When your “competition” helps you

So I was playing around with on-line quoting and of course had to use Geico.  Recently, now about 3 months late I received a well done email.  Obviously now part of a drip campaign.  This is not remarkable but what was there certainly is.

Coverage Coach

FANTASTIC.  First of all it is a very cool tool.  Clean screens, easy to use, etc.  But why is this important?

BECAUSE THE COVERAGE THEY OFFER IS NOT AS GOOD AS WHAT YOU DO!

Dear State Farm,

One thing that seems to continually bother me is when the wealthiest people and companies choose not to really do the world some good.  When they choose profits over people.  When they are genuinely in a position to change an industry for the better which will increase their profits and genuinely help the American public and they choose not to.  Baffled by it.

Why write today?

  • Because every time I receive another letter from you I wonder why another tree branch had to die.
  • Because I wonder why a huge company allows their product to be so diluted by advertising.

Let’s go shopping

So it is time to take my own advice again.  With renewals for auto and home insurance pending I decided to do some shopping.  I’ve definitely written about what to do when your rate goes up but this time I did things  a little different.

START; Unfortunately my home is basically unmovable, two claims in less than five years.  So I look at what the rate will be without a multi-policy discount.  But wait, it gets a little worse.  I had a stretch in 2012 and early 2013 with three tickets.  Not good.  But, on a plus side, my wife’s two claims are now over five years old so they fall off.

Math and value and flood insurance

Woke up early and was immediately thinking about one of my last conversations yesterday.  Let’s start with some math;

If you spend $1000 and in return I lower the cost of something by about $3000 what could you consider your return on investment(roi)?  $2000 not bad.  Not bad at all.

So in the first year of this new product you saved $2000 by spending $1000.  Now in the second year(assuming current numbers stay the same) you actually save $3000 since you do not spend the $1000 again.  So you have now made $5000 by investing $1000.  500% return.

Who uses the phone book?

So like a lot of people, a phone book shows up in a plastic bag in my driveway.  Seems like it happens a couple of times each year.  For whatever reason this weekend I decided to open the bag.  Yes, it is smaller than I remembered.  It is also apparently very eco-friendly addition produced by Hibu .

Now, I am sure somebody keeps them and uses it a few times a year.  My household does not, fortunately today is garbage day so it is now in the recycle bin.  I did learn about www.yellowpagesoptout.com and have now opted out of the three available books.  Now what?

Can you send that to me in writing?

I say this a couple of times a week.  When it comes to insurance there are two specific times that this is a popular phrase; claims and loyalty.

With claims, I am asked “but will my rate go up?”  Odds are pretty good but it is not certain that your rate goes up if you file a claim.  I have seen plenty of awful driving records but since they have not had their records reviewed by the current company the rate is solid.  That doesn’t mean rates do not go up with claims, it just means that you have somehow avoided having your record looked at.  Also find it amusing to watch Nationwide and Allstate advertise “diminishing deductibles.”  Seriously, most people do not have claims.  The most common claim is an auto insurance glass claim and that already has no deductible.  In my opinion you are better off holding on to to your money.

The value of discounts

is not really what it seems when it comes to insurance.  Reality is they are a seemingly wonderful tool used to advertise to the masses of people that are required to have insurance.  Do they create a savings, yes they absolutely do.  Are they worth paying attention to?  Yes, if you  are entitled you should be asking about them and receiving the credit.

Thank you State Farm

Thank you for being so large and mostly doing things so good that you force the entire industry of personal insurance to raise their collective “game.” Of course the larger you are the more chance you have to make mistakes so I do not give a whole lot of thought to the usual complaints.

Now I have spoken previously about your awful use of marketing so will not be walking that road today.  I did want to imagine something though.  What if you spent a small portion of your money actually helping create better customers?  Well you have the most customers, by some estimates 1 of every 5 cars, so in theory you can have the biggest impact.

Big portions = insurance discounts

Stumbling through any amount of commercials can be entertaining and also very revealing.   Many times entertainment takes precedent over information.  Actually more times than not things are done to get your attention in the hopes that  you will provide some attention/dollars to their product.

I have harped on insurance discounts for a while, bottom line is any list of discounts you can provide does not out do your characteristics.  Your credit score, education, residence and marital status mean way more than all the discounts.  But talking about this, the facts, is not appealing so we disguise it with discounts.  Same thing with food.

Who causes “higher” insurance rates?

Most people will immediately think it is the company.  The company sets the rates and the underwriting standards that you accepted when you signed your contract with them.  The company determines which of your tickets, accidents and claims will have an impact on your rate and for how long. ** Despite what you may have heard corporations are not people and cannot get tickets or have accidents or claims**