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reed1285

Lets talk....insurance

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I have been a faithful Allstate customer for many years, about 12 to be exact. I carry our auto and home insurance with them. I have kept them so long because our rates have always been reasonable (not great, but reasonable) and had a very positive experience with them when my wife had a mild auto accident several years ago (our only claim ever with them at the time). I myself had been accident free the WHOLE time with them up until January 10th of this year. I had my first auto accident in 12 years. It was my fault, and I got a citation for failure to yield the ROW. Well, as to be expected, my insurance rates went up, but they went up a very considerable amount. So now I am considering shopping around to see if I can get better rates elsewhere. I live in a small town, and the only local agents I have are a Farmers agent and a State Farm agent. Keep in mind I do have this accident showing now. 

I like hearing first hand experiences, and I put a lot of value on my TGO friends' opinions. So, any input on where I should look? Opinions on companies to avoid? I have not shopped for insurance in over a decade, so Im out of the loop. Thanks in advance. 

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Good topic for a thread. I think we have all thought about switching at one time or another to save money.

I’ve been with State Farm for 48 years. Over those years I’ve had 2 or 3 vehicle claims and 2 or 3 home owners claims. I’ve never had any drama; they just pay it and we move on. I know I could get lower costs, but I’ve seen so many stories of people either having a bunch of drama to collect or the companies telling them some things are covered, that they thought were.

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I have a friend who is an independent agent. He shops several companies for the best rate. Over a period of years, I've bought from two or three different companies through him. I've yet to file a claim, but as far as rates, this seems to be a good way to keep them low.

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1 hour ago, DaveTN said:

Good topic for a thread. I think we have all thought about switching at one time or another to save money.

I’ve been with State Farm for 48 years. Over those years I’ve had 2 or 3 vehicle claims and 2 or 3 home owners claims. I’ve never had any drama; they just pay it and we move on. I know I could get lower costs, but I’ve seen so many stories of people either having a bunch of drama to collect or the companies telling them some things are covered, that they thought were.

That brings up another point. I talked with one friend who seemed to think I should just stay with Allstate. His reasoning was that Ive had positive interactions with them all this time, through both claims, and that in his book was reason enough to stay, even at a higher rate.

I really dont like how much my rate went up after my accident though, especially consider it was MY first ever claim with them. My wifes claim was 5 or 6 years ago as well. No tickets either.

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25 minutes ago, reed1285 said:

That brings up another point. I talked with one friend who seemed to think I should just stay with Allstate. His reasoning was that Ive had positive interactions with them all this time, through both claims, and that in his book was reason enough to stay, even at a higher rate.

I really dont like how much my rate went up after my accident though, especially consider it was MY first ever claim with them. My wifes claim was 5 or 6 years ago as well. No tickets either.

Did your insurance pay out a bodily injury claim?

You can do a Google search and see stories that put the increase all over the place. It depends on what state you are in, property damage vs. bodily injury, how long you have been with the company, etc. One story I looked at put Allstate at the lowest increase and State Farm at the highest. Another story put Tennessee at an average of 31%. The stories and articles don’t make sense; other than to show the insurance companies pretty much do whatever they like.

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I've been with Farm Bureau for quite a while since their rates have been reasonable at least in my case.     Throughout the years, low drama on the claims I've had for both auto and homeowners.   They've always worked things out to my satisfaction.   

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My suggestion would be to shop around every couple years regardless of who you have now. One of the biggest mistakes I made years ago was assuming I was with the best because I never had an issue and the rate appeared to be reasonable. How can you sit and say you have the best out there if you blindly pay year to year without seeing what else is out there ? That extends on many things beyond insurance as well. 

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Call an independent agent to shop some rates for you. You don't have to go to their office. They can do it over the phone and email you quotes. Then you'll know if AllState is anywhere close to the others and then you can make an informed decision.

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An independent agent as in one of the two licensed agents in my town? I have a State Farm agent and a Farmers agent. Will they shop for me? Sorry for the ignorance, never done it that way.

