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!

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.

What price do you really pay for your auto and home insurance?

With several hundred companies offering auto and home insurance in the U.S. you would think a bit more variety would exist.  The reality is that the majority of them are after the same demographic; good to great credit, home ownership, college educated, multiple cars. Then there is everybody else.  With a constant turn over of actuaries and heads of underwriting everybody else inevitably can get luck and fit into a preferred companies model.  Generally due to a fluke in the sophistication of underwriting.  But the reality is still that there are only three prices available to the public and YOU choose your price.

It is what it is they are what they are….

An awesome advertising company that happens to sell insurance.  Every week of the year your mailbox is likely infiltrated by a mailing from Geico.  Not always a letter, sometimes just an insert in something else but they are there.  The message is always the same ” How much could you save on your car insurance?”  They use that goofy gecko, a pig, a caveman, random “b list” celebrities, etc in order to try and get your attention in a crowded place and they do a really good job at it.  This is based on them recently being ranked the #2 car insurer in the United States.

The real cost of a claim is

much more than the money you are given.

10:00 Thusday August 22nd my car was hit.  I was deemed 100% not at fault and only suffered a small cut and a few hours of soreness.  This is being written 23 days later and my car is still in the shop.

Yes, I have a rental and have had it available since the day of the accident.

Yes, I have no out of pocket expense for this accident since I am not at fault.

No, I am not terribly please with this whole claims process.

Dear Enterprise Rental Car,

8/29/13

I had an unfortunate moment last Thursday when my car was struck by another one.  Now that I have had some time to relax and think I thought I would right you a letter.  I believe that if you are going to hand out feedback you need to be willing to share good and bad.  DISCLAIMER, I have been haphazardly recommending you for about ten years since a previous employer had arrangements with you.  Shame on me.

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**

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.

Appreciate your agent…if

Yes I believe the agent, me, works for you, the customer.  This is no different than any time you are spending money on a product or service.  This relationship tends to go better if you appreciate the person providing the product or service.  How do you do this?

UPDATE 5/19/2015

How do you “appreciate”‘ the person you are paying for a service?

  1. Give them a chance to work for you.
  2. Rather than carrying over the poor previous experience you may have had give your potential new agent the chance to shine without thinking he or she is as bad as the last one.

Are you overinsured?

I am aware of no way to ever say someone has to much insurance, the fact is you just never know.  There is though one circumstance you can say you may be overinsured when it comes to a home.  An insurance company is insuring the cost to rebuild your home.  They are not covering your tax assessment nor are they covering the market value of the home or even what you think your home is worth.