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October 02, 2009


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Don't forget the kicker, Amica might actually pay a claim.

I have state farm and have filled 2 house claims (storm damage) and 2 car claims (1 storm damage, 1 accident). In all cases the claims were handled and paid promptly. On one house damage claim the adjuster they had didn't seem to quite understand the true cost and his adjustment was below market (He at 8K, bids at 12K) which I told him and he said I could get contract bids and submit them and then would adjust to the prices. I didn't want to deal with it so I found a contractor who would work with state farm adjusters directly. He thought the damage was even worse needing a full new roof and siding. I didn't really think so but at this point I didn't care, I was out, let him deal with it. State farm paid me 51K and I got a brand new roof and all new siding.

In the cases of storm damage on my car there was a huge hail storm that came through town and they sent up adjusters from all over to come to minneapolis and handle the claims. I got in a car line, took about 30 minutes, they wrote me a check for 4K right on the spot, I cashed it, never fixed the hail dings and walked away with a much cheaper car (which I then dropped all but liability coverage on). Worked out great for me.

The article referenced above about State Farm seems to be mostly about katrina and 1 or two other natural disasters. I have been in weather storms but never something like a hurricane or earth quate. But my experience with state farm in paying claims has been absolutely exceptional.

As I mentiond above I am with state farm, have been for 20 years (like the person who wrote the comment was with all state). My premiums compared to what I hear other people talk about as far as what they are paying for umbrella, car, etc, here and among my circle of associates has always been right in line. House seems a little high to me in general but it seems everyone I know has high house insurance.

So if this commenter is willing to give details I would love to see what kind of cars he had, what level of coverage and what the premiums were with All State and Amica and what coverage he has on his house (deductible and total value of coverage) and what the premiums were with all state and Amica.

I have to put myself down in the personally skeptical category on this one as well. Perhaps I just have really good rates with state farm and some people are considered higher risk and pay much more. about 12 years ago my brother switched from state farm to an unknown third party insurer through a broker (his broker moves him around from time to time). He saved a good amount of money. So I thought well I should do this. So I contacted his broker, gave him all my details and let him find me the best deal he could. He went through his entire network of insurance companies (presumably he has access to many low cost providers) and came back with a total quote that was higher than I was paying with State Farm.

Once that happened I have never shopped again. I suspect if there is any place I could save money its on my house only.

I have a 2002 Nissan Maxima and a 2002 Honda Odyssey. I have $1000.00 deductible on comp and collision with PIP, uninsured, underinsured and liability at 250/500 (note this liability number is important in the premium). I pay about $400 per year per car for that coverage in Minneapolis. I don't see how there is much room for savings in that number at all.

I have house coverage at about 450K with 2500 deductible and pay about $1600 for that (I suspect someone might be able to save me a few hundred on this bid but not much more I suspect).

So for me seeing things like I saved 1275 doesn't tell me much. Maybe this person has driving record problems, accidents, poor FICO, poor something else that All State is using to set his rates too high (one of our cars has 1 accident caused by us, but our history with State Farm results in first accident forgiveness, our premiums went down after the accident not up). Maybe All State is not being fair about it, I don't know. But the point is, for me, if State Farm is not setting my rates too high then there is nothing to be saved by me running around trying to do insurance evaluations.

So I would like it if the author of the comment or someone else who has saved significant money by switching could post details of what level of coverage they had, dollar amount covered, former cost and new cost. This would let me (and others) who don't want to keep wasting our time running after supposed savings that may not be there, know if there is really anything to be saved.

Given what I pay, I don't see how anyone could save me 1200 bucks a year on this stuff. So I would have to see some hard numbers to compare to. And given my history and absolute satisfaction with state farm, I would not be willing to switch for only a couple hundred bucks.


We shopped around when we got married in 2003, and got a good deal. When they didn't raise our rates after we totaled our van, we just stayed with them up until this year when we moved to Minneapolis (they don't have coverage in MN).

Here in Minneapolis, the cheapest we could get for our 2007 Chev. Malibu was $1440/year, due to the accident.

1) Where we saved -- not getting a new policy after the accident, and lucking out on them not raising the rates

2) Where we will save -- This December will mark 5 years since I totaled our van, and it will supposedly drop off my record. At that point, it will be worth shopping around again or asking for a cancel/rewrite on our policy so our premiums will reflect the 5 years without accidents.

USAA is the way to go. Serve your country, and save money for you and your family in the long run.

My wife and I have Amica and we're very happy with their service.

Before I got married I had Safeco for my auto and State Farm for home. My wife had Amica. We switched to Amica for everything after we got married. I think that Amica was a little more on the auto but a bit less on the home, so I'm not sure if we're paying more or less overall. We could have saved a little by keeping Safeco for auto and doing home for Amica only. But we decided to use Amica only since their service and reputation for actually paying claims is good.

Years ago I had Farmers and they kept raising my rates every 6 or 12 months. It would go up 5-20% every time it seemed. I had a perfect driving record, great credit and a cheap car. There was no reason for them to be raising my rates. I wasn't paying too much attention and it wasn't a huge amount, like it was going from $230 to $250 or such. But eventually I added it up and realized how much they were increasing me over a few years. I got a quote from Safeco and they were about half what Farmers had been charging me.

