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Comparing Insurance Costs - Auto + Homeowners

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rated:
I have been a customer of State Farm for decades, but over the last two years my auto insurance has increased by over 35% for the same vehicles, which are depreciating in value.  We just got hit with our most recent premiums, with another $150 increase for 2 vehicles.  My mom was a SF employee and recommends Progressive, so I decided to get an estimate.  This is difference in premiums for a total of 3 vehicles, 2 drivers, and one small house.  

State Farm: $2,188.22 per 6 months.
Progressive: $1,462.50 per 6 months.

Can there really be a 33% difference between the two, for nearly identical policies?  If you have made a similar switch or are in the insurance industry, are you aware of any "gotchas" that I might not be aware of?  I even told my SF agent that I needed her to get creative in order to remain competitive, or I would need to switch, regardless of our longstanding relationship.  She said there was nothing she can do.

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I never understood this - getting old I guess. What does a persons credit rating have to do with insurance? If a persons... (more)

prosperity (Mar. 16, 2017 @ 6:59a) |

People with lower credit rating are more likely to file claims.

stanolshefski (Mar. 16, 2017 @ 7:51a) |

You've got to shop insurance every year.

whoDean (Mar. 16, 2017 @ 4:16p) |

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rated:
Yes, there is probably more competitive companies than Progressive (Amica, Geico, Erie, Ameriprise, etc.). You need to shop around and your loyalty is generally not rewarded (in fact its penalized). Its like the job marketplace, even if you are happy, you should be out there seeing what else is available otherwise there is a good chance you are getting screwed. I wish it wasn't this way but you have to play the game.

http://www.npr.org/2015/05/08/403598235/being-a-loyal-auto-insur...

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bpp said:   Yes, there is probably more competitive companies than Progressive (Amica, Geico, Erie, Ameriprise, etc.). You need to shop around and your loyalty is generally not rewarded (in fact its penalized). Its like the job marketplace, even if you are happy, you should be out there seeing what else is available otherwise there is a good chance you are getting screwed. I wish it wasn't this way but you have to play the game.

http://www.npr.org/2015/05/08/403598235/being-a-loyal-auto-insur...

  
Very interesting.  Thanks for sharing.  Also, that just sucks, because I have been a customer of my insurance agent for 26 years... but it's my money, and I don't feel like giving away $1,500 per year with nothing in return, just to be a "loyal" customer.

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I shop my insurance every single year. Takes an hour, and has saved me many thousands of dollars over the past 10 years.

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I pay ~$400/6 months for auto insurance for two drivers and two cars. There are companies who regularly quote ~$1,200 for the same coverage -- so yes, it's possible to get similar coverage for much less.

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Thanks for the insight all.  As you can tell, I've never shopped insurance, so I was a little hesitant to do so, but I am going to now.  I appreciate your input.

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Also its worth while shopping your Car+Home together, and separate. I have had it both ways in the last decade. Sometimes its a sizable difference to have them separate, and sometimes not.

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Interesting, State Farm did the samething to me and I have been with them for decades. According to my agent, it's due to the higher claims in the Seattle Metro area. What about are you, OP? Even with the much higher premium, it's still quite low compare to the other folks in my place of work when I did a informal survey.

I have done online shopping before and it has always been about the same. The "loyalty penality" has been discussed on FWF with input by insider before and I recall that the consensus is that isn't true unless you are a "sub-prime" subject. I also have the agent run the number and the biggest discount is the bundling which makes it much harder to move.

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I usually shop around once a year (prior to renewal) in search of better rates. So far Geico for car and Liberty Mutual for home has been the cheapest options. I also recently discovered that while Geico doesn't underwrite homeowners they do have a partnership with Liberty mutual which saved me $150 versus having a separate policy with Liberty Mutual.

Also, while I'm a big fan of doing everything on line, I find that with insurance you can get much better rates over the phone. The sales people have access to discounts not available using the online tool.

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ZenNUTS said:   Interesting, State Farm did the samething to me and I have been with them for decades. According to my agent, it's due to the higher claims in the Seattle Metro area. What about are you, OP? Even with the much higher premium, it's still quite low compare to the other folks in my place of work when I did a informal survey.