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1 hour ago, reed1285 said:

An independent agent as in one of the two licensed agents in my town? I have a State Farm agent and a Farmers agent. Will they shop for me? Sorry for the ignorance, never done it that way.

Independent agents are not affiliated with any particular carrier, they act as agents between you and the insurers. There are websites to help in locating agents, here is one:

https://www.daveramsey.com/elp/independent-insurance

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I was with the same independent agent in Western NY for 46 years and was very happy with the service and flexibility. He saved me money several times, moving me around and giving me short term coverage when transferring a car.  Independent was my first choice when we moved 4 years ago but when I got the paperwork to sign I actually read it and it had a clause about house being visible from a certain number of neighbors. (I wanted cars and house with the same company). I called the agent and he said that was standard with all the companies he handled. That was not the case in NY, I asked after it happened. Was worried our house is sorta visible by two neighbors in the WInter but hidden the rest of the year. At that point I called a couple of bigger companies and non had that clause and I went with Farm Bureau, been happy so far but no claims either.

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I have been with Farm Bureau for at least 12 years.  Never had an issue with anything.  Had one accident (not my fault) and replaced one windshield and have never had them question anything.  More importantly for me I trust my agent.  I have no idea if it may cost me a little more each year, but knowing how they have treated me for years, it's worth it.  If my rates went up to what I felt was excessive,  I would shop around.   I base my cost relatively to a few friends with similar situations and we are all within a hundred dollars or so.

 

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11 hours ago, No_0ne said:

Independent agents are not affiliated with any particular carrier, they act as agents between you and the insurers. There are websites to help in locating agents, here is one:

https://www.daveramsey.com/elp/independent-insurance

Ahh ok. Im assumning they charge for this service? Or are they like the travel agents of yester-year?

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Being rural and having livestock and farm equipment, Tennessee Farm Bureau is about my only choice. Rates are reasonable and never a hassle with claims.  Had to carry a large liability policy on a lot of leased and rented land plus a epa hazardous spill/contamination clause also, to protect my personal assets. They have always been there when need, no hassle, but have only had  a couple of small claims with them. Insurance is basically a form of legal extortion .

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45 minutes ago, owejia said:

Being rural and having livestock and farm equipment, Tennessee Farm Bureau is about my only choice. Rates are reasonable and never a hassle with claims.  Had to carry a large liability policy on a lot of leased and rented land plus a epa hazardous spill/contamination clause also, to protect my personal assets. They have always been there when need, no hassle, but have only had  a couple of small claims with them. Insurance is basically a form of legal extortion .

I think it all started with a friendly visit from Guido, who politely offered to see to it, for a small fee, that your storefront did not get broken into.

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3 hours ago, reed1285 said:

Ahh ok. Im assumning they charge for this service? Or are they like the travel agents of yester-year?

They get some cut or other, but it comes from the company they sign you with, not from your end per se. Same way as a dedicated agent for just one company would.

Like Dave, I had State Farm for like 55 years or something, for cars, homes, apartment. But got into a hopeless flap with them over a secondary policy about 4 years ago, over a separate policy on guns as a matter of fact, pissed me off so bad I walked out and went over to a biggie independent agency here in Knoxville, called TIS (started many years ago as Tennessee Insurance Co, now just the initials are the name).

Gal suggested best deal was SAFECO, because they are gun friendly, meaning your firearms are part of the overall coverage on your homeowners or rental policy, so don't need a separate valuable items policy. I got significantly more auto coverage for less price, and renter's was bout same, but actually a much better deal what with the guns being covered as part of it.

You'd almost certainly get a lot more for your money if you do both autos and home policies.

They cover folks in 47 of the 50 states,  can likely take you on from just with phone/email,  call em if interested:

http://www.tisins.com/

- OS

 

Edited by Oh Shoot
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23 minutes ago, Oh Shoot said:

They get some cut or other, but it comes from the company they sign you with, not from your end per se. Same way as a dedicated agent for just one company would.

