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    Thread: Best car insurance to have? Any experience would be helpful

    1. Member silvermouse5150's Avatar
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      01-29-2012 06:24 PM #1
      I currently have auto and home insurance with state farm. Wanting to call around to compare rates, but honestly i hate the process of talking to agents and giving out my info, then them trying to get me to sign with them and calling me back and so on, and so on. I just would like to compare rates and see if i can get anything less expensive than my current situation.

      Anyone have experience with All State, or Farmers? Any other recommendations?
      Or have any of you compared the insurances and found one to be least expensive than the others?

      My info:

      Looking at Auto and home insurance - as i believe most give discounts when combining the two.
      No tickets or accidents in the last 15 years, excellent income and credit.
      Looking for roadside assistance as well - so if there is one better than the other please chime in.
      I am in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA.

    2. Member AE2058's Avatar
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      01-29-2012 06:35 PM #2
      Very person situation is different, City you live in, type of car, size of engine, credit history, Do you have dogs, kids, how much your property value coverage etc etc. It won't help you.

      Stop being lazy and call.

    3. Member zmt's Avatar
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      01-29-2012 06:39 PM #3
      I just went through a similar ordeal here. We're buying a new house, so I needed to shop insurance on it, our cars, and a dwelling policy for the house we're in right now (about to rent it).

      No one could come close to the rates that insurance brokers were quoting me. They do the legwork for you and get paid by the agencies for signing you up. I'd recommend finding one that your friends/family have used and giving them a call.

    4. Member urbancynic's Avatar
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      01-29-2012 06:45 PM #4
      You know most sites have online quotes available too...


      I've personally used progressive for many years with no problems.
      Current: 2013 GLI Autobahn
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      01-29-2012 09:07 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by urbancynic View Post
      You know most sites have online quotes available too...


      I've personally used progressive for many years with no problems.
      +1

    6. Member .:13's Avatar
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      01-29-2012 09:10 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by urbancynic View Post
      You know most sites have online quotes available too...


      I've personally used progressive for many years with no problems.
      x2

    7. Member nm+'s Avatar
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      01-29-2012 09:27 PM #7
      Fireman's fund.
      Not the cheapest option, but:
      All new OEM parts policy
      Won't dick you over on repairs
      Really, really good rental car coverage (after my car was totalled, I got a rental car for a month after getting my check)
      Agreed value policy
      No bull**** customer service
      They do have roadside assistance and can provide homeowners cover.

      It costs a bit more than GIECO, but not much, and the difference is worth it when you need it.

      Also, it is worth having an independent agent, especially if you're doing anything more than basic auto as they both can help you decern between **** coverage and no **** coverage (and what they cover) and can help you with claims.
      Last edited by nm+; 01-29-2012 at 09:29 PM.
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    8. Member BeBop!'s Avatar
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      01-29-2012 09:35 PM #8
      If your family is affiliated with the military ... I would go with USAA. Its so much cheaper than other insurance companies.

    9. Member Navydub's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 12:11 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by BeBop! View Post
      If your family is affiliated with the military ... I would go with USAA. Its so much cheaper than other insurance companies.
      You see, people say this. But unless you're higher ranking(E-7 or above, or Officer) its really not. They've consistently given me higher quotes than Allstate. They will discount your insurance based on your rank, so unless you fall into the areas I listed above, you're certainly not getting anything special through them.

      Just last week I gave them a call again, thinking ok, I'm finally over 25 maybe that was the one thing that was killing me with them. Finally for the first time ever they gave me a lower quote than my current insurance. By how much you ask? $17 per 6 months with identical coverage. Yes switching to USAA could save me $2.83 per month!

      I'm over 25 as is the wife
      I'm married
      I'm military as is my wife(both E-6)
      I have kids
      I have great credit
      No tickets/claims

      And still, every time their quotes are not as amazing as people claim. I don't see anything I could do to improve my situation. They just really aren't anything special IMO.