I have done online shopping before and it has always been about the same. The "loyalty penality" has been discussed on FWF with input by insider before and I recall that the consensus is that isn't true unless you are a "sub-prime" subject. I also have the agent run the number and the biggest discount is the bundling which makes it much harder to move.

  I'm in St. Paul MN.  Last time I complained, the agent said increases were made to all policies.  I don't doubt it, but 33% in two years, and 33% over their competition?  I cannot imagine that they will have a customer base left if they have increased everybody by that amount.

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Car Insurance and Home Insurance are simply games of playing chicken. They increase prices for 95% of customers, under the bet that only 5% will have the courage and drive to look around.

Every single time they will just cite bullshit made up lies of "Ohhh there were more accidents in your area during the last year"... The first 6 months are like a credit card sign-on bonus. You will NEVER receive a lower rate unless your first one wasn't that great to begin with.

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Found a couple of related article on this topic:

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/27/auto-insurance-rates-rising-at-fa...

https://www.valuepenguin.com/2016/05/auto-insurance-rate-hikes-l...

Sounds like State Farm got hit quite hard but my increase over the last two years is well greater than 10%, like the OP. So I'll start to look around and get some quotes.

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Same here "with the been with State Farm for decades", my rates kept increasing every year even though the car was 12 years old. And what did I get for my loyalty??...a Christmas card every year from the agent.

I ended up calling USAA and am satisfied with their rates plus you can phone them or go online.

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Ditto....Long time State Farm customer. Got nailed with a 30% increase this year (Chicagoland area). Agent gave me the crap about "everybody got the increase". Shopped around for the first time in a long time and was blown away at how much I was overpaying. I actually increased my coverage and still paid significantly less for home and auto. Will save well over $1,000 this year.

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Yep, I shop mine around regularly too. So far the house poliy with Farmers has been unbeatable by a good margin, and for quite a while the auto coverage bundled was great too. Then I moved for a project (car moved to new state, house didn't) and their auto rate wasn't even available in the new location.  

When I get back to Dallas I will let them "rebid the job." <g> I need to move motorcycle insurance too, though usually Foremost (what Farmers offers) and Dairyland/Sentry are price competitive in TX. In general DL has better supplemental coverages, like towing, trip interruption, and safety gear/accessory coverages.

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Shopping around for insurance is such a pain. Can anyone recommend a site/sites where one can input info one time, and get 10-20 quotes back?

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I recently tried this and was inundated with emails and robocalls.

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ArmchairArchitect said:   Shopping around for insurance is such a pain. Can anyone recommend a site/sites where one can input info one time, and get 10-20 quotes back?
  
Generally there is a multi-state general insurance agency behind those sites, so all you are REALLY doing is engaging a very large well connected agency.  I have used Answer Financial before and have no complaints about their service.  I had a better rate on my SUV from Geico than they could offer, and they offered a better MC rate via Progressive in NC.  I will have to redo insurance fairly soon since I am returning to Dallas.

I tend to carry moderately high coverages on my vehicles, since it motivates the insurer to not settle and run from sleazes.  100K/300K currently, with rental and road service is still about 800 a year.  (MCs are lower coverage limits, but include road service and "Accessories" which mainly is helmet and safety gear -- a good helmet is $600 and a good armored jacket/glove/boot set is another $400+, plus bluetooth helmet modules and cell phone)  

There are maybe 6-7 insurance options that I bother pricing for vehicles:  Farmers (+home), Geico, Progressive, eSurance/Allstate, 21st/Farmers, Travellers -- last two times I priced State Farm and Allstate directly they just not competitive.  I do contact a Farmers agent, and sometimes a general like Answer if I am on the East Cost in particular -- they are who I use for Travellers (they are not competitive for me in TX).  The rest I do online - most of them have a checkbox somewhere that you can "opt out" of marketing -- which means you don't get followup sales calls.    

