked to, without me even asking, offered their opinion of the absolute worst car insurance company. It was the same with each one.  No surprise, they are the same company that said when a tornado blew a house 4 inches off its foundation, just moving it back is what they consider a permanent solution.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 02:01:39 PM by TheWifeHalf »

Easye418

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Re: Home/Auto Insurance Question
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2018, 01:49:07 PM »
I use AMICA here in Texas.  They are rated #1 on JD Power.  Even ahead of USAA.

That being said, they took a 15% rate increase this year and I still haven't been able to get a quote to match or beat them that offers the same amount of coverage I want. 

That being said, they were there when I needed them.  I had a hailstorm and they gave me everything I requested.

If you are familiar with hail claims, it pays to work with a roofing company who employs previous adjusters.  I ending up paying 0 and getting a TON of work done from the damage, including that concrete staining that desperately needed it.

If you are in a state that gets a lot of hail, it pays to have a good insurance company.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Home/Auto Insurance Question
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2018, 02:18:24 PM »
i disagree about calling auto shops and asking who gives you the least hassle - as long as your going with a large insurer just pick the lowest cost for the same coverage.  basing insurance based on the service provided not cost doesnt really make a lot of sense IMO.  unless costs are equal then considering the service should come into play.

I think it doesn't take the whole situation into account to shop by price only. If insurers A, B and C have reputations for faster payments, more generous payouts and less hassle than insurers D, E and F, then insurance from A, B and C have additional benefits to the deductible and insurance coverage and levels, presuming those are equal.

How much those additional, softer, benefits are worth to you is a different question.

I had some wind damage on a rental of mine last month; the insurance was with State Farm and the adjuster actively looked for ways to cover items that I would not have presumed would be covered then cut me a check on the spot. They definitely possessed those soft skills that I referenced above.

As a counterexample, a family member had a family of skunks take up residence in the HVAC duct work of one of their rentals. The pest company tech scared them and they sprayed...you can imagine the results. My family member had a hell of a time getting their cheapest possible insurer to pay out one red cent. They ended up paying for the help of a friend of a friend who worked in the insurance industry to read through their policy and help them fight the insurance company to pay for an unusual, but covered, situation. They eventually received a scant payout after several months.
 
How much is that worth? 50% higher premiums than the cheapest competitor? Probably not. 10%? For me, hell yeah. 

boarder42

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Re: Home/Auto Insurance Question
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2018, 02:05:59 PM »
That's why I said large insurer. I didn't say cheapest crappiest shop possible. State farm is almost double the price of Safeco in my area.  If it's a major insurance company. The cheapest rate you can find will serve plenty fine for any claims.

I doubt there are many locations that State farm isn't 50% more expensive than a good quality competitor.

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