Author Topic: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers  (Read 12637 times)

Bethany J

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« on: April 02, 2012, 06:14:58 PM »
Just thought I would share my results from some negoitiating/switching providers. First, based on MrMoneymustache's recommends, I switched my car insurance to Geico. Monthly bill went from approx. $90 a month to $44. Then I called them and explained that I just switched to them and could they help me find a homeowners insurance policy lower than what I have been paying. They got me a policy through one of their providers with much more coverage for $350 less a year.

Then I called our cable provider and explained that the bill has just increased too much ($229 for cable, hi-def, internet, and home phone) and did they have any specials? They lowered the bill to the "new customer" rate for 1 year, now it is $148 a month. Tried to talk my husband into streaming with a roku or similar, but no go. He likes his TV the way it is, so this is my compromise.

Called and switched to a different lawn treatment company and saved $330 year. Next I am hoping to cut the lawn with our new reel lawnmower and eliminate our lawn cutting service. That will save approx. $1000 a year - $199 to purchase the mower.

Total savings so far approx. $2200, will be $3000 if the reel mower works out. Crossing fingers since I will be the one doing it.

I know alot of these things may seem "unmustachian" to have in the first place, but when your spouse is not on board with all of your more radical ideas (to him) for saving money, you have to compromise for a happy life.

Stackfault

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2012, 07:36:42 PM »
Good for you!  Every improvement is a step in the right direction and should be celebrated.  Some will say, "you could've done more" but we each have our own situations that complicate our efforts.  I need to make the same changes and hope I do as well.  Thanks for the inspiration.

Mactrader

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 142
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 09:19:46 PM »
This was something I actually wanted to pose to the MMM community. How different are the various insurance company's aside from premiums? When searching how do I screen out the ones that are nightmares to deal with when a claim happens or have loopholes I wasn't smart enough to notice? I find the insurance industry very opaque and hard to differentiate the various companys. For example, I've heard Progressive will cheap out and make the shops use old or used parts for a repair while AAA gives the shop carte Blanche to do the right thing.

As I'm switching to older cars, perhaps this isn't as large of a concern, but my house isn't a beater...


Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3830
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2012, 11:54:08 PM »
This was something I actually wanted to pose to the MMM community. How different are the various insurance company's aside from premiums? When searching how do I screen out the ones that are nightmares to deal with when a claim happens or have loopholes I wasn't smart enough to notice? I find the insurance industry very opaque and hard to differentiate the various companys. For example, I've heard Progressive will cheap out and make the shops use old or used parts for a repair while AAA gives the shop carte Blanche to do the right thing.

As I'm switching to older cars, perhaps this isn't as large of a concern, but my house isn't a beater...

You're right, not all insurance companies are created equal, and one thing I've learned is that if you're in a position of paying for insurance, you don't necessarily want to cheap out. State Farm is right out as they're one of the worst offenders, and I doubt that anyone who's actually tried collecting from them would disagree. We used to be with Geico for five years, but actually recently switched due to them being one of the more expensive in the state. Never had to file a claim with them, so can't attest to their quality either, just their cost. Had family with Progressive and get in accidents and be taken care of sometimes and altogether not others... and Progressive's sub-contract for homeowners insurance can apparently be nightmare fuel if you actually sustain any damage.

What I have discovered to be a constant over the years from various encounters and stories is that member owned insurance companies will always be superior to privately owned or traded companies in care and quality for the money spent. One of the best insurance experiences I've ever had in my life was when some teenie-bopper who's parents splurged for Farm Bureau Insurance rear-ended me. They assumed full liability an hour after the wreck, I was literally $0 out of pocket, and they didn't even bother having me file a claim with my own insurance agent at the time (Farmers - this was nearly a decade ago). They fully repaired the car through the local dealership with warranty on the work for as long as I owned the car, and gave me a free rental until it was finished. Her agent even picked me up from the accident site and dropped me off at the rental place and the dealership, too. It was an absolutely surreal experience compared to Farmers claims I'd had in the past. After that, I priced Farm Bureau a couple times, but we could never justify the premiums no matter how much we wanted to. It does highlight what really good insurance will get you if you pay for it, though.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27055
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 08:39:48 AM »
When searching how do I screen out the ones that are nightmares to deal with when a claim happens or have loopholes I wasn't smart enough to notice?

Interesting question.

My answer is the opposite of I.P., above.  I'll take the cheapest there is.

Here's why: I only insure when forced to (i.e. car insurance) - otherwise I self insure.  Soon I will self insure on the car as well.  The odds of an accident are so small that I likely will never deal with their customer service.  So I'll take the guaranteed savings over the (tiny) possibility of dealing with some hassle on making a claim.

