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July 24, 2012


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Every time I've shopped around, AAA has been much cheaper than other carriers for the same level of insurance. And like you, I've always been happy with their service.

WOW if you are only being charged $600 by tripple pay to add a teen driver you are doing good. We were being charged $1200 by them to add a teen and that basically doubled our premium. After adding another driver two years later it went up to add the next one $1400. That is when I looked around and Allstate gave us an $1800 break from AAA.

All I can say is there are to many variable when it comes to car insurance that is can vary by the hundreds. Heck even your zip code has an influnece because of the crime statistics for that area.

I didn't even know that AAA sold insurance so that is news to me. I pretty much just use USAA and the companies they use if they don't offer a particular type of insurance in my area. I do get quotes occasionally from other companies but USAA always seems to be the best overall choice (including by price).

I can guarantee GEICO will be $2000 or less for the first category. I have had GEICO for years and whenever I switch to Statefarm or other insurance companies such as Progressive, I end up coming back to GEICO. And they always pay higher than other insurance companies when it comes to claims. Say you were involved in a no-fault accident and the other parties insurance companies gives you a claim quote lower than GEICO quote, GEICO will give you the option of which claim quotes you want to accept and fight on your behalf for the higher quote if you choose to go with theirs. I don’t see the need for a physical agent and paying 10% or more when you rarely need them. Furthermore, the physical agent won’t do you any good if the company decides to pay less than what you car is worth for example. It will be interesting to see what GEICO will quote you for in both categories.

It would be interesting to know the details of all of your coverages for comparison, i.e. how many cars do you insure, what models/makes/year are you vehicles, how high are your deductibles, do you carry comprehensive or just liability, how much umbrella insurance coverage, and for how much is your home and your personal belongings insured?

I doubt you want to get too personal w/details but it would help the readers to know if we are paying way too much for a similar scenario.

I think I need to call around for quotes soon since I have a teen driver and another coming up in 1 year!

Holly --

It doesn't really matter. As Matt says, there are too many variables for my info to be compared to your info (coverages, location, credit score, etc.)

The main point is this: you should shop out your insurance every now and then just to see if you are getting the best deal.

I suggest to never go through an agent that is actually representing the company and not the customer (AAA, State Farm, Allstate). These agents have the companies best interest in mind.

Instead, always use a 3rd party broker who works for the best interest of the client, and will work on your behalf when you have a claim, instead of working to reduce costs for the insurance company.

Most consumers do not go this route, and not only do they pay more than they should, they do not get the representation that they need in times of severe claims.

I switched from State Farm last year and went through a 3rd party broker. I am now insured by Hanover, which is a good company, but my agent represents me.

I went from having bare bones coverage on my vehicles, to full coverage with much higher coverage limits. Similar coverage on my house. Also added a $1MM umbrella liability policy.

Overall, even with much, much better coverages, the costs dropped pretty substantially.

FMF - I recommend finding a 3rd party broker and getting a quote through them. The company I use is actually a commercial insurance broker in my city, but they have a "private client services" division that does all of their business owner's personal insurance business, as well as other professional individuals like myself.

I switched from AAA to GEICO to save over $600 a year. I have two vehicles. Most insurance companies treat the single person with two vehicles as two people with regards to liability. I can only drive one vehicle at a time, and now I am charged as such.

This is one area where I am brand loyal. My wife and I have State Farm. Always have. Probably always will. My parents and brother have always had State Farm. Their customer service on the claim side has always been exceptional.
My insurance agent's office is a mile down the road, and I have yearly meetings with him to make sure all of my coverage is still on track.
This is one of the few areas where I just stick with what I know, even if it costs a bit more.

I am in the exact same position as Jon, we have had State Farm for probably 25+ years in the family and with the family bundling, no other insurance companies come even close.

I frequently get cards in the mail with phone numbers to get a quote with other insurance companies, and on a few occasions I have called them. After talking with the people and finding that I already pay $100's less than their quote, they are shocked.