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RedWolfe01 said:   
ArmchairArchitect said:   Shopping around for insurance is such a pain. Can anyone recommend a site/sites where one can input info one time, and get 10-20 quotes back?
  
Generally there is a multi-state general insurance agency behind those sites, so all you are REALLY doing is engaging a very large well connected agency.  I have used Answer Financial before and have no complaints about their service.  I had a better rate on my SUV from Geico than they could offer, and they offered a better MC rate via Progressive in NC.  I will have to redo insurance fairly soon since I am returning to Dallas.

I tend to carry moderately high coverages on my vehicles, since it motivates the insurer to not settle and run from sleazes.  100K/300K currently, with rental and road service is still about 800 a year.  (MCs are lower coverage limits, but include road service and "Accessories" which mainly is helmet and safety gear -- a good helmet is $600 and a good armored jacket/glove/boot set is another $400+, plus bluetooth helmet modules and cell phone)  

There are maybe 6-7 insurance options that I bother pricing for vehicles:  Farmers (+home), Geico, Progressive, eSurance/Allstate, 21st/Farmers, Travellers -- last two times I priced State Farm and Allstate directly they just not competitive.  I do contact a Farmers agent, and sometimes a general like Answer if I am on the East Cost in particular -- they are who I use for Travellers (they are not competitive for me in TX).  The rest I do online - most of them have a checkbox somewhere that you can "opt out" of marketing -- which means you don't get followup sales calls.    

  100/300 is not moderately high.

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stanolshefski said:   
RedWolfe01 said:   
ArmchairArchitect said:   Shopping around for insurance is such a pain. Can anyone recommend a site/sites where one can input info one time, and get 10-20 quotes back?
  
Generally there is a multi-state general insurance agency behind those sites, so all you are REALLY doing is engaging a very large well connected agency.  I have used Answer Financial before and have no complaints about their service.  I had a better rate on my SUV from Geico than they could offer, and they offered a better MC rate via Progressive in NC.  I will have to redo insurance fairly soon since I am returning to Dallas.

I tend to carry moderately high coverages on my vehicles, since it motivates the insurer to not settle and run from sleazes.  100K/300K currently, with rental and road service is still about 800 a year.  (MCs are lower coverage limits, but include road service and "Accessories" which mainly is helmet and safety gear -- a good helmet is $600 and a good armored jacket/glove/boot set is another $400+, plus bluetooth helmet modules and cell phone)  

There are maybe 6-7 insurance options that I bother pricing for vehicles:  Farmers (+home), Geico, Progressive, eSurance/Allstate, 21st/Farmers, Travellers -- last two times I priced State Farm and Allstate directly they just not competitive.  I do contact a Farmers agent, and sometimes a general like Answer if I am on the East Cost in particular -- they are who I use for Travellers (they are not competitive for me in TX).  The rest I do online - most of them have a checkbox somewhere that you can "opt out" of marketing -- which means you don't get followup sales calls.    

  100/300 is not moderately high.

  
It is when the minimum is 10/50 and the max is 250/500.

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RedWolfe01 said:   
stanolshefski said:   
RedWolfe01 said:   
ArmchairArchitect said:   Shopping around for insurance is such a pain. Can anyone recommend a site/sites where one can input info one time, and get 10-20 quotes back?
  
Generally there is a multi-state general insurance agency behind those sites, so all you are REALLY doing is engaging a very large well connected agency.  I have used Answer Financial before and have no complaints about their service.  I had a better rate on my SUV from Geico than they could offer, and they offered a better MC rate via Progressive in NC.  I will have to redo insurance fairly soon since I am returning to Dallas.

I tend to carry moderately high coverages on my vehicles, since it motivates the insurer to not settle and run from sleazes.  100K/300K currently, with rental and road service is still about 800 a year.  (MCs are lower coverage limits, but include road service and "Accessories" which mainly is helmet and safety gear -- a good helmet is $600 and a good armored jacket/glove/boot set is another $400+, plus bluetooth helmet modules and cell phone)  

There are maybe 6-7 insurance options that I bother pricing for vehicles:  Farmers (+home), Geico, Progressive, eSurance/Allstate, 21st/Farmers, Travellers -- last two times I priced State Farm and Allstate directly they just not competitive.  I do contact a Farmers agent, and sometimes a general like Answer if I am on the East Cost in particular -- they are who I use for Travellers (they are not competitive for me in TX).  The rest I do online - most of them have a checkbox somewhere that you can "opt out" of marketing -- which means you don't get followup sales calls.    