If I do have to make a claim and deal with extra hassle, well, I'll have been getting paid (via cheaper insurance) for years for that hassle.  Or I have a lawyer do it (via the money I've saved), and they deal with the hassle.  Again, a very remote possibility.

Worth ignoring the customer service on that one for me, and going with the cheapest.

Not the case in everything (there are times, many times, I look at customer service as a crucial factor.  Not with insurance.)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Mactrader

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 142
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 08:45:39 AM »
When searching how do I screen out the ones that are nightmares to deal with when a claim happens or have loopholes I wasn't smart enough to notice?

Interesting question.

My answer is the opposite of I.P., above.  I'll take the cheapest there is.

Here's why: I only insure when forced to (i.e. car insurance) - otherwise I self insure.  Soon I will self insure on the car as well.  The odds of an accident are so small that I likely will never deal with their customer service.  So I'll take the guaranteed savings over the (tiny) possibility of dealing with some hassle on making a claim.

If I do have to make a claim and deal with extra hassle, well, I'll have been getting paid (via cheaper insurance) for years for that hassle.  Or I have a lawyer do it (via the money I've saved), and they deal with the hassle.  Again, a very remote possibility.

Worth ignoring the customer service on that one for me, and going with the cheapest.

Not the case in everything (there are times, many times, I look at customer service as a crucial factor.  Not with insurance.)

I tend to agree with you, but are there situations where this is a binary question? You will or will not receive the claim, and not how much hassle will it be? I can handle hassles, that I can be compensated for (through reduced premiums) but having an annual outlay for insurance that DOES NOT pay off would be poor risk management. This is the only factor I'm looking to avoid. I don't really need the cushy insurance extras. With the savings I can go rent a car, call a cab, etc.

Thoughts?

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27055
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 08:58:52 AM »
Right, if the claim is flat out denied, that is an issue.

I guess it still doesn't bother me, because I know if they refused every claim, word would have gotten out and they wouldn't still be in business. There's enough of a free market between insurance companies that it doesn't bother me.

One very worried about it who depends on insurance for things should go with the peace of mind.

I'd rather have the $$.

YMMV, to each his own, etc.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Mactrader

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 142
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 09:11:23 AM »
Right, if the claim is flat out denied, that is an issue.

I guess it still doesn't bother me, because I know if they refused every claim, word would have gotten out and they wouldn't still be in business. There's enough of a free market between insurance companies that it doesn't bother me.

One very worried about it who depends on insurance for things should go with the peace of mind.

I'd rather have the $$.

YMMV, to each his own, etc.

To make an objective decision though, I don't have enough information. How can I best find out which companies have reputations for denials and such? Seems like the only information I have to go in is price!

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3830
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 10:05:16 AM »
When searching how do I screen out the ones that are nightmares to deal with when a claim happens or have loopholes I wasn't smart enough to notice?

Interesting question.

My answer is the opposite of I.P., above.  I'll take the cheapest there is.

Here's why: I only insure when forced to (i.e. car insurance) - otherwise I self insure.  Soon I will self insure on the car as well.  The odds of an accident are so small that I likely will never deal with their customer service.  So I'll take the guaranteed savings over the (tiny) possibility of dealing with some hassle on making a claim.

I'd like to clarify and counter.

You'll note I specifically said, "if you're in a position of paying for insurance, you don't necessarily want to cheap out." It may have been slightly poor phrasing, but the implication in that statement was that if you're in a position of having to pay for insurance coverage whether you want it or not, you shouldn't cheap out.

With any and all insurance where the coverage is for you and your property directly, if you have the liquidity to be able to eat most potential claims on your own, absolutely... cheapest insurance to none with terrible customer service is ideal as the money you could save can and frequently does outweigh the actual money spent.

However, the instant we switch gears into insurance coverage that covers you and any liability on damage that you may incur to others? Forgive me for saying this, because I do try and be respectful and keep my cool, but if you specifically lowball and get the cheapest minimum coverage auto insurance available and God forbid you get in a wreck and it's your fault? We're all humans, we all make mistakes. But anyone who makes another person suffer due to their negligence and their deliberately cheap insurance coverage? Get stuffed. The thing is, if you got the assets to step up and make right what your insurance company won't cover in this sort of scenario, good on you... but again, we're all humans, and quite frequently when money and potential criminal charges are on the line, almost nobody steps up and takes the responsibility they should. Saying you will and having that statement untried in your life is disingenuous. I know we'd all like to say we're noble and honest... but this is the sort of thing you can never be certain about your character on until the rubber hits the road.

I've lived the consequences first hand of being hit by a cutrate insurance policy holder for the past 17 years of my life. I can assure you I would have literally been better off long term if the driver was simply uninsured (for as much as having zero insurance coverage is worth - it's still one of Dante's Circles of Hell). I learned a valuable lesson three months after that Valentine's Day: Use an insurance company that will make good on claims, and carry a quarter-to-half-million dollar policy plus medical on yourself and for uninsured.

