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Just a reminder to all -

Do a competitive quote at some other auto insurance providers - especially if your rates have gone up due to accidents, etc.

I just switched identical coverage amounts from Progressive to Geico and am saving over $300/6 month policy period (~650/year) for 2 vehicles for my wife and I.
(Looks like Progressive is still giving me the best deal by far on Motorcycle insurance though...)

I know this is no amazing strategy or novel approach to money making - but we forget these little things sometimes. Hopefully this reminder spurs a few of you into action for some savings!

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
You can't make generic statements about who is cheaper because there are too many variables. Moving into a new zip code... (more)

RedWolfe01 (Jan. 19, 2013 @ 6:53p) |

So you are falsifying being a military member? That's illegal there buddy. Good job. I've spent 13yrs in the military (... (more)

GeneralKlinger (Jan. 23, 2013 @ 10:12a) |

They check when you try to make a claim and then you're going to jail for FRAUD as well as saying good bye to your licen... (more)

wateristasty (Jan. 23, 2013 @ 11:35a) |

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tajar96 compiled a pretty good list of things to accomplish annually last month. See it here:

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1244673/m17423694/

thanks for the link - doesn't hurt for another reminder - especially for an uncluttered one that literally should take you less than 1 hour total to investigate and resolve!

Better hope you never need to make a claim. The Lizard of Omaha got to be a zillionaire by low pricing with lots of claim denials here. He has trolls everywhere now.

Perhaps. I was with Allstate prior to Progressive - I was extremely unhappy at how they handled my claim. Because of that I switched to Progressive.

I had 3 claims with Progressive: hail damage to 2 cars - which they cut us a check pretty expediently, and an ice skid my wife had in her work lot - which was paid out to a co worker (co worker claimed against us - no damage to wife's car). So, I was not unhappy with them, but don't have any experience with a collision claim from our end (e.g. an accident that we were involved in that required our vehicles to be fixed).

I have a feeling you had a bad experience with Geico in the past, so this may be your reason for bashing them - totally understandable. I would say the same thing about Allstate at this point.

I actually had a bad experience with Geico about 15-20 years ago - but it was partly due to my error (I was younger and dumber then) - and I'm willing to give them another chance. My father has been with them for 30 years (maybe more), and I know he has had a few claims with them that went smoothly. Spoke with some others who are covered with them too and nothing really negative to share.

I think that any of the top providers of insurance are going to have those people who have had bad experiences - so I usually just look at an apples to apples comparison and find the cheapest rate.

Went from Geico to USAA and save about 30%
and moved my Homeowners from State Farm to USAA also

Tried to look into USAA - but for military only. Would have been interested to see a quote - but they won't even let me proceed.
They asked for parent enlistment as well...tried to apply as wife whose father was in the Air Force (not career) and it said that it couldn't look up or use that information.

Ah well - I'm satisfied with my new Geico rate for now...another 30% would always be nice - but would be minor considering the 90%+ reduction I just got switching.

The two top rated insurance companies in most categories are USAA and AMICA. USAA requires that connection, even if distant, to someone that has been in the military. AMICA used to require a member to recommend you, but no longer does.

A few years back I had USAA (which relatives have) quote against my AMICA (which I've had for over 30 years). In total, AMICA won, although in various pieces USAA beat them. I have auto, home, and liability umbrella.

Happy with AMICA I stayed.

Well apparently USAA doesn't allow a distant connection as it told me that my wife's father's service was not enough to qualify us and asked for additional connections.
Apparently involvement in the Military was not enough - he actually had to have been a USAA member for his children to get any benefit.

I did look at Liberty Mutual who apparently is who they use for those members not eligible for their Auto. LM was about equivalent to what I paid with Progressive, and competitive with most of the other quotes.

Geico seemed to not take my wife's minor accident 2 years ago into as much account, or adjusted it based on a percentage of the premium which - since it was already lower than the others made less of an affect.

I can't argue that a company like USAA might have a higher satisfaction rating because it has fewer complaints. Part of this is simply the size of the company. When you factor in size to gross dollars overwritten, most companies fall within a few percentage points difference of satisfaction.

Would still be interesting to know what USAA would offer - but I have a feeling as I am shopping based on cost (while still trying to stay with a reputable company) they wouldn't compete (in my situation).

UPDATE: Just tried AMICA too - they want to charge me almost $1000/6 month period for coverage that isn't even as good.

BenH said:   Well apparently USAA doesn't allow a distant connection as it told me that my wife's father's service was not enough to qualify us and asked for additional connections.
Apparently involvement in the Military was not enough - he actually had to have been a USAA member for his children to get any benefit.


