Timing is everything

When it comes to your insurance policy?  Yes, there are a lot of times when adjusting the start and finish date of your policy can save $100’s of dollars.  Here are some ideas.

  1. You don’t have insurance right now, GET SOME.  Think of this as a temporary policy.  So you get a policy right now and a month from now go shopping.  Since you are now shopping with prior insurance you will likely get a better rate
  2. You have an accident that is just over two years old.  Well accidents that are three years old cost less.  So if your accident anniversary is in 6 months, time up the end date of your new policy to be just after the anniversary.  This creates a great possibility you will get a lower rate in six months
  3. Tickets are very similar to accidents.  Timing up a policy so when you renew or go shopping again it is less of a factor or no factor at all is critical.

An example; J called me back in November.  After reviewing his account we decided to start the policy February 13th 2013.  WHY?  Well he has a speeding ticket that passes three years on August 12th 2013.  So, he will leave his current carrier in the middle of the policy term.  Fortunately for him he will actually lower his rate when he switches.  Then, assuming no tickets or accidents, we expect his rate to go down again in August when we either renew with the new company or go shopping again.

Sounds good?  Just a thought, thanks for letting me share.

A response to an awful article

Here is a link to a terribly written article; http://boingboing.net/2013/01/29/american-insurers-charge-reckl.html

Like most garbage there is a “catchy” headline and zero to no substance behind it.  This article tries to study insurance rates and say that “rich” people get better rates.  Now although I am not a scientist I know that when running an experiment you must keep as many factors equal as possible.  This “experiment” did not.  The facts;

Using two hypothetical characters the group compared premiums offered to two 30-year-old women. Both had driven for 10 years, lived on the same street in a middle-income Zip code and both wanted the minimum insurance required by whichever state the group was researching.****Using the minimum insurance required already screws up this experiment.  Having the lowest coverage required makes you look irresponsible*****

The imaginary woman who wasn’t married, rented a home, didn’t have coverage for 45 days but has never been in an accident or ticketed with a moving violation was compared to a married executive with a master’s degree who owns her home and has always had continuous insurance coverage. But she’d been in an accident (again, hypothetically) that was her fault and caused $800 in damage within the last three years.*****Having a lapse in coverage, regardless of circumstances, has a massive impact on a rate.  Also an $800 accident may have minimal impact since it is below a surchargeable amount.  Also, when in the last three years was it?  You are also comparing married to not married.  Well if someone is in a relationship the spouse/partner will need to be listed.

The results were somewhat surprising, although there were differences across the five insurers. Farmers, GEICO and Progressive always gave a higher quote to the safer driver than the woman who’d caused an accident. Across all 12 cities in the study, State Farm offered the lowest or second lowest premiums.  ****Useless paragraph sorry you wasted time reading it****

“State insurance regulators should require auto insurers to explain why they believe factors such as education and income are better predictors of losses than are at-fault accidents,” said J. Robert Hunter, CFA’s director of insurance and former Texas insurance ****STOP, how about consumers find out how to get better rates rather than worrying about factors they may not have much control over?****


  1. There are more factors that go into a rate then I can count.
  2. Income NEVER comes up when doing a quote
  3. Married/relationship factors in as well
  4. An educated consumer can do better than a consumer with a degree
  5. “rich”(whatever that means) and “poor” people can both have the same credit score



Two quick lessons from a cashier and a barber

Interesting day last week. Had a few minutes before a meeting so I stopped into Office Depot to buy some markers .  No big deal, like a $5 purchase and at 9:00 in the morning there is no one there. Then Bobbi and I met at the register.  I really like that Office Depot will e-mail me my receipt; 1 less piece of paper, easier for tracking.  Today Bobbi decided he wanted to make the decision for me and pressed “print receipt” .  I said Bobbi why did you do that he said he was moving things along.  At this point there were 8 or so employees in the store and 1 customer, none of which were on line with me.

The Lesson; DON”T BE BOBBI! Allow me to do the transaction how I want to do the transaction.  If you give me options let me choose them.  I may be open to a suggestion BUT don’t make the decision for me.  Any decision is better if I make it and I own it.  This goes for the decisions you make on your own and if you are helping someone buy something you are selling.

Later in the day, which actually had lots of solid moments besides these two, I went for a haircut.  If you have ever seen me I basically have worn my hair the same way for about 10 years.  Short.  There may not be an easier haircut then mine, get a #4 clip, run it all over my head, square up the back and side burns and walla your done.  Stat to finish should  be under 10 minutes so you actually make more per minute doing my haircut because it is so easy.  Now I value my time to much to wait for a particular barber and today’s woman has cut my hair before.  Today I left thinking somewhere in the world there is a trained monkey who could have been more gentle on my scalp, feel free to forward me a video.  Finally she whacked my head one time that resulted in a fairly loud “Jesus” being said and that was it.  Very happy that I had exact change.

THE LESSON; When presented with an easy situation take advantage of it instead of messing it up.  The clippers in a barbershop are a necessity, know how to use your tools at your “job” whatever they may be.  If you rely on tips as part of your income EARN THEM

That’s enough for now.  Just some thoughts.

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.
  • Now that we know it is correct, how is your rate?  Did it go up much from last year?  Like it or not rates go up.  What increase can you deal with?
  • So now you want to improve your rate, first lets start with discounts.  Do you have all you can have?
  • Next place to look is at your comprehensive and collision coverage.  If you have it, do you need it?  If you have it, what is your deductible?  $1000 is not a lot of damage on a vehicle.  Ask yourself “If my car is safe to drive and looks presentable would I be ok with a little dent?”
  • Now shop, that’s right shop.  For whatever reason getting 3 estimates works for most things in life.  This does not mean you are going to leave it just means you are being diligent.  LOYALTY IS OVERRATED

Some things to keep in mind.  Your driving record may preclude any change being a possibility.  There may be a good chance for savings by changing how you pay your bills.  You might have as good a rate as you can get.

So what do I do?  Well my wife and I have a ticket or two and a small accident so we fall into the category of not being able to shop.  BUT when reviewing the policy I realized we both can take a defensive driving course.  This will save close to $200 per year for the next three years.  We will spend $49.90 to take it so this is a heck of an investment.  In my case, it is finally time to drop the collision on my 2003 Jetta.  I hung on as long as I could but the Kelly Blue Book value now longer justifies keeping collision coverage.  Dropping this saves a couple hundred more.  Now things are definitely better.  Factor in the nice discount for paying in two payments and I am spending less this year that I did three years ago.  Not bad.

Just some thoughts, would be happy to help customize these suggestions for you.