I'd also like to point out that it's been uninsured motorists in the state we live in that forces our vehicle insurance to be some of the highest in the country. We wouldn't be paying $1300/year for two old beater vehicles if not for the long standing history of allowing people to "self insure".

Frugality is valuable and important to all of us, but don't be stingy when it involves your potentially destructive actions and other people. Your decisions with vehicle insurance impacts more than just your bottom line.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 10:08:33 AM by I.P. Daley »

Bethany J

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 10:10:39 AM »
Just wanted to follow up with my experience. My auto coverage stayed exactly the same, only I am now paying half what I was. My homeowners coverage actually increased quite a bit for less money. Just because your policy is cheaper, doesn't mean you have less or inferior coverage.

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3830
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 10:17:09 AM »
Just wanted to follow up with my experience. My auto coverage stayed exactly the same, only I am now paying half what I was. My homeowners coverage actually increased quite a bit for less money. Just because your policy is cheaper, doesn't mean you have less or inferior coverage.

You'll note I never said you can't save on coverage by switching providers, we did that ourselves recently. I'm beating on the drum against deliberately picking cutrate agencies who are terrible with claims and/or cut coverage on their policy or choose no coverage at all because of statistical odds of never actually "needing" it. Big difference.

Bethany J

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 10:18:58 AM »
How would you know if you have one of those companies? Genuinely curious, wonder if they have a consumer reviews for insurance?

Mrs MM

  • Administrator
  • Bristles
  • *****
  • Posts: 367
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2012, 10:20:51 AM »
Awesome!!  It's great to hear people putting a plan into action and seeing immediate savings!

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3830
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2012, 10:33:04 AM »
How would you know if you have one of those companies? Genuinely curious, wonder if they have a consumer reviews for insurance?

It feels like this particular sub-topic is beginning to derail your overall positive thread and might be better split off.

That said, it's ultimately research. Talk with others about their providers and experiences on claims. Research online. Look over past histories of various lawsuits against providers. There's really no one centralized resource I've been able to find that collects everything on this topic.

Mactrader

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 142
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2012, 11:22:34 AM »
Sorry about the de-rail, it's all my fault! Thanks for the great discussion, you did answer my question. $ coverage can be matched at any company, it's the intangibles as you discussed that I need to research.

Great start Bethany! You've motivated me to start shifting providers and such!

Bethany J

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2012, 02:01:12 PM »
Glad it helped! Although really it all started with the MrMustache recommends, so I will give him the credit ;) Every bill that comes in or service we think we need I am now questioning. Can I get the same or similar cheaper or do I need this at all? It all starts to snowball once you are in the right mindset.

Mrs MM

  • Administrator
  • Bristles
  • *****
  • Posts: 367
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2012, 03:39:21 PM »
It all starts to snowball once you are in the right mindset.

Yes!  It sure does... :)

firefergy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2012, 06:33:25 PM »
I recently switched to Geico for my car and home and saved 1400 per year.  I also have more coverage and a 1mil$ umbrella policy.  I was shocked at the difference in the price. 

$_gone_amok

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2012, 11:57:58 AM »
This thread sounds like a Geico commercial.

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3830
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2012, 01:09:29 PM »
This thread sounds like a Geico commercial.

Perhaps you should try reading the entire thread. I'd hardly call four references to the company (counting your own) in 19 posts that includes a rather lengthy discussion about insuring practices a "Geico commercial."

sowantere

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: My Savings by Negoitiating/Switching Providers
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2012, 06:22:55 PM »
Switched from state farm to allstate for home insurance and the fee halved.  My home insurance was thru escrow with the mortgage company for the first 2 years at a high rate with state farm.  I called allstate myself and got the quote and then called my mortgage company and had them switch.  The mortgage company has no incentive to get you a good deal on insurance they only want you to be covered I wouldn't be surprised if they got an initial kick back when they signed me up at the high rate.

I usually call about twice a year now to try to lower my insurance rates.  I haven't changed insurance providers because allstate has never given me any grief about claims (my wife has been hit by road debris twice in two years.)

My recent call was today about home insurance and raising the deductable from 1000 dollars to 2000 dollars lowered the premium by 89 dollars.  I was able to raise the deductable since the house is paid for and there is no mortgage company to require a certain deductable amount.  I could of raised the deductable more for even better savings but the risk ratio was higher as a 5000 deductable would only save 130 dollars more from my original amount .

Some easy discounts for homes are-
no claims 15% off
home + auto 15% off
some sort of protective device 5% off
epay (auto pay) 2 - 5%
ebill (paperless) 2- 5%
paying in full (varies)
good credit rating (varies)
all are cumulitive
other things help like being near a fire station/hydrant

Autos usually have similar.