Is there a way for my dad ( who was in the military over 30+ years ago but hasn't been since ) to sign up for USAA and than I can apply for insurance using his information as a former military connection once he is signed up?

How should we do the actual switch. I have a agent.. (previously it was FredCchurch and now its kaplanski).. and they come typically come back to me with a company sayign this is the best. I have a multi car and my home insurance. Is this how we should shop.. or should we directly call the insurance companies.. and get teh quotes? Thanks in advance.

oxygenmm said:   BenH said:   Well apparently USAA doesn't allow a distant connection as it told me that my wife's father's service was not enough to qualify us and asked for additional connections.
Apparently involvement in the Military was not enough - he actually had to have been a USAA member for his children to get any benefit.


Is there a way for my dad ( who was in the military over 30+ years ago but hasn't been since ) to sign up for USAA and than I can apply for insurance using his information as a former military connection once he is signed up?


The site states eligibility for veterans under these conditions:

Military veterans includes:
Retired officers and enlisted personnel.
Former officers and enlisted personnel who separated and were honorably discharged.

maxNat said:   How should we do the actual switch. I have a agent.. (previously it was FredCchurch and now its kaplanski).. and they come typically come back to me with a company sayign this is the best. I have a multi car and my home insurance. Is this how we should shop.. or should we directly call the insurance companies.. and get teh quotes? Thanks in advance.

Max, I don't know who FredCchurch or kaplanski are but I suggest you obtain your quotes independently from them from each of the major Insurers, both nationally and locally. Many allow you to obtain a quote online and it can take as little as 5 minutes per insurer.

maxNat said:   How should do the actual switch.. I have a agent.. (previously it was FredCchurch and now its kaplanski).. and they come typically come back to me with a company sayign this is the best. Is this how we should shop.. or should we directly call the insurance companies.. and get teh quotes? Thanks in advance.

Personally I do them all online at the insurers site. I even got better rates online than talking to the reps.

When doing an online quote - remember that if you exclude negative driving history you will get a quote that is lower, but when you actually go to sign up for the policy they will run your record and find your accidents/claims/tickets/etc and it will reflect a higher quote.

On the other hand - if you are unsure if something qualifies you - like a red light ticket or an accident that may be longer ago than you remember - I wouldn't include it.

Basically - when you lie on your application you are only hurting your initial quote - they will find out the truth. So, I find it best to only include things you know they will find (like a DUI or a claimed accident). If they ask you anything else, just skip it or say "I don't believe so/don't recall."

I mentioned red light tickets to the guy on the phone and he gave me a quote over $200 higher than I ended up getting after going through online AND have them process the underwriting to enact my policy.

my best rates have been Amica or currently Wawanesa depending on your state. Even with those two companies, you have to apply for discounts to get good rates. I have discounts on persistency (been with the same insurer for a few years), lojack recovery, non smoking, etc discounts.

Is there some website where I can just enter my info once and it gives me quotes from many insurers? I'd hate to spend half a day running quotes on indvidual websites.

The individual sites are getting pretty smart about figuring out which cars are yours based on your address. So it doesn't take more than 5 minutes to check each site.

I recently went from esurance to Geico. I also checked progressive. I was done within 15 minutes and I didn't need to type in any VINs (even though I had them ready).

If your auto insurance is unreasonable cheap, please be careful. I had a very bad experience with Safeco (Safeco.com) to work with my wife's car claim.

BenH said:   Well apparently USAA doesn't allow a distant connection as it told me that my wife's father's service was not enough to qualify us and asked for additional connections.
Apparently involvement in the Military was not enough - he actually had to have been a USAA member for his children to get any benefit.



If your wife's father is still alive, have him join USAA today. He can based on being a military veteran. Then have him pass the enrollment to his daughter/your wife.

marinedjp said:   BenH said:   Well apparently USAA doesn't allow a distant connection as it told me that my wife's father's service was not enough to qualify us and asked for additional connections.
Apparently involvement in the Military was not enough - he actually had to have been a USAA member for his children to get any benefit.



If your wife's father is still alive, have him join USAA today. He can based on being a military veteran. Then have him pass the enrollment to his daughter/your wife.


Yeah - considered it. Don't know if it is worth the effort - based on my research with everyone else - can't believe anyone will beat Geico.

I'm going to stick with them for at least another year, until my wife's accident is past 3 years - then might look again.

I'll see how difficult it may be to join USAA - and how much $$ it may cost.

