Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Insurance Renewal Time

Well, I just got a bit of good news! My insurance agent (who also just happens to be my brother-in-law) emailed me the following:

Hey Dawn. I can lower that home insurance premium with another carrier. It’s about $200 less annually than your current insurance with XXXX Insurance.

Let me know if you want me to switch it. Your mortgage company already paid it so I would send you the $189 difference between premiums in a few weeks.

We can look at moving your auto to this company at the July renewal. I think we can drop your auto a little bit then too.
I emailed him back and said that no, I would rather pay an extra $189. Ha! Of course I want to switch! I asked him to send me the forms ASAP.

Do you check your insurance every year to make sure you have the best coverage? I used to be bad at this in the old days. I would stick with one company long after it made sense to switch, just because it was easier and out of some weird sense of loyalty... even though back then I never even talked to my agent!

The advantage I have with my current agent is that, not only is he my brother-in-law, but he also really loves his job. I've encouraged a couple of my coworkers to go to him and one of them tells me all the time how great he is. When someone really cares about what they do, they tend to put a lot more heart into it. My house painter is the same way, you can just tell he loves what he is doing. I got to admit, I wished I felt that way about my present job. Its a good place to work, but I don't have the passion for it these guys do about their jobs.

If you don't have an agent like mine who keeps an eye on this kind of thing for you, make sure you are doing your own research every year. Companies are really hurting for business right now and with all the competition out there, you might be able to lower your premiums or increase your coverage for less than what you were paying. Just make sure to read all the fine print!

I would love to see the cost of my auto insurance go down. Unfortunately I got a speeding ticket a few years ago and that has been raising my rates. It was only for 5 miles over, but still, that has an effect. That ticket should be dropping off here soon, so hopefully that will help considerably. Since the car will be paid off in June, that will be my only automotive costs, other than fuel and maintenance, of course.

My brother-in-law said he would be mailing me the paperwork this week, which would be excellent. That $189 will make a nice unexpected windfall.

Photo by: djbones


Kari said...

Dawn I can't wait to start lowering my rates. I had a ticket and my credit is shot so right now no one can give me good rates on auto.

Your blog though and how much light you've shed on it keeps it in my head that when the time comes I will be doing this as well often :)

Dawn said...

Kari - Glad I could help! Tickets stink. I was lucky though, it was only written for 5 over because I had a good driving record - I was doing a lot more than that. I know how frustrating it all is, but as cliche'd as it may sound, this will pass with time. You are on the right track Kari!

Kristy @ Master Your Card said...

I check my rates every year for both the car and the renter's insurance. But, something you have to keep in mind about find the "cheapest" rate is that sometimes, you get what you paid for.

A friend of mine had AIG (I know) and in this last hail storm we had here in Texas, she got some damage to her car. She submitted the claim thinking that she would get the insurance check and just pay off the loan - sort of robbing Peter to pay Paul, but whatever. Well, she submits the claim and they tell her that they'll need an estimate because they want to make sure she's actually going to fix the car. That sort of blew her plan out of the water, so she went and got an estimate, changing it to getting the car fixed. When she submitted the estimate, they somehow or other lost her claim and needed her to resubmit it and then tell her she didn't need the estimate, they'd just send the check within 14 business days. So she waits. 14 business days go by and there's no check, so she calls them up and asks what's going on. They never sent the check because they were waiting on the estimate. She was pretty upset, and rightly so. But, the point is, AIG was the cheapest in her situation, but she was given the run around and misinformed left and right.

So cheap is always good, but it may not be the best option. You have to consider what you're getting for that money.

Dawn said...

Kristy - I couldn't agree more! That's why I put in the line about reading the small print - I was thinking of just that kind of thing. Frankly that is why I like using an independent agent. He has a selection of insurance companies he can access for me, but I have one point of contact in him. That's too bad about your friend!