  100/300 is not moderately high.

  
It is when the minimum is 10/50 and the max is 250/500.

  Do you know how fast you can burn through $100K in a bad car accident -- between medical expenses and pain and suffering? I bet that you have access to $300k combined single limit or $500k combined single limit.

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I've been with Erie for 10 years but I've also comparison shopped every year. I wouldn't switch for $50/yr but for more than that, I definitely would, even though they paid a large claim after a hail storm and a totaled car. Loyalty means nothing to them so what should it mean anything to me?

The issue with switching is that most insurers will give you what is essentially an introductory rate. They have to appear much more attractive than the competition to overcome the inertia of simply staying with your current insurer. But that means, that gradually they'll probably try to get you back to the default rate. So if you care about savings, you pretty much have to shop for insurance each year.

If you have a dedicated local agent, it may be beneficial to mention something once they send you the invoice for renewal. Something like, "I'm looking to keep insurance costs under control this year and I've got this quote from <competitor>. I'd like to remain insured with you but the difference with your renewal rate is not insignificant. Is there something you could do?" Hopefully, they'll do a check to see if there aren't any extra discounts you may qualify for (in other words an excuse to not increase your rate as much while saving face). Even if they cannot do much for this year (blah blah we changed our risk evaluation model, everyone is getting increase, whatever...), that kinda sets the tone that you just won't roll over for any increase next year.

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State of california insurance dept of insurance has a "compare premiums" tool. http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/

Where I live many insurance companies wont insure homes due to fire danger. I have Nationwide/Allied, but Progessive seems cover an offer better rates.

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I use something like this http://www.nowellagency.com/ -a broker who can quote me several companies as the same time. Some large and some small. Some subspecialized quotes for rental houses etc.

They are local and shop around several rates at the same time. They have a 'feel' for who will work out in specific scenarios, and they are usually right. I price my car and house insurance from them (have 2 expensive cars and 2 houses- one a rental) so they look at the whole package. Price comparing a car or 2 is easy- price comparing 2 cars and 2 houses is more difficult (tough to do combined quotes online sometimes and there with large discounts if done right- so this is where they REALLY help out). Every so often (year or 2) I will have them rerun my current policies. There is NO loyalty in the insurance industry. Loyalty sometimes = sucker if you stick with a company too long. Shop around!

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Insurance companies sometimes decide they don't want to be in a particular market. Instead of canceling policies, they simple start raising rates. The folks that leave, they are glad they did. The folks that stay and pay the higher rates, they are happy with those as well.

That said, I've been with Amica for home/car/umbrella for 25+ years. I still shop them about every 3 years. For the overall package, I've never had any lower pricing. Also, the few claims I have made, Amica has handled fantastic.

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stanolshefski said:   
RedWolfe01 said:   
stanolshefski said:   
RedWolfe01 said:   
ArmchairArchitect said:   Shopping around for insurance is such a pain. Can anyone recommend a site/sites where one can input info one time, and get 10-20 quotes back?
  
Generally there is a multi-state general insurance agency behind those sites, so all you are REALLY doing is engaging a very large well connected agency.  I have used Answer Financial before and have no complaints about their service.  I had a better rate on my SUV from Geico than they could offer, and they offered a better MC rate via Progressive in NC.  I will have to redo insurance fairly soon since I am returning to Dallas.