My wife switched from Geico to State Farm this month, State Farm was HALF the price for full coverage on her 2007 Toyota Yaris ($250/6mo vs $500/6mo)

I have usaa insurance, but am not a vet. Its easy to get USAA insurance, just say you are in the military they don't actually check. it is a better deal so go for it!

I'm a USAA customer - family military connection, so legit unlike some of the above.

USAA is great insurance, great service, I never worry that I'm going to have an issue should I have to make a claim. That said, just got my last 6 mo. renewal with a 10% increase for no apparent reason (no new accidents/tickets/life changes, etc.). I have a feeling I'll be doing a little shopping around soon ...

I'm a USAA customer and, believe it or not, it is not always the least expensive coverage. I could have saved $500 a year with Allstate for auto coverage, but I decided to stay with USAA because I know their customer service is consistantly in the top tier in the industry.

maxNat said:   How should we do the actual switch. I have a agent.. (previously it was FredCchurch and now its kaplanski).. and they come typically come back to me with a company sayign this is the best. I have a multi car and my home insurance. Is this how we should shop.. or should we directly call the insurance companies.. and get teh quotes? Thanks in advance.

USAA and AMICA don't work with agents. They are direct to consumer sellers.

BenH said:   Yeah - considered it. Don't know if it is worth the effort - based on my research with everyone else - can't believe anyone will beat Geico.

I'm going to stick with them for at least another year, until my wife's accident is past 3 years - then might look again.

I'll see how difficult it may be to join USAA - and how much $$ it may cost.


It's likely worth the effort even if you don't use them right now. Years ago when my father retired and went on Medicare my mothers health insurance costs were outrageous and difficult for them to afford. USAA's health insurance was substantially less for the same coverage. Making the switch was a tremendous relief for them, both financially and emotionally (my mother actually cried when she was approved.) Having USAA as an option may prove to be very valuable in the future and once you join you always have them available.

nwrain said:   BenH said:   Yeah - considered it. Don't know if it is worth the effort - based on my research with everyone else - can't believe anyone will beat Geico.

I'm going to stick with them for at least another year, until my wife's accident is past 3 years - then might look again.

I'll see how difficult it may be to join USAA - and how much $$ it may cost.


It's likely worth the effort even if you don't use them right now. Years ago when my father retired and went on Medicare my mothers health insurance costs were outrageous and difficult for them to afford. USAA's health insurance was substantially less for the same coverage. Making the switch was a tremendous relief for them, both financially and emotionally (my mother actually cried when she was approved.) Having USAA as an option may prove to be very valuable in the future and once you join you always have them available.


Do you happen to know the costs and/or application length involved and/or what paperwork is necessary?
I might pay for him to join if reasonable, but my father in law probably does not have a lot of motivation to look into it.

alexkram said:   My wife switched from Geico to State Farm this month, State Farm was HALF the price for full coverage on her 2007 Toyota Yaris ($250/6mo vs $500/6mo)

I'm always amazed at how inconsistent pricing is between companies. You'd think by now the analysis would be a pretty advanced science a that all companies would come up with a fairly similar risk analysis. Yet I always see people say how State Farm was half the price of AAA/Geico/Progressive, whereas for me, State Farm is about twice the price of any of those. And then some say Allstate is the best, but for me they want 4 times the price that AAA/Geico/Progressive wants. Just amazing how large the discrepancies can be.

LordKronos said:   alexkram said:   My wife switched from Geico to State Farm this month, State Farm was HALF the price for full coverage on her 2007 Toyota Yaris ($250/6mo vs $500/6mo)

I'm always amazed at how inconsistent pricing is between companies. You'd think by now the analysis would be a pretty advanced science a that all companies would come up with a fairly similar risk analysis. Yet I always see people say how State Farm was half the price of AAA/Geico/Progressive, whereas for me, State Farm is about twice the price of any of those. And then some say Allstate is the best, but for me they want 4 times the price that AAA/Geico/Progressive wants. Just amazing how large the discrepancies can be.


Everyone posting here isn't providing their information - like ages, driving history, type of car being insured, etc.

That being said - you would still think that company A using these criteria would always give a better rate than Company B.

Obviously some companies must place higher priority on certain aspects:

Some may use Credit Score more aggressively. Others may use info on a state by state basis (very probable) so that we get these discrepancies throughout the country.
Some may be significantly cheaper based on the age of the vehicle, where others don't factor that in to as high a degree.
I'm sure the insurance geniuses at each company have some individual thoughts about what criteria should be weighted in what way - and I'm sure as the industry develops and new criteria emerge they begin to get integrated - sometimes maybe on a trial (regional) basis.

