OT: Bewildering auto insurance rates

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I'm looking for insurance for my new-to-me car. I sure don't understand the widely varying rates for the same coverage. From AARP/Hartford with no local agent, $568 a year, Central Insurance ompanies, with a local agent, $691 a year, all the way to Farmers with local agent at $1763 a year.
Makes no sense. Unless one goes by price, how do you determine what you are getting? Google is little halp, there are people that hate each of them.
--
"Where there's smoke there's toast!" Anon






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On 3/29/2014 12:54 PM, KenK wrote:

I know that many will disagree with me but at least try State Farm. I have checked with AARP and found them not to be competitive with anyone else...really surprised that you have found them to be the least expensive. In fact, I have compared many other insurance companies with my State Farm rates and none were even close.
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On 3/29/2014 1:54 PM, KenK wrote:

I hate all insurance agencies. IMO, insurance is one of the biggest scams operated by government who are controlled by lobbyists.
I went with an insurance broker who was able to get a cheap price all together with my home, car and motorcycle. What's interesting is I have Progressive for my motorcycle yet, the broker still stuck with them and get me a lower premium.
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On Saturday, March 29, 2014 4:15:13 PM UTC-4, SBH wrote:

Is it a scam when you crash you car into someone and cause $100K of damage and medical bills and the insurance company pays it? Or when your house burns down and they pay for it?
We all have some issues with insurance companies, but that doesn't make it a scam. They are legitimate businesses that provide a valuable service.
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On 3/29/2014 10:28 PM, trader_4 wrote:

It's a scam when they use credit scores which are irrelevant to driving history. It's a scam when you pay a higher premium because of location, which could be a significant difference based on one mile. It's a scam when your rate increases because the risk value has increased in your area even though your personal risk value remains clean. It's a scam when you are legitimately rear ended and you have to fight to be compensated for your injuries. It's a scam because they use, IMO, ridiculous criteria to determine premium when the real criteria should simply be the driving record and amount of claims.
Accepting a higher premium as a teenager because one hasn't establish a history is understanding, but when one has established an ageless history of a clean driving record and limited or no claims, yet still pays a higher premium based on something stupid such as that credit score or location, it's a scam.
Home insurance has more value, but it's a scam when they don't cover sinkholes, sewer backups and mold. All of those issues are hidden dangers yet common issues which are unbeknown to a new owner. Even home inspection cannot always pin point those concerns. There are many other issues not covered unless paying more for a customized coverage.
Yes, in general, insurance has it's plus. But overall, it's a scam when the rules changes due to social changes or an agent having a bad hair day.
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On 03/29/2014 12:54 PM, KenK wrote:

I found that I got the best rate, by far from Geico.
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On 3/29/2014 1:54 PM, KenK wrote:

They all suck. I've used an independent agent for the past 25 years and they have been able to beat all the TV advertisers and AARP for both auto and homeowners. They change companies every few years if thr rates go up to much.
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On 3/29/2014 6:36 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I don't know what Ed's experience has been, or if he even went with Hartford through AARP.
I switched to them a number of years ago. At the time, we had five vehicles between two drivers (don't ask<g>)and two of them were used for business use. Going through an independent agent that covered my business insurance, homeowners, auto, umbrella, etc. with a number of different carriers to get the best price, I was paying ~ $2,400/yr for full coverage on the vehicles.
Looked into AARP/Hartford on a whim and went with them with all five vehicles. Annual premium for BETTER coverage $500k/$1M combined single limit and the same coverages for collision and comp, etc. dropped by almost $400.
Got rid of two of the vehicles and it dropped (as would expected) substantially more.
Kicker came when I had an "at fault" crash and came within a gnat's ass of totaling out an almost new car. The Hartford repaired it at my preferred shop, waived the deductible AND they "forgave" the accident. There was no premium increase whatsoever. Since then, my rates have steadily dropped each year to where I'm currently paying about $1,250/yr for the same coverage on a 2000 Corvette, 2005 Honda Odyssey and 2013 Honda CR-V.
The next time I meet face to face with a claims person or agent will be the first time. I just can't say enough about the value and quality of customer service The Hartford offers.
YMMV, but I doubt it!
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KenK wrote:

Hi, Not only a premium they charge, their reputation handling claims. My worst experience was Safeco, they treated me like a criminal even tho accident was due to the other driver's fault. I just insure every thing, two cars, house, cabin with local company. Their service is A+. Had only one claim with them, years ago. Hail storm knocked out our sun room ceiling which was replaced pronto. Deductible was waived by the contractor who did the repair. He originally built it.
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wrote:

This is why it is ALWAYS better to work with a good broker than an agent. An agent, by definition, works for an insurance company. A broker, by definition, works for YOU. They can place your coverage with whichever company is most willing to play ball. A brokerage may have a very large book of business with a particular company - and if that company starts getting difficult to deal with they will shop the business around and see who is looking to pick up their business. If company A is looking at loosing 8 or 10 million dollars of business to company B because they want to jerk a few customers around, the broker has a pretty large and effective stick in their hand. If you are dealing with an agent - dealing with a "direct writer" - you have NO stick to bring to the party.
Also, the broker knows what companies are good to work with, and which ones are difficult. They know which companies are going to settle quickly, and which ones tend to drag their feet. They will ballance the quality of the coverage required with the cost of the coverage to get you the best deal for YOUR requirements.
You would be surprised what kind of concessions a broker can pry out of an insurer when a large amount of business is being sent their way!!!!
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On Sat, 29 Mar 2014 14:51:45 -0700 (PDT), Reverend Doctor Arthur Lee