I'm not exactly sure if years of service and/or customer reputation have anything to do with it, but it seems this way.

Check out Amica. We save hundreds per year and great service.

I had AAA for years until I received a quote that cut my insurance bill drastically.

$1800 is not worth brand loyality, it is blind stupidity and rape on the insurers part.

But then agian adding teen drivers gives them the opprotunity to jack your premium all over the place.

I've got the same agency I had since I started driving.

Periodically, I've priced GEICO, StateFarm and others. 15 minutes has never saved me 15% or more. In fact, it has never been financially advantageous to switch policies for Auto, Homeowners and Umbrella.

For heatlh insurance, though, switching to a high deductible policy saved us several thousand dollars per year.

I learned this process while selling cars - it works. I do it every time my premium increases, and I tell my current insurer I'm doing it to give them the opportunity to keep my business.

1. I make a list of all the insurance agencies in the area who use multiple insurance companies. The agencies act like multipliers (broadcasting my quote request for me to many different relevant insurers). Also, some of these agents even have deals with 'direct' insurers like Geico.

2. I make an Excel sheet with all critical information on my wife and I, our cars, and our policy details (from the current declarations page).

3. I call each agent and offer to fax/email them the sheet. They usually appreciate this, as it saves them time.

I go with the lowest bidder. Takes me about 2 hours altogether every year (or 6 months if doing a 6-month policy winds up cheaper).

We use USAA (and have our banking with them as well as renter's insurance and a very small car loan.) I haven't priced out insurance in several years. We recently had an incident where we needed to use our car insurance. USAA was very easy to work with over the phone and by email.

My wife and I just discussed this last week. A year or more ago we went with an ELP from Dave Ramsey's organization. However, we have never seen him and he has done nothing pro-actively for us. I hate insurance because it is an outflow of money I'd rather spend on something tangible. So we need to shop around. Good reminder.

If you have Geico and join the National Military Family Association, you will get an 8% discount.

We have Amica. We haven't shopped around lately. Amica was a little more than other quotes but their service is so good its worth it to us.

I shopped around for insurance when I first bought my car. I checked out GEICO and also went through a local agent that pulls quotes from multiple insurance agencies. The insurance company I ended up with saved me about $900/year over the next cheapest one.

I shopped around again when I bought my condo and saw the same story. My agent agreed with me that it's not worth the effort of shopping around again until I turn 25.

By the way, with State Farm I pay less than $2200 a year for 2 cars with full coverage, home owners insurance with an earthquake rider (in Ohio), an umbrella policy, and an additional personal property insurance policy for some misc. items.

USAA...a $2M umbrella ($1K deductibel), homeowners of about $200K~ house ($2500 ded), Auto, 300/500, libility, comp, collision, towing, ($1K ded)...It ALL runs me ONLY $900 a year! :)

And due to uninsured drivers at fault, I've collected off my collision twice, had a collector car stolen (and paid off nicely), so in 25 years w/ USAA, I haven't paid much more in auto premiums thatI've collected vis claims!

I have Progressive and believe it or not at the age of 19 i pay less than most of my friends. Granted i do not drive the newest car or the most fanciest thing, but it gets me around and still drives like new! My insurance runs me about 167 month but that is with Renters, Car insurance, and a life policy.. Which is great threw Progressive.. I doubt i'll switch from them because i like my local agent and they provide great customer service.

We shopped for rates about 3 years ago when we moved. We went with Travelers for various reasons. This past year, we added a second teen driver to our policy, which caused a big jump and then Travelers increased our various policies (auto, home and umbrella) due to what they described as a new rate table. Homeowners alone went up 40% and we have never had any claims with them. When combining all the policies and changes our total annual cost was $6500. We decided to then shop again for new rates. Almost everyone was cheaper and we are now down to about $3600/year with Erie.

Before switching we did ask Travelers to lower the rate, but they refused. When we cancelled the insurance, they tried to retain us, but it was too late.