I tend to carry moderately high coverages on my vehicles, since it motivates the insurer to not settle and run from sleazes.  100K/300K currently, with rental and road service is still about 800 a year.  (MCs are lower coverage limits, but include road service and "Accessories" which mainly is helmet and safety gear -- a good helmet is $600 and a good armored jacket/glove/boot set is another $400+, plus bluetooth helmet modules and cell phone)  

There are maybe 6-7 insurance options that I bother pricing for vehicles:  Farmers (+home), Geico, Progressive, eSurance/Allstate, 21st/Farmers, Travellers -- last two times I priced State Farm and Allstate directly they just not competitive.  I do contact a Farmers agent, and sometimes a general like Answer if I am on the East Cost in particular -- they are who I use for Travellers (they are not competitive for me in TX).  The rest I do online - most of them have a checkbox somewhere that you can "opt out" of marketing -- which means you don't get followup sales calls.    

  100/300 is not moderately high.

  
It is when the minimum is 10/50 and the max is 250/500.

  Do you know how fast you can burn through $100K in a bad car accident -- between medical expenses and pain and suffering? I bet that you have access to $300k combined single limit or $500k combined single limit.

  
I didn't see a reason to upgrade to CSL - it is QUITE a bit more expensive in TX.  Anyone with a vehicle worth over 100K (or even half that) who doesn't have un/underinsured in TX is an idiot.   In my experience the bottom feeders just sue for the max insurance and call it a day.  At 5-10K after paying liability the insurance just writes a check. Anyone not happy with a 100K limit is going to sue for millions anyway.  (been the juror in THOSE trials, too)   100K means that the insurance isn't going to just roll over, but there IS a limit.

I just wanted enough to cover the damage if I hit a relatively new luxury car or (being Texas) SUV.

Compared to what a MAJORITY of people carry 100/300 *IS* moderately high.  6 times the minimum and/or half the maximum.  Dunno what scale you want to use....

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Shandril said:   If you have a dedicated local agent, it may be beneficial to mention something once they send you the invoice for renewal. Something like, "I'm looking to keep insurance costs under control this year and I've got this quote from <competitor>. I'd like to remain insured with you but the difference with your renewal rate is not insignificant. Is there something you could do?" Hopefully, they'll do a check to see if there aren't any extra discounts you may qualify for (in other words an excuse to not increase your rate as much while saving face). Even if they cannot do much for this year (blah blah we changed our risk evaluation model, everyone is getting increase, whatever...), that kinda sets the tone that you just won't roll over for any increase next year.
  
As the original OP, what you suggest is exactly what I did.  This is the message I sent, and the response...Time for me to move on.

Good morning~In looking at things with your policies there is, unfortunately, not a whole lot we can do at this point.  I wish I had better news.  We value your business and appreciate you choosing us to protect your family. 
----------------------

It's that time of year again when I need to complain about the rising cost of our insurance premiums.  I know that you have no control over what State Farm charges, but I cannot handle the continually rising costs.  Our auto premiums for our primary vehicles (Toyota/Jeep) have risen about $150 over the last 6 months alone.  This seems counterintuitive, since the value of these vehicles is obviously not increasing.  I have begun to shop around, and found that one of your well-respected competitors can provide all of my insurance, auto and homeowners, for $400 less per six-month premium.  Granted, they do this by not including rental insurance and roadside assistance, but even with those features included, the six-month premiums are still $260 less than State Farm.  And, their quote does not include the low-mileage discount we currently have with State Farm.  I have been a customer of yours for a long time, and I prefer not to switch to another insurance provided.  However, I need State Farm to be competitive.  Can you please look at creative solutions to reduce our premiums and let me know what you can come up with?  Thanks.

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daw4888 said:   I shop my insurance every single year. Takes an hour, and has saved me many thousands of dollars over the past 10 years.
  
I do it every two years or if price changes by more than 5%. Good balance if time invested to shop vs. reward from savings.

 

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snnistle said:   
As the original OP, what you suggest is exactly what I did.  This is the message I sent, and the response...Time for me to move on.

