Thursday, January 7, 2010

"I Just Saved A Bundle On Car Insurance"

Seriously. And yes, I did it by switching to Geico.

I had been with American Family insurance for the past 17 years or so, and Shane was put on my policy when we got married. Our home was also insured with American Family. I liked our agent and had always had wonderful service, both from her and whenever I had dealt with their claims department. Honestly, the only thing bad I have to say about the company is that their rates had been steadily creeping up for quite some time.

Shane and I had been thinking of doing some comparison shopping anyway, but were wanting to wait until February when a speeding ticket would pass the three-year mark on his driving record. But with his recent lay-off, it became a necessity to find less expensive insurance right away. Yesterday I did about an hour's worth of research comparing prices online (I also looked at Progressive and AllState). It was definitely worth it. We decided to go with Geico and here's how we did:

Auto Insurance for Two Vehicles/Two Drivers: We now have the exact same coverage and deductibles as before, but our rental car allowance was raised from $40/day to $50/day and we now have road-side assistance. Our new total premium is $130 per month. (Our old premium was $204 per month.)

That's a savings of $74 a month or about 36%!

Homeowners' Coverage: We also switched our homeowners' insurance to Geico (actually Traveler's through Geico). While the dollar amount saved isn't as impressive, our coverage is better. We now have $27,500 additional property coverage. We also have identity theft protection that we didn't have before, and we're still paying $81 less per year.

If it's been a while since you've shopped for insurance, now may be the time to look into it.


Sarah said...

I cut my insurance in half by switching to Geico awhile ago. Then those rates crept up & I went to Progressive. Now those are creeping up and I am thinking about going back to Geico ;) Basically every time its up for renewal, I look at it again.

Progressive offers a $75 signing bonus the first time you pay, but that discount is gone when you renew

Sheila said...

We had Geico for years and switched from them--we saved almost $350 a year. We recently started shopping around for another insurance company and ended up staying with the one we have had for a while--we just got better pricing for asking. They have lowered our bill a few times through the years but not by a bigger amount until we asked.

Annie Jones said...

Sarah: Progressive was cheaper than what we'd been paying, but more expensive than Geico. I think it depends a lot on timing, where you live, your driving record, what vehicles you own, etc. If we were to check again in a year or so, I wouldn't be too surprised to find another company was less expensive.

Sheila: We did talk to our previous agent, went over all of our coverage, asked for additional discounts, asked if there was anything else we could do to save money, even to just get both vehicles and the house premiums down to what they had been before the most recent increase. They couldn't (or maybe wouldn't) lower any of them, so we switched.

SonyaAnn said...

Good for you! We are paying $240 a month for three cars. That is the problem with having a teenage driver but we will get an absent driver discount when she goes to college. The only good thing is Anna pays $100 of it every month!
I'm proud of you for trying to cut every penny. You will make it. Sometimes you see a family that is having financial problems and they just look like deer in head lights. Those are the ones you have to worry about. I have a neighbor that is only working a few hours a week and getting a divorce and she isn't doing anything with her budget. I would be hysterical!
Just keep posting your triumphs!

Annie Jones said...

SonyaAnn: Thanks for being my cheerleader! (BTW, you have nice legs in that cute little skirt.)

Sheila said...

I hear what you are saying--it probably helps us alot that our cars are older--Kevin drives a 2000Grand Marquis and I drive a 2005 Ford Focus. We are older too(51 and 46) so I think that takes into account some of the discounts they gave us through the years. We have cut out so much through the years but I am sure we could cut out so much more--we just haven't. Your blog gives me cause to think and re-evaluate our spending. I used to do much better when we lived near a base on grocery shopping and such but since moving to NC, we are almost 200 miles from a base. I am trying to decide if it would be cost effective to make a trip every 3 months or so and stock up. Groceries are so expensive in NC. Thanks for the tips.

Annie Jones said...

Sheila: Our cars are a 2006 Grand Caravan and a 2002 Chevy pickup. I'm 46, but Shane is just 33 with a couple of speeding tickets in the last 5 years, as well as a no-fault accident that totaled his truck about 3 years ago. I think our insurance used to give discounts for being with them for a long time, but if they still do that, it's not much.

I've never lived anywhere but MO or KS, so I'm not certain about grocery prices. A few times I've heard about prices in other parts of the country and thought they sounded expensive. :(

Frances said...

Great savings on your insurance! Good for you. We have been with State Farm for years and though a lot of people find their prices high, our agent has gotten us a lot of discounts. I shop around about once a year and noone can ever beat the rate we get with StateFarm.

But I still look, just in case.

slugmama said...

It's always a good idea to re-evaluate your insurance, home, health too.
Not only do the rates vary from state to state but as the actuarial tables #s shift, so do your rates. You pay $X today and 3 months from now if there is a spike in the collisions or carjackings or whatever in your state/town/neighborhood your rates will go up, even if you have had no 'incidents' yourself.
It's all a numbers game in the insurance biz...rates are shaped by the statistics. (Hubby has worked in insurance for eons.)
And a company will try to keep you by giving you a special discount or such so always good to ask for one. They can only say no, right?lol
I feel your pain on the teen driver....I've got TWO on our policy and 1 is a boy. #2 son will be eligible for his license in just over 2 years, so I might have a male 20, female 19, male 16 on the policy at that point. EGADS!

Annie Jones said...

Our health insurance if through my husband's union, so that isn't something we can (or even want to) re-evaluate. He would have to be laid off for a very long time before they would discontinue coverage. At least that's one thing we don't have to worry about right now. :)

Tug said...

I *so* need to do this. Keep saying I will, maybe this weekend finally. I had 2 tickets, told the insurance guy about them - they're not on my record. He said that maybe since I paid them...weird. Good, but weird.

I really need to move next door to you (across the street?) lol. You'd give me the kick in the butt I need to get this stuff DONE. ;-)

Annie Jones said...

Yes, move here! But forget the house across the street. I'm sure the pipes have frozen by now.

But the one behind us is for sale. There's a concrete "creek" (used to be a creek, now more of a city rainwater runoff thing) between us and them...I'm sure Shane can build a little bridge across it. :)

Tug said...

LOL, you're chasing neighbors away left & right, is it something you said? ;-)

(I come with my own power tools, Shane & I could have dueling bridges.)

Annie Jones said...

The guy across the street bought the farm...literally...he moved to a farm. The guy behind us is claiming that his piano-teaching wife can't find enough business here. Sounds like a lame reason to me.

We could have one-way to your yard, one to mine. :)