      OP - if you want my $.02, Allstate has been a great company for the past 9 years. I've never had any issues with them, customer service is great, and their rates have always been the best I could find.
      Last edited by Navydub; 01-30-2012 at 12:53 AM.
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    10. Member adrew's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 12:24 AM #10
      I have no complaints with Allstate (have car and homeowners with them). (Have never had to me a claim, though.)

      I have a local agent who I can just email if I have any questions, policy changes, get a new car, etc. I'd had State Farm for close to a decade before I bought my house but their Texas homeowner's rates were ludicrous so I went with Allstate on the recommendation of my realtor.

      I pay $432/6 months for this Yaris -- I'm a 33-year-old homeowner in a big city with a clean record and good credit.
      Last edited by adrew; 01-30-2012 at 12:26 AM.
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    11. Member LethaOne's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 12:37 AM #11
      I've never had a problem with Progressive. I only have minimum coverage but with my not-so-great record I'm still only paying $60 a month. You don't always have to talk to agents and what-not, most insurance companies have sites that give you free quotes without having to talk to people.

    12. Member FiveIronFrenzy's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 08:28 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by BeBop! View Post
      If your family is affiliated with the military ... I would go with USAA. Its so much cheaper than other insurance companies.
      It really isn't. They've consistently gone to absurd lengths to avoid spending one cent to help me. The only time in my life that I've ever asked to speak with a manager, and then chewed him out, it was with USAA for being a bunch of pickle kissing douchebags.
      Shut up, Farva.

    13. 01-30-2012 08:38 AM #13
      I have Allstate, they have been nothing short of amazing since I signed on with them a year after I started driving. I am looking into buying a home shortly (within the next year) and hopefully they give me good rates.
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    14. Member Fe2O3's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 08:54 AM #14
      I'd go with an independent agent as well. Calling each company individually is time consuming and miserable and I firmly believe the independents have access to the best rates available.
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    15. Member classicjetta's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 08:56 AM #15
      I used to have Grange which is a regional company that talks about how great their service is in the commercials. Long story short, they tried to screw me at every turn, and then I discovered my insurance agent did a crap job and this company was charging almost double what I could find on my own. Moral of the story is that all insurance companies are crooks, so you might as well shop for the lowest price possible for the ' privilege' of doing business with them. I had GEICO for a time and now I have Progressive. Haven't had to file a claim with either.

    16. Member arethirdytwo's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 08:57 AM #16
      State Farm. Love them. Have been with them since the start. We have our three cars and house with them. Not always the cheapest but they are always handle my claims well. Even my aftermarket bits. Air ride, wheels, the works.

    17. Member classicjetta's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 08:59 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Fe2O3 View Post
      I'd go with an independent agent as well. Calling each company individually is time consuming and miserable and I firmly believe the independents have access to the best rates available.
      In shopping around, this has not been my experience at all. When you think about it, it makes sense that they're not the best because you have a middleman that needs to be paid whereas that's not the case when I call a company direct.

    18. Member mhjett's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 09:02 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by AE2058 View Post
      Very person situation is different, City you live in, type of car, size of engine, credit history, Do you have dogs, kids, how much your property value coverage etc etc. It won't help you.

      Stop being lazy and call.
      Quote Originally Posted by urbancynic View Post
      You know most sites have online quotes available too...


      I've personally used progressive for many years with no problems.
      It's true - there's way too many variables for anyone on the Intartubz to tell you where you'll get the best deal. It's a pain, but set aside some time to do a bunch of quotes online and see what you get. Beats talking to sleazy agents.

      Quote Originally Posted by nm+ View Post
      Fireman's fund.
      Not the cheapest option, but:
      All new OEM parts policy
      Won't dick you over on repairs
      ...
      In most places, by law, the insurance company has to pay for OEM parts if you demand it. Also, it's typical that you have the right to choose the repair shop. Not sure why either of those are unique.
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      01-30-2012 09:39 AM #19
      Unless you want very specific special offerings or have an affinity discount then all companies are pretty much the same.