I comparison shopped not too long ago and came up with the following for myself (northeast, single, 2 cars, 14 years driving with no accidents). I went with Travelers based on price and one personal reference who had a positive claim experience (or as positive as one could expect). In my particular case, Travelers had the lowest cost for adding an additional vehicle.

NJ Manufacturers $1,434.00
USAA $1,373.88
AAA $1,204.00
All State $1,800.00
Geico $1,056.00
Travelers $950.00
21st Cent (/Farmers) $1,500.00
State Farm $1,402.00

I have had State Farm ever since I can drive. Insurance is one of those things where you get what you pay for. I've heard many horror stories from friends about Geico, Mercury, etc. where the rate was fantastic, but once they were in an accident or required assistance, the service was horrible. I was in an accident almost 10 years ago and within a week or two I had a check in my hand to help pay for a replacement vehicle. I've always felt like my agent was honest and he has given me advice that helped save me money, like not dealing with State Farm at all when the accident was the other person's fault.

I have vehicle, renter's, and life insurance through State Farm and the rates are comparable with other companies so I will stick with them for the time being.

I just shopped around recently as well. I used to have Progressive for car and Progressive Home Advantage for home. I found an independent agent who saved me almost $2K on my home insurance (not from what I had been paying, just from the quote I just got for next year--it went up over 50% based on nothing I did personally, ie. I didn't file a claim or anything). The new insurance is through SafeCo. I stuck with Progressive for car insurance because it wasn't much different cost-wise and I prefer the ability to do everything and see everything online without having to pester someone to get it.

I had had Farmers a long time because I always liked having an agent because I thought they would really help me if I filed a claim. Well, I filed a claim, and he wasn't much 'help', so I dropped him soon after.

PS. When I mentioned that I didn't have a mortgage, that saved me an extra $100/yr on my current home owners' policy.

GEICO is the best for Adults

AmFam is the best for Kids

Separate out your policies and your cars, and you will get a great deal.

Our Insurance Costs:
2 Cars: $330 per 6 months

2 Cars (different than above): $360 per 6 months

Kids cars are older, and one of the parents car is a Lexus RX SUV.

So, we have worked out the BEST DEAL bar none, and I do not have ANY loyalty to insurance companies, but these two companies CANNOT be beat with their rates.

Also, AmFam will allow you to put a neat high-tech camera that will record mistakes-ONLY and allow parent and/or kid to replay what happened, with commentary from the Service Provider also ("please do not take sharp turns"; "look on both sides before entering a busy road"; "it is always better not to be distracted while driving"). All of these recommendations come 24 hours AFTER the event is caught, and one can log into a portal to get this. ALL OF THIS IS FREE if you have an AmFam policy for a young driver.


If Erie Insurance is available in your area check them out. They have always been cheapest for me and the service is great as well.


You should check out Amica, just for kicks. I've been with Amica since I first stepped behind a wheel, without a single complaint. (we have homeowners, 2 cars, and 2 life policies, identity theft rider, child death rider) Plus, JD Power & Associates has ranked Amica at #1 in customer satisfaction against all of the companies mentioned above for 12 consecutive years:

I'd be curious to see how Amica would compare in price to AAA. I would assume that AAA would be cheaper, but by how much?

You always should shop around for car insurance. You never know whether another insurer may have a better deal for you unless you get quotes from several insurers. If nothing else, don't be afraid to ask your current insurer if you can get a lower rate.

I've had insurance with USAA, Allstate, State Farm, and Geico. Had car insurance with USAA for the last 3 years until this year priced it out again and found it was much cheaper with Allstate. Also saved even more because my home policy was already with Allstate (USAA won't insure my home because of my GSD, lame!). I don't see any reason to not use a firm like Geico, but in my case they weren't cheaper.

As an independent insurance agent I know first hand how important shopping your car insurance is. One of the biggest tips most customers who are shopping for insurance don't know is that independent insurance agencies offer so many different carriers and further choices then you could imagine. As one of your tips to follow I highly advise using and independent agency. Do your research and you will definitly save money!

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