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?


That’s right.  I went through it ten times with a variety of combinations and every time I came up with less coverage than what I would offer a similar person.  Baffled by this but not surprised.  I’ve been replacing Geico policies for years.  When not replacing them I am encouraging(sometimes begging) people to please take higher coverage.  Most of the time it works.  Let me speculate on why;

  • They think they are saving you money?  In theory they might be.  In reality, 9 out of 10 times they aren’t.  Really.  If you could save $50 a year or have $400,000 which would you choose?
  • “But you don’t need that much coverage…”  Prove it.  While you are at it go to the store and by me a lotto ticket.  Same scenario.  Also, if you have not noticed, companies partially base your rates on previous liability limits.  Lower limits typically leads to higher rates.  Your call.
  • $250 deductible?  $500 deductible?  No coverage on a $5000 vehicle?  Baffled.  When it comes to your comprehensive and collision coverage(also known as physical damage) consider a few things.

1. If your car is safe to drive and presentable would you get that small dent fixed?

2. Ask a body shop how much work $500 actually is?  Also ask about $1000.  Oh, by the way, the odds of your rate going up for a claim less than a $1000 are as good as over $1000.  Basically whatever you collect for the claim you’ll likely pay back over the next 3-5 years.

3. What your car is worth and what it is worth to you may be two different things?  Math doesn’t lie.

Just some quick thoughts.  Unfortunately the philosophy behind Gecio may be getting more of a life with some of the new “quoting” companies.

Just some thoughts.  Use if you want.


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**

Step 2. Do your homework.  So you just filed an auto claim and you think it is pretty bad.  Well how about you get an estimate from your local body shop?  Then you can spend some time on-line figuring out what your car is worth.  Try Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds and then try and shop for your car on AutoTrader.

Step 3. Part of your contract whether it be for auto or home insurance it is your responsibility to limit the loss.  Have I ever seen a problem with this clause?  No.  Reality is most people apply some effort to limiting the damage.  Some things to considerSo you have some damage at your home, how much of the work can you do yourself?  Have you called someone that you would have repair the work for an estimate? **Odd as it may be, the rule of getting three estimates seems to always work.**

Remember your deductible is your choice, calling in a claim is your choice and taking control of your claim is your choice.

**UPDATE 5/19/2015**

All of these and the updates are as true as ever.  We have  even begun to be more proactive.  How?  By taking higher deductibles.  Reality is $1000 is not a lot of damage.  Also, when it comes to homes, you do not actually pay the deductible out.  Many vendors/contractors/tree people and others will work with you and you can even do some of the work yourself.  Also, keep an eye on State Farm.  I like that they have gone to a percentage deductible.  Interesting.  I do not have enough data on it but it is interesting.