      Personally I would see if you apply for any discount group savings programs first and work from there. Discounts offered from your employer, college allumi, any trade organizations you belong too, over even car ownership. Subaru, BMW, Audi, Mercedes Benz, and VW all have discount programs with my company and I'm sure other automakers may have discounts with other providers.
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    20. Member rbloedow's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 10:04 AM #20
      I don’t know what’s with the two negative experiences above, but I love USAA. My rates are slightly lower when compared to the major national brands, but their customer service is what really keeps me a loyal customer. They also offer the kind of discounts the above posted mentioned.

      I’m pretty much a fanatic about the company – I use them not only for insurance, but for banking, auto loans, and investment services. Hell – I’m even using them to help find my next house – if I use one of their preferred realtors, I will get a $1K check just for doing so (Realtor pays USAA a commission, then the company splits their portion with me). (/spokesman babble lol)

    21. Member Shmi's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 10:16 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by rbloedow View Post
      I don’t know what’s with the two negative experiences above, but I love USAA. My rates are slightly lower when compared to the major national brands, but their customer service is what really keeps me a loyal customer. They also offer the kind of discounts the above posted mentioned.

      I’m pretty much a fanatic about the company – I use them not only for insurance, but for banking, auto loans, and investment services. Hell – I’m even using them to help find my next house – if I use one of their preferred realtors, I will get a $1K check just for doing so (Realtor pays USAA a commission, then the company splits their portion with me). (/spokesman babble lol)
      x2 on pretty much all of that. Use them for insurance, renter's insurance, banking, loans, etc etc. When I was 20 and shopping for my first car, they quoted me HALF what everyone else wanted. 6-month premium is currently $535. It was $520 on a MKV GTI, only went up $15 for an M3. I had several speeding tickets on my record at the time. I checked again last year and they're still cheapest. Have had to use the insurance on a couple of accidents in the MKV, and they were excellent on the phone and in getting my car fixed. Haven't had a ticket in almost 4 years, but when I did get some my rates didn't go up either.

      But on topic... just call around. It's what I did and no one ever hounded or hassled me despite giving out all of my information. I just got a quote, said thanks and hung up.
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    22. Member Fe2O3's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 10:16 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by classicjetta View Post
      In shopping around, this has not been my experience at all. When you think about it, it makes sense that they're not the best because you have a middleman that needs to be paid whereas that's not the case when I call a company direct.
      I've never been able to come close to my agent's rates by calling anyone direct and I tried again last summer when we bought a new house. I've known my agent for over 20 years as well, maybe that has some currency.
      I think there's too many variables to pick any single company or method that works for every case out there. Might as well try both methods
      Quote Originally Posted by phryxis View Post
      sprayed it on, waited some time, and proceeded to go at it with a scraper, some pliers, and a lot of f-ing hard work.

    23. Member MontoyaF1's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 10:19 AM #23
      I know some people will chime in with how much cheaper one insurance is over another, but I think what you really need to ask yourself is which one is better to deal with when you have to make a claim. I mean, the whole point of insurance is to make sure you are taken care of after an accident, so it really doesn't matter if Company X is cheaper than Company Y if the former doesn't get your car fixed right.

      I have had State Farm for the past 12 years, and my ex-girlfriend had them too. I have made three claims during that time:

      • Minor rear end damage to my Miata in 2002
      • Total of my Jetta in 2005
      • Minor damage to a rental car I was using in 2010


      • My ex: Hitting a curb while on vacation and destroying the transaxle


      Each time it was handled promptly and in a friendly way. My insurance did not go up after making each of those claims. They do use used parts whenever possible (however, for the Miata I asked them to cut me a check and I acquired the parts myself). I was a little annoyed that the used transaxle that they put in my ex-girlfriend's car had 80,000 miles on it (the van had 90K, so it was still lower than what we had). Other than that, I have had happy experiences with them.
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    24. Member stascom's Avatar
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      02-23-2012 02:01 AM #24
      I've had:
      Progressive
      Geico
      Enumclaw
      Farmers