Like Dave, I had State Farm for like 55 years or something, for cars, homes, apartment. But got into a hopeless flap with them over a secondary policy about 4 years ago, over a separate policy on guns as a matter of fact, pissed me off so bad I walked out and went over to a biggie independent agency here in Knoxville, called TIS (started many years ago as Tennessee Insurance Co, now just the initials are the name).

Gal suggested best deal was SAFECO, because they are gun friendly, meaning your firearms are part of the overall coverage on your homeowners or rental policy, so don't need a separate valuable items policy. I got significantly more auto coverage for less price, and renter's was bout same, but actually a much better deal what with the guns being covered as part of it.

You'd almost certainly get a lot more for your money if you do both autos and home policies.

They cover folks in 47 of the 50 states,  can likely take you on from just with phone/email,  call em if interested:

http://www.tisins.com/

- OS

 

Thanks, I'll check em out.

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State Farm, with zero claims, increased my premiums (well above inflation) for years.  Ten years in, after a particularly high increase, I changed to USAA.  They have pulled a couple of unusual moves, but I have been happy with them for more than 10 years, now.  

I say stick to a big name brand.  And, you really need to wait until you have 3 years accident free before shopping.  JMHO

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1 hour ago, walthermitty said:

State Farm, with zero claims, increased my premiums (well above inflation) for years.  Ten years in, after a particularly high increase, I changed to USAA.  They have pulled a couple of unusual moves, but I have been happy with them for more than 10 years, now.  

I say stick to a big name brand.  And, you really need to wait until you have 3 years accident free before shopping.  JMHO

With most insurance, your claims aren't as important as what the total claims were for the year before with the underwriters.  Let a hurricane strike the coast, a big flood occur in the midwest, or some other incident that requires a large outlay of cash by the big underwriters and everybody's rates will go up the following year ...

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My wife and I just went with Farmers Insurance. Our local agent saved us a little over 1700.00 per year and got our insured amounts where they are supposed to be.  The only thing they didn’t cover are my guns and one boat. It wasn’t a deal killer. They are insured elsewhere

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I have been doing a little research and there is a well-reviewed independent agency in my area (Chattanooga area) by the name of Atlas Insurance. They have a 5 star rating with 63 google reviews. Think I may give them a ring and see what they can do for me. Shot in the dark, any first-hand experience here with them?

Its funny because when I was younger, all I heard was that as you get older insurance gets cheaper, that there was a big drop off at age 25, yadda yadda ya. It is quite the opposite actually. I am 33 and insurance has done nothing but went up steadily for me over the years. 

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On 4/11/2019 at 12:14 PM, No_0ne said:

With most insurance, your claims aren't as important as what the total claims were for the year before with the underwriters.  Let a hurricane strike the coast, a big flood occur in the midwest, or some other incident that requires a large outlay of cash by the big underwriters and everybody's rates will go up the following year ...

That's something that the insurers lie about.  They are supposed to use statewide claims, rather than nationwide claims, but that is fantasy.

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1 hour ago, walthermitty said:

That's something that the insurers lie about.  They are supposed to use statewide claims, rather than nationwide claims, but that is fantasy.

Underwriter rates aren't bound by state insurance rules, different scope entirely ...

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On 4/16/2019 at 6:36 PM, No_0ne said:

Underwriter rates aren't bound by state insurance rules, different scope entirely ...

Every time I've asked why my rates increased, the explanations included something that led me to believe that they were based on state claims.  And, I was under the impression that rates had to be based on state claims.  Regardless, I've never been able to negotiate lowering a rate.  The agent basically says "pound sand."  And, the insurance company will never release anything close to full disclosure.  For all intents and purposes, it doesn't matter.  Accept the increase, or shop for another carrier.  

A google search of complaints against insurance companies is scary, however.  The big name companies seem (to me) to have fewer complaints than others.  And, lower rates do no good, if a righteous claim is denied, or used against you.  

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