Good morning~In looking at things with your policies there is, unfortunately, not a whole lot we can do at this point.  I wish I had better news.  We value your business and appreciate you choosing us to protect your family. 
----------------------

It's that time of year again when I need to complain about the rising cost of our insurance premiums.  I know that you have no control over what State Farm charges, but I cannot handle the continually rising costs.  Our auto premiums for our primary vehicles (Toyota/Jeep) have risen about $150 over the last 6 months alone.  This seems counterintuitive, since the value of these vehicles is obviously not increasing.  I have begun to shop around, and found that one of your well-respected competitors can provide all of my insurance, auto and homeowners, for $400 less per six-month premium.  Granted, they do this by not including rental insurance and roadside assistance, but even with those features included, the six-month premiums are still $260 less than State Farm.  And, their quote does not include the low-mileage discount we currently have with State Farm.  I have been a customer of yours for a long time, and I prefer not to switch to another insurance provided.  However, I need State Farm to be competitive.  Can you please look at creative solutions to reduce our premiums and let me know what you can come up with?  Thanks.

I applaud your efforts to remain with them but there may really not be anything they can do. One of my best friends happens to be a State Farm agent. When shopping for home/auto/umbrella bundle, she was the first I turned to since it seemed like a "you scratch my back, I scratch yours situation" and I was hoping she could give me unbeatable quotes. Turns out she admitted she could not beat Erie Insurance in our market. State Farm was competitive on homeowner insurance but their auto rates were 30% higher.

Interestingly for Amica, they are cheaper than Erie for our cars, but their homeowner insurance rate has always been much higher so the combined premiums are usually narrowly in favor of Erie. Both are IMO very competitive insurers with great customer service. But really the switch is not that big of a deal since you have at least a month to shop around and find another insurer at renewal time.

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My premiums jumped as well (State Farm, CA) from $750/6 to $900/6

https://www.wsj.com/articles/smartphone-addicts-behind-the-wheel...

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The new normal is to shop policies annually. Pricing schemes fluctuate too much to make any assumptions about any insurer *always* being cheaper.

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Are 6 month policies the norm for the FWF crowd? I've always done 12 and assumed that was the more fiscally responsible thing to do (better discounts, more time inbetween underwriting if I have an at fault wreck, etc.)

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mp33 said:   Are 6 month policies the norm for the FWF crowd? I've always done 12 and assumed that was the more fiscally responsible thing to do (better discounts, more time inbetween underwriting if I have an at fault wreck, etc.)
  Some insurers only sell 6-month policies, others only sell 12-month policies. I've heard of the possibility of there being an option, but that never came to fruition for me since only companies that sell 6-month policies have been the best price.

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jesus these rates are cheap. in florida they're significantly more expensive, and that's without have the name brand companies involved.

check out your local Farm Bureau and see if they offer insurance in your area.  

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UPDATE:

I have now been corresponding with my current SF agent preparing to pull the plug, and finally today she replies, "We could also submit requests to have your policies re-rated to see if you could get a better rate. Perhaps when you originally started your credit profile was nonexistent and has now improved."

I don't understand why she wouldn't have done this from the beginning.  Did she think I was joking about dropping coverage with SF?  What a crock!
 

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I would not give that agent a single $1 in more commission.

I would reply back that I am extremely disappointed this was not done proactively or even during our first communication about price. Unfortunately I have no choice but to take the accounts to another insure. I do enjoy the Christmas card so please keep me on your list.

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snnistle said:   UPDATE:

I have now been corresponding with my current SF agent preparing to pull the plug, and finally today she replies, "We could also submit requests to have your policies re-rated to see if you could get a better rate. Perhaps when you originally started your credit profile was nonexistent and has now improved."

I don't understand why she wouldn't have done this from the beginning.  Did she think I was joking about dropping coverage with SF?  What a crock!

  My State Farm agent told me that they recently started making adjustments based on current credit rating but they did not do that in the past. 

rated:
Decision made.  I will be dumping State Farm today.  I did an online quote with Liberty Mutual and an agent called me a few hours later.  It was the first human that followed up on any of the quotes I requested.  Their price for slghtly better coverage than State Farm was giving me ended up being $850 less than SF every six months, with a one-year price lock, for a total savings of $1,700 for the next year.  I feel like a FW Champ right now!

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AAA (Auto Club) has been cheap for me this year.

Paid in full for 1 year.

Skipping 3 Messages...
rated:
You've got to shop insurance every year.

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