      Farmers by far is the best one of the bunch. Cheapest, too

    25. 02-23-2012 06:55 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by BeBop! View Post
      If your family is affiliated with the military ... I would go with USAA. Its so much cheaper than other insurance companies.
      /thread

    26. 02-23-2012 08:21 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by Shmi View Post
      x2 on pretty much all of that. Use them for insurance, renter's insurance, banking, loans, etc etc. When I was 20 and shopping for my first car, they quoted me HALF what everyone else wanted. 6-month premium is currently $535. It was $520 on a MKV GTI, only went up $15 for an M3. I had several speeding tickets on my record at the time. I checked again last year and they're still cheapest. Have had to use the insurance on a couple of accidents in the MKV, and they were excellent on the phone and in getting my car fixed. Haven't had a ticket in almost 4 years, but when I did get some my rates didn't go up either.

      But on topic... just call around. It's what I did and no one ever hounded or hassled me despite giving out all of my information. I just got a quote, said thanks and hung up.
      I've also had a great experience with USAA. I haven't shopped quotes in some time, but when I originally went with USAA, it was substantially cheaper. I was an E-5 at the time. Interest rates on loans have also been the lowest available to me on my last two car loans.

    27. Member nm+'s Avatar
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      02-23-2012 09:07 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by mhjett View Post
      In most places, by law, the insurance company has to pay for OEM parts if you demand it. Also, it's typical that you have the right to choose the repair shop. Not sure why either of those are unique.
      I've never seen a state that requires new OEM parts.
      The two states I've lived in require OEM (used ok) parts (Minnesota) or new (non-OEM ok) parts (California). In both states, new, OEM parts is very rare.
      Picking your own repair shop doesn't mean not dicking you over repairs. Insurance companies can do all sorts of trickery with estimates to make things more difficult.

      In fact, your own state allows the use of used parts and non-OEM parts.
      http://www.scc.virginia.gov/boi/pubs/autoguide.pdf Page 24
      Last edited by nm+; 02-23-2012 at 09:11 PM.
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    28. Member stascom's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 02:11 AM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by BeBop! View Post
      If your family is affiliated with the military ... I would go with USAA. Its so much cheaper than other insurance companies.
      I qualify for USAA. Got a quote and Farmers is cheaper for me by 5% or so.

      Also, don't want to miss an opportunity to defame State Farm. Based on several claims with State Farm, I conclude that they are complete a$$holes, they make you argue and sue over petty sh** because they are so f***ing stubborn and greedy. Stay away!
      Last edited by stascom; 02-24-2012 at 02:14 AM.

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      02-24-2012 02:23 AM #29
      I have had Mercury Insurance since I started driving. Their rates have been lower than Progressive or Geico when I check to see if I could save any money by switching.

      Their service is very good. I have had to use it too many times, but they have not given me any trouble. Nor have they raised my rates.

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      02-24-2012 05:29 AM #30
      I've never had any problems with USAA... I've been with them since I turned 16.

      My insurance rates have always been good until I came to Germany. My rates here went up about $60/month but that probably has to do with all the retarded enlisted kids crashing their cars on the Autobahn all the time.

      USAA banking cannot be beat.

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      02-24-2012 06:04 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by NoDubJustYet View Post
      My insurance rates have always been good until I came to Germany. My rates here went up about $60/month but that probably has to do with all the retarded enlisted kids crashing their cars on the Autobahn all the time.
      Yes, because young CGOs maintain perfect driving records during their tour in Europe.



