We all are. Rates are only on factor. Some companies have better
reputations than others when you do have a problem so be sure to check them
out. No sense in paying a low premium only to find the company just went
bankrupt or has a policy of not paying claims easily.
If the rates are low, there is a reason; typically one of the following:
Short answer--try a credit union.
Company does not expect to pay
They will make it so difficult to file a claim that most will not get
They will "take the money and run" by driving the company into bankruptcy
(there's regulations to take care of this, but...)
They have determined you are a low risk (all should have low rates for
The coverage is worthless (very high deductible; very limited coverage)
Company does not expect to make a profit
They're trying to break into the market and will increase rates next year
They're subsidized (probably by you, and you're not eligible)
They're a not-for-profit organization (credit union)
That's about it. I'd suggest you look for a credit union or a company
trying to break into the market. 21st Century out here in Ohio has auto (I
know you asked for home, but this is illustrative) rates that are under
half of any commercial company, and about 2/3 of our credit union. They're
just expanding into Ohio. I fully expect the rates to go up significantly
in 1-2 years.
Nobody can touch our credit union (USAA) for rates. See what credit unions
you qualify for. Many states (or is it the Fed? I don't know, except the
laws have been passed in the past few years) have passed laws that allow
credit unions to accept members based on geography, not just professional,
employer, or similar affiliation.
Credit unions are often a good deal because they:
Are member-owned not-for profit organizations
Are not subject to the same regs as banks and insurance companies.
Been there done that. I insure with USAA for the past 11 years. I have had
claims on a lightning strike, a sump pump failure, and frozen pipes (no water
damage). Still insured; no big jump in rates.
As for cheap - frankly, I didn't shop for price. I shopped for service.
I have had them for 31 years. My wife had 2 accidents in 2 years. Both did
not involve another vehicle (she backrd into something both times, no
property damage except to her vehicle). We had NEVER filed a claim in 31
years until these two. The total claim for both accidents? $1432.73. After
the second, they dropped her and made her pick up a separate policy and her
premium was $1500 every 6 months. FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!! That was more
that what they were charging my 16 year old son and MORE THAT THE TWO CLAIMS
WERE!!! Plus, she could not drive my vehicle or my son's. They made her pay
that premium until the first accident "expired". Then they lowered it, but
not back where it was before.
Now does that make any sense? I mean, If we knew she was going to have to
pay that high of a premium, we would have paid for it out of our pocket.
One more example of the "Minds of USAA":
One day I have a Dive Shop in Atlanta call me and tell me that "We are
currently out of the blue fins that you ordered. Would black ones be O.K.?"
I asked them WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! They said they had a $2300.00
order for scuba gear to be shipped to Singapore on my USAA MasterCard. I
assured them that I did NOT place an order with them (sounds like a
commercial, huh?) and they suggested I call USAA and cancel the card. It
took me over an hour on the phone with them (USAA) to convince them to
cancel it. THEN, the dive shop called me later that day and said they just
received an e-mail from the guy (that was using my card number) wanting to
know where his order was. I called USAA and told them and gave them the
e-mail address and the lady at USAA says:
"Well, since they didn't really USE your card and no charges were incurred,
there's not a lot we can do."
"But I have an e-mail address and this guy WAS going to use my card and
charge who knows HOW much and I think maybe you can...."
"You'll have to take that up with your local police or something, sir. There
is nothing we can do from here..."
Well, thank SOOOOOOO F*cking much!!! I am so glad that they care so much
about stopping fraud and everything but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Do you think
that if these people would have gotten away with charging my card to the
limit that USAA would have said "Oh, well"??? HELL NO!! They would have sent
me a bill and told me to pay up!!! Bunch of a-holes!
I'm just SOOOOO Damn happy they treat a customer of 31 years like I am "ONE
OF THE FAMILY"!!!!
'scuse me....had to get that out of my system.....
When a good outfit is slammed like this, usually (not always of course,
nothing's perfect) it's a matter of unrealistic expectations.
With no charge, they have no authority to go after someone.
His wife may have fit the profile indicating future problems - perhaps why I
haven't had a problem is that I don't repeatedly (or even once, but repeatedly
has got to be a red flag to the insurance co.) back into stuff.
My wife a future problem? When she has been insured by them for 24 years
with no previous problem??? Then 2 "fender benders" that amounted to less
than what they charged her for a 6 month premium (that she had to pay for 18
months)???? Whether they have a set formula or not: That is not right
BTW, ask me who insures me now (house, cars, credit card, etc.)........
Clearly, if you went 29 years with no accidents, and then suddenly
had two that were obvious driver error, something has changed.
Your wife has become a menace behind the wheel, and it's only
a matter of time until the "something" she backs into is someone's
toddler. Since toddlers are expensive, obviously it's time
to raise her rates.
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