I really need to lower my rate…

This is something I hear on a very regular basis.  Yes, I try to lower said rate whenever I am introduced and asked to help this situation.  But what can I do?  I can;

  • Get proposals from 12 different companies
  • review the coverage and make some suggestions
  • advise you to take a defensive driving coverage
  • give some ideas about how/when to pay to save money
  • review your discounts
  • help you make a plan

So that is five things I can do.  Now what can you do;

  • get proposals from the other twenty or so companies you can

Gotta love insurance advertising

I will admit two things;

1.I thoroughly enjoy advertising insurance companies do

2. I am generally disgusted by the advertising insurance companies do

So last week, like any other week, you and I get multiple pieces of insurance related advertising in our mail.  You were also subject to countless radio and t.v. ads.  Combine this with the multiple times you saw an ad while on the internet and it is practically inconceivable.  How much advertising do you really need to do?

It’s renewal time, what do you do first?

So the paperwork for my renewal came in the mail this past week.   Just like millions of other people I went and looked at the rate.    So now what?  Well here are some things I look for in my own renewal, as well as yours when I have the chance to renew it;

  • Is it correct?  Yes, is it correct.  Is my name spelled right, are the right vehicles there are all my discounts correct.  Before you think about the rate lets make sure the basics are correct.

Is this a claim?

So about an hour ago this tree came down and I am sure many more have come down and will come down up and down the east coast.  So now what?

  1. Make sure everyone is ok.  In this case no people were near by
  2. Take a photo ALWAYS document damage BEFORE you clean up **It is ok to wait till the storm is over but do your best to limit damage***
  3. Get an estimate or do the work yourself    ***BE CAREFUL*** When storms occur unscrupulous gougers and amateurs come with them.

Did you know….

That by taking minimum coverage, $25,000/$50,000 in New York you are actually setting yourself up for higher rates.

That I tend to see this coverage more often from the company that does the most advertising.

That your low rate actual makes you pay higher coverage and in the event of an accident could hinder you financial for years to come.

The difference between minimum coverage($25,000) and better coverage($100,000) many times is about $5 a month.

That I cannot think of a circumstance that I would ever do this disservice to anyone.  But then again I don’t provide quotes or promise you cheap insurance.  Who wants to buy cheap things anyhow.

Want lower rates take higher coverage

That’s right you can get more coverage for less money.  Now the problem with this is most of the companies push low rates mostly give you low coverage.  Then when you shop you are actually not able to get better rates because you got duped into a low rate by taking low coverage.

A solidly caffeinated(made up word) drink from your local coffee shop is sometimes the same price as one month’s worth of much better coverage.  That’s right for $3-$6 you can purchase $100,000 or more in coverage.  So is the company that brings you in on lower rates even interested in protecting you and your family or just providing you a low rate for insurance.

How to take control of your claim

Step 1.Remember why you have insurance, it is not for the little annoying thing that you can comfortably afford to fix.  It is for the event that you need help paying to fix.  Filing a claim because  “I pay for insurance why shouldn’t I use it…” can get you in to trouble. **What is trouble?  Trouble is having rates on the higher side of the market for at least three years**

New Year New Insurance?

Why not?  When was the last time you changed companies?  When was the last time you actually made your agent or broker actually earn their commission.  Make them actually shop around, we are in a competitive market here in New York why not take advantage of it.

How do you start? 

Pretty simple, two steps;

  1. Start with a “baseline” of coverage that you are comfortable with having in place.
  2. Talk to 3-5 companies to see where your rate compares.

That’s it.  Worst case scenario you feel really good about your rate.  Best case you save some money and maybe find a better agent.

The Anatomy of a Car’s Value

2003 Volkswagen Jetta GL:  So according to KBB.com  the Good Trade in Value is $1700 and Fair is $1125 so maybe I am around $1500.  Now private party says $3225 and Fair is $2525, let’s keep being reasonable and say $2875 as private party we won’t use retail because this car is not in excellent condition.

How about Edmunds?  A little different process here comes up with $2734 as a trade in $3752 as a private party, same thing here retail seems a bit high.

So KBB average with my adjustments is $2187.50 and Edmunds is $3243  that is about a $1000 difference.

What’s my car worth?

It is your means to get around town, to work, to play to kids activities.  it is worth a lot to you but what is it worth to an insurance company?  The cost to repair a car is going up so if your car is older you need to keep in mind that if the cost to repair your car is more than the value of the car it may not get fixed.  Now what is the car actually worth in dollars?  It may not be as much as you want.