      My parents have had State Farm for years in the metro NYC area (typically high rates) and haven't had an issue at all with their service. I have had USAA myself since I was 18 and haven't looked back. I was overseas my first duty station and the options were either USAA or Geico, and I'm sure I made the right decision. In fact they have been more than helpful; I use them for auto/renters insurance and banking (just paid off my car loan last month). I have never had anything that inconvenienced me more than a phone call.

      I also travel a lot, sometimes for extended periods of time for work. A quick message or phone call and my insurance rates are dropped significantly while I'm gone. Low deductible and being insured with any vehicle I'm driving is a plus for me.
      Last edited by cullam3n; 02-24-2012 at 06:07 AM.

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      02-24-2012 02:35 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by silvermouse5150 View Post
      I currently have auto and home insurance with state farm.
      How long have you been with State Farm?

      Why are you looking to change?

      In my experience, the best kind of insurance to have is the kind where you have a good relationship with your broker/agent. It's not always about monthly premiums, but the SERVICE you get.

      If you switch to another company because of their "low prices" and then you need to use your policy for a collision, you'll quickly find out that your rates will change and you have no RELATIONSHIP to leverage.

      I've been with Farmer's for the past 20yrs and have had zero complaints. Same agent too. I've got everything except life insurance through them. I've had several odd issues over the past few years where I was in a jam (for their fault or mine) and I needed to leverage my brand loyalty in order to preserve a fair result.


      Bottom line, don't think there won't be a cost with switching to lower cost insurance.

    33. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 02:51 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by nm+ View Post
      I've never seen a state that requires new OEM parts.
      The two states I've lived in require OEM (used ok) parts (Minnesota) or new (non-OEM ok) parts (California). In both states, new, OEM parts is very rare.
      Picking your own repair shop doesn't mean not dicking you over repairs. Insurance companies can do all sorts of trickery with estimates to make things more difficult.
      When my Jetta's nose had to be replaced thanks to a truck tire slamming into it, AIG (truck company's insurance) would not pay for OEM. The adjuster said, "You want OEM, fine, but you're paying the difference in cost," which I did. This, after seeing on the news all of those AIG fat-cats living it up at a posh resort here in Phoenix after receiving bailout money!

      Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Dave View Post
      How long have you been with State Farm?

      Why are you looking to change?

      In my experience, the best kind of insurance to have is the kind where you have a good relationship with your broker/agent. It's not always about monthly premiums, but the SERVICE you get.
      I was with State Farm for over 10 years (house, cars); same agent too. Zero tickets and zero at-fault accidents during that time. Rates did not decrease and the agent's office employed a bunch of incompetent people. Finally switched to Progressive: I'm now paying nearly half what I was paying State Farm and for more coverage!

      I will say, State Farm is great about claims... but, for me, that's a small part of the whole picture.
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    34. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      Mar 25th, 2002
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      02-24-2012 03:02 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by cullam3n View Post
      Yes, because young CGOs maintain perfect driving records during their tour in Europe.

      Well, there's a hell of a lot more enlisted dumbasses than JO dumbasses.

    35. 02-24-2012 04:03 PM #35
      All State, State Farm, Farmers are all considered "direct writers" or "Captive Agents" they have access to only the company they represent.

      A true Independent Agent will have access to several companies and won't have access to the State Farms of the world. Generally speaking a Independent Agent will have access to better quality products i.e. better claims service, higher limits on rental, liability, Maybe some enhanced trip interruption coverage, agreed value, replacement cost products, etc.

      If you want the "BEST" you want to look at Chubb, Fireman's Fund, Ace, or Chartis. Those companies specialize in high net worth individuals and offer policies that are more comprehensive than the rest. You will pay more for these products and you may not meet underwriting guidelines.

      Other companies to consider.....Encompass, Travelers, Hartford, MetLife.

      As far as your home goes. Make sure you are looking at all risk policies with a deductible the same for all perils, not a separate deductible for wind, or water back up. Also if your home has a basement ask what your water back up limit is and how much it would cost to increase that limit. You'll thank me when your sump pump stops working.

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