Insurance companies base their rate schedule on loss history. Certain cars are involved in more accidents. Price goes up. Certain cars are more expensive to fix - price goes up. Certain cars are written off more often - price goes up. Injury rates in certain cars are higher - price goes up.
That's the vehicle side of the rating.
Then certain age groups are involved in more accidents - price goes up. Certain gender is more likely to have an accident - price goes up. People driving for work have more accidents? Price goes up. People driving in certain metropolitan areas have more accidents? Price goes up. Vehicles parked in puplic parking areas get more damage? Price goes up.
That covers demographics.
Then people who have more speeding tickets, stoplight infringements, or other "moving violations" are a higher risk - price goes up. And those who have a history of accidents or other losses are a higher risk for more accidents or losses, so the price goes up.
That covers the driver.
Different companies have more exposure to different risks than others. If one company has had a high loss ratio accross their entire coverage area, their costs will be higher than a company that has a lower exposure to those risks - often by virtue of where the do and do not write business.
That explains part of the difference between companies. Their business model explains part of the difference as well. Advertizing costs are a large part of an insurer's annual costs - significantly more fore some companies than others.
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Same here, I get junk mail telling me how much I can save by switching, the savings don't amount to as much as I'm paying so I know that can't be, unless they want to pay me to carry their insurance. I noticed the last bill Geico dropped 10 or 20 bucks.
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On 03/29/2014 09:39 PM, Fat-Dumb and Happy wrote:

Though my car is fairly old it's in great condition but I realize it does not have much value so I don't bother to get collision. Also, the last time I got a speeding ticket I went to court and they were willing to give me a non-moving violation with the same fine.
They understood my concern as things like that help keep my rate low.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote: (...)

You're all forgetting (not not seeing) a new trend -
Car insurance companies putting GPS logging devices in cars - so they can monitor your exact driving risk in (more or less) real time.
Small boxes that sit on your dash board or back window shelf that know where you drive, which intersections you go through, how fast you go, what time of the day, how fast you drive, where does the car spend it's time when it's parked, etc.
They get to know what the car is doing - not necessarily who's driving it. Figuring out how much to charge to insure a car ultimately depends on what the car actually does during it's life, because those that are on paper as the insured party are not necessarily the ones that rack up the miles operating the car.
Just having these devices in a car to log your driving can have an effect on your driving behavior. Maybe you will take fewer risks, stay under the speed limit, etc.
Supposedly they offer a break in your rates if you put the logger on the car. How they engineer rate increases or decreases based on the info they get from the logger could be a thorny issue...
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On Sunday, March 30, 2014 9:22:14 AM UTC-4, H oMeGuy wrote:

Show us one example of a US insurance company that does this with private autos. It's done with commercial trucks, typically by the truck company that owns the truck to make sure trucks are where they should be, the driver isn't speeding, etc. I'm betting you can't show us that one example and are nuts as usual.

Then it should be easy to show us the example.
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On 3/30/2014 8:39 AM, trader_4 wrote:

I don't believe, but I could be wrong, that ANY US carrier REQUIRES a GPS unit. I've seen the ads though for one (Progressive? (with the ever annoying Flo)) that offers it as an enticement to enable them to offer a lower premium. IIRC, and again I didn't pay very close attention to the commercial, it may only have to be on your car for a set period (60-90 days) for them to set their rate.
I could see it being a very good thing for, say, somebody who's lost his license due to traffic offenses of any nature. Getting the license back is one thing, but then getting insurance with a poor record could be a deal breaker. Might have some applicability there.
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On Sun, 30 Mar 2014 06:39:02 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

Back about 2004 or so, I was insured with The Hartford. They chose some customers and made an offer. If we would allow them to put the device in the car for 6 months they would give us $400 and some soft of gift. I let them do it.
For six months, I did watch my speed a bit, but that was all. When they removed it, we got a $400 check and an emergency kit for the car. They stated it was only for research and would not affect the rates we pay.
You can get a lower rate with Progressive if you put a device, but not a tracker, in the car. Gives speed and braking data as well as time and miles. http://www.progressive.com/auto/snapshot/
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Sure, it all about the money.
Some years ago I was in the Philadelphia traffic court. Probably 100 of us showed up. Judge came out, everyone stood. Judge asked "how do you plead" The 100 of us said "not guilty". The judge then said, "dismissed". Guess he had an early Tee time.
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On 03/30/2014 09:49 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Wow, I guess he was in a hurry. I've never had a speeding ticket dropped but in all cases I had the ticket changed to something else or reduced just by asking.
BTW: I checked my rates from Geico and I'm only paying about $200 a year
I'm sure being retired and having a good driving record are a big part of that.
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| I'm looking for insurance for my new-to-me car. I sure don't understand the | widely varying rates for the same coverage. From AARP/Hartford with no | local agent, $568 a year, Central Insurance ompanies, with a local agent, | $691 a year, all the way to Farmers with local agent at $1763 a year. | | Makes no sense. Unless one goes by price, how do you determine what you | are getting? Google is little halp, there are people that hate each of | them. |
Assuming you're in the US, it depends on the state. You need to research locally. I live in Mass., where the rates are regulated. It doesn't much matter who I buy insurance from.
Whether or not there is minimum required coverage, and what it is, will also vary.
In Mass there's a "safe driver credit" scam that allows insurance companies to charge more for 6 years due to a single moving violation. With speed traps and other money-making scams run by police to supplement their funding, it's not easy to go 6 years with no tickets, making the effective insurance rate higher than the official rate. (I once got a warning for not stopping at a stop sign until I was past it, in Cambridge, MA. The police cruiser was illegally parked, blocking my view until I was past the sign. That ticket cost me nothing, but the insurance increase totalled something like $720.)
So the Mass. system controls rates but then provides a way to jack up the price. (Fortunately, that increase is also regulated.) In your state it seems to be entirely unregulated. In that case you just have to ask the companies about the details of their policies. Looking online is not likely to be very helpful.
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