When I say 'home' coverage, I actually meant our primary home plus two rentals. Statefarm was more on one of the rentals because it was temporary vacant and they wanted to charge us a ridiculous high rate due to it being vacant. Amica insured it without issue or concern about it being vacant.

One point to keep in mind about home insurance costs is that will vary a LOT depending on what state you live in. The range in states is low of $500 to high of $1400. Its primarily due to the risk of natural disasters.

I've gone with Amica for several years now solely because of their JD Power rankings (consistently winning the award for around 8 years now). However, State Farm came in at a close second (831 score, vs. Amica's 851), so they're no slouch either.

USAA and New Jersey Manufacturers' Insurance Co. are even ranked higher and share the award with Amica, but they are not open to everyone.


Press release with all rankings/scores:

In any case, I don't want just cheap insurance--I want good insurance!

My problem with shopping around is that my homeowners policy is up each August. My cars are on a 6 month cycle in May/Nov. I am with State Farm and have a discount by having both 2 cars and home under one policy. How do I just shop homeowners or just auto or do I just have to get a quote for all at the same time? I have had no problems with state farm and my rates seem to be in line with Allstate from their little website checker.

bill: You can cancel your policy at any time and they will refund a prorated balance.

Besides checking JDPower, I'd talk to family, co-workers, friends, etc, about claims and service.
Couple of years ago, my city got hit with a hailstorm ... lots of new roofs and siding. One of my neighbors and one of my coworkers fought with their insurance companies for months to get the claims paid.
BTW, we have State Farm, too. No problems with the claim at all.

When I turned 25 with a perfect driving record I asked 21st (now AIG) if my rate would go down and they told me it was a myth that insurance drops when you turn 25. J.D. Powers and Clark Howard highly recommend Amica so I switched to them. Good customer service is my top priority which they certainly have. The funny thing is if you pay all at once it's actually MORE than if you pay monthly (which there is no fee to do if they take it out of your bank account). 21st would charge a fee to spread it out so it was more difficult to manage cash flow with them. Another thing I like about Amica is they divide it into 10 payments a year so there's two months where you're not paying anything.

I'm the original person who made the 2 comments regarding switching from Allstate to Amica. Since then 3 other neighbors have also switched to Amica and all saved over $1000. We live in Houston, TX. I'm sure the savings could also be regional.

We own 2 cars. 2002 Honda Odyssey and 2008 Scion Xb. Clean driving record for both my wife and I. Liability Coverage is $250k/$500k. Uninsured Motorist $250k/$500k. PIP $10k. $500 Deductible Collision and $0 Deductible for Comprehensive. I could save more by increasing deductibles but I just switched my policy to match my old Allstate one. Premiums are $1278 per year. Allstate was completely outrageous at ~$2300 per year.

I saved the remaining ~$300 with my homeowners policy. Cost is $977/yr which includes a $77 rider. Again, my new coverage is similar to my Allstate policy.

For the record, we moved from Minneapolis to Houston 2 years ago. I did shop around during that time and Allstate seemed more competitive 2 years ago so we stuck with them. Not sure what happened but over the past 2 years, they became uncompetitive. My guess is they just don't want to do business in Texas ???

One thing I'm surprised I haven't seen mentioned yet is the importance of reading your policy. Buying insurance is buying a promise on a piece of paper, so you need to read that piece of paper. It doesn't matter the premium or how great the customer service is rated if the policy doesn't really cover anything.

If you can't be bothered to read 50-100 pages of legalese per line (auto, home, umbrella), get an independent agent. They will help you find the best prices and understand the coverage you're buying, and if you end up in a situation where a claim for something you were told was covered isn't, you have protection in their Errors and Omissions insurance, which is something you'll never have if you shop for insurance on your own.

Finally, buy flood insurance. If you're not in an area that floods, it will be cheap, and if you are, you can't afford not to have it. Flooding is NOT covered under any standard homeowners policy, which most people only find out after the fact.

In Florida, State farm has decided to pull out of homeowners insurance buisness. And then went ahead to get a 28% rate hike. Don't know what they are thinking.


Thanks a ton for sharing your details.

They confirm what I suspected. Namely if you can save significantly by switching its because for some reason your carrier is charging you rediculous rates. Rates that if you compared with others in your area you should be able to determine quickly are out of line.

Otherwise savings are likely to be minimal and that is clearly the case with my rates. I have actually never heard anyone quote car rates cheaper than mine ($400 per year with full coverage) so I know there is no savings to be had on my car insurance with state farm. As I said, I do suspect I could find some place that might save me a couple hundred on my house but thats about it I suspect.

Thanks again for sharing details.

I heard that you can save a bunch of money by switching to GEICO. Is this true?

My husband and I are looking for homeowners insurance on our first home. After reading these comments, we gave Amica a call. Unfortunately, they aren't writing in our area. They did provide a quote on auto ins though- we were surprised when it was $800 less than USAA with the same coverage!

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