This is just one more reason you need to shop around for YOU and not just listen to what others say worked for them.

BenH said:   Do you happen to know the costs and/or application length involved and/or what paperwork is necessary? I might pay for him to join if reasonable, but my father in law probably does not have a lot of motivation to look into it.

I joined years ago so this information may no longer be accurate. There was no cost to join and the paperwork involved wasn't significant enough for me even to remember it. Once you join there are no dues.

USAA also has a bank that can be very competitive for car loans, credit cards and home loans. In my opinion it is also worth any trouble the application process may involve.

nwrain said:   BenH said:   Do you happen to know the costs and/or application length involved and/or what paperwork is necessary? I might pay for him to join if reasonable, but my father in law probably does not have a lot of motivation to look into it.

I joined years ago so this information may no longer be accurate. There was no cost to join and the paperwork involved wasn't significant enough for me even to remember it. Once you join there are no dues.

USAA also has a bank that can be very competitive for car loans, credit cards and home loans. In my opinion it is also worth any trouble the application process may involve.


USAA banking is open for all, insurance requires military affiliation (or they can "outsource" you to Liberty Mutual, which might give a little discount for being USAA member)

Another note on USAA:

I had a substantial homeowner's claim with them about 15 years ago. My flat roof's drains became partially clogged and torrential rains caused the standing water on the roof to overflow into the house. Drywall had to be replaced, the roof was no longer serviceable and had to be replaced because water had gotten under the waterproof membrane, wood floors buckled, etc. USAA worked with my contractor and I and adjusted the claim amount when they didn't allow enough to repair the damage. For instance my face nailed hardwood floors all had to be replaced because the old section of the floor couldn't be refinished to match the new section.

In addition they paid for six months of unbelievably high hotel costs because at the time there was a economic boom and there were simply no apartments available in the area.

It wasn't an easy time or repair process, but I never felt I was being cheated by them and in the end I felt they had fairly honored my claim even though it was horribly expensive and complex.

I can give no higher recommendation than that.

Ok, but since we are talking insurance in this thread - "military" membership is what is really germane.

cyberkost said:   
USAA banking is open for all, insurance requires military affiliation (or they can "outsource" you to Liberty Mutual, which might give a little discount for being USAA member)

Good advice OP.

Recently got a few quotes, and switched from Farmers to esurance, for a 60% savings.

JRedleg said:   I'm a USAA customer and, believe it or not, it is not always the least expensive coverage. I could have saved $500 a year with Allstate for auto coverage, but I decided to stay with USAA because I know their customer service is consistantly in the top tier in the industry.
I was a USAA customer for many years and recently switched. For the past 3 years, Progressive, Geico, Amica & Liberty Mutual all quoted me significantly better rates than USAA ($300-$600 cheaper for 2 drivers/2 cars).

For the most part I had a good customer service experience with USAA, but they did screw me once on coverage. I was backed into by an uninsured motorist, took it to 2 places to get an estimate which was about $1000 in both instances (front bumper & headlight on a mid-level luxury car). If the repair was above my deductible ($500), my uninsured motorist coverage would cover 100%, but if it was under, I had to cover 100%. USAA appraiser said I had to take it to their authorized shop who (surprise, surprise) quoted me $496, so I was on the hook for all of it. The uninsured motorist was an out of state deadbeat, so couldn't recover that way either.

is it better to wait until the policy expiration/billing date to do the switch? i don't know if the existing insurance company would do a prorate return or what's common.

USAA insurance requires a military connection. If you are able to join, open a savings account under the name of each of your kids. This way the computer system has a record of them as members, so when they become adults the option to make use of their USAA membership is there, without going through the qualification process again.

matthewk said:   is it better to wait until the policy expiration/billing date to do the switch? i don't know if the existing insurance company would do a prorate return or what's common.

Wondering this as well, I'm half way through policy with Progressive, and wanting to switch to Geico.

No reason to ever wait. They will refund your remaining balance. What I got back from Progressive with 3 months on my policy is enough to pay my first 6 months with Geico.

Joesh said:   matthewk said:   is it better to wait until the policy expiration/billing date to do the switch? i don't know if the existing insurance company would do a prorate return or what's common.

Wondering this as well, I'm half way through policy with Progressive, and wanting to switch to Geico.

Skipping 18 Messages...
OliverQuackenbush said:   I have usaa insurance, but am not a vet. Its easy to get USAA insurance, just say you are in the military they don't actually check. it is a better deal so go for it!

They check when you try to make a claim and then you're going to jail for FRAUD as well as saying good bye to your license for driving without insurance. Have fun!!



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