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  1. #1

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    Insurance (auto & home) related question

    Last year I switched from Farmers Insurance to Liberty Mutual for my auto and home owners insurance, because LM quoted me much better rates than Farmers. This year I discovered that Liberty had raised my rates for no reason at all. I called them to ask about it. They told me that even though I did not have any accidents or tickets (I have an absolutely clean driving record- touch wood) during that year, they raised the rates because in the future I may have them, and also to take care of inflation.

    Have anyone ever heard of insurance rates increase based on what may happen in the future? Also the excuse about compensating for inflation did not make sense because Farmers never did that. LM also raised the insurance rates on my home, again the excuse was inflation.

    I told them right away that I would be looking for a different insurance and that did not seem to bother their customer service rep that I talked to.

    Now I am going to take my time to find the best possible insurance that I can stay with. It's no fun doing this research every few years.

    I am going to look at Costco, Geiko (two of my coworkers have insurance with these), State Farm. My brother has insurance with All State, but last year when I talked to them, their rates were even higher than Farmers.

    With Farmers at least I used to get good customer service. I had the same agent for 15 years. With Liberty there is no assigned agent, and no fixed contact person that I feel comfortable with.

    Anyone has any recommendations for insurance companies that you have dealt with? Any companies that I should avoid?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Vash, that's a hard question to answer, as it depends on what state you live in. Some insurance companies don't do business in some states, partly because of that states regulations (see CA) or other reasons. But here in CA where I live, I really like Mercury Insurance and 21st Century. BrokenAnkle and I have been rear ended 3 times over the last 18 months(!) and Mercury was terrific to deal with.

    The best thing about this kind of insurance is that usually you can cancel a policy whenever you want, not just when the policy expires. So feel free to dump Liberty the first chance you get.

  3. #3

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    Vash -- We were hit by a driver insured by Liberty Mutual, and the way they attempted to keep trying to get out of doing all the necessary repairs was remarkable. I don't know what they'd be like if you had a claim as a policy-owner, but I thought they were slimy, and very disrespectful of my time.

    I have the impression that rates vary quite a bit from company to company depending on your location; the company cheapest for me might be very different than the one cheapest for you.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KHenry14 View Post
    BrokenAnkle and I have been rear ended 3 times over the last 18 months(!) and Mercury was terrific to deal with.


    Do the insurance companies have you on speed dial now? LOL

  5. #5

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    The national insurance companies are all doing this. A very low initial quote then raising the rates within 6 months or a year.

    Insurance companies want you to buy direct, so they don't have to pay commissions to insurance agents. Problem is, you may not get the best insurance for your needs as you have no one to evaluate the quality of the coverage or the likelihood of an unexpected rate increase. My advice, always use an agent and always choose a company that has been selling in your state for 10 years or more. Fewer surprises, better service.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  6. #6
    garden freak
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    Isurance carriers most certainly do raise rates based on their calculated future risk. Formulas are very complicated and do include inflation, overall experience for the company and many other things that seem unrelated to auto or homeowners insurance, such as credit score. Carriers also keep track of claims on a particular property, even if the owner has changed. State laws also affect rates with many mandated benefits.

    All of the recent losses for storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and flooding will affect carriers differently based on their losses. The cost of building materials for all the needed construction and repairs will go up and contribute to the inflation factor.

    It will pay to shop if the rates have increased a lot and it is no big deal to change carriers if the rates warrant it.

  7. #7

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    I've always used State Farm and never had a problem with them although I'm not really sure how their rates compare. I've stayed faithful due to the good experiences. I have a dedicated agent that I can always call but their claims system will assign you to a claims specialist. I haven't had any extended claim issues but I think you can always contact that one person once they've been assigned to your case.

    You can get discounts on multiple lines of insurance (e.g. house and auto). They are also setup as a mutual insurance company which means you get checks back from them for surplus funds. They aren't big checks but it's nice to get. The downside to small mutual insurance companies is that they may not be able to raise enough money to cover large catastrophes. State Farm is large enough that it shouldn't be a problem for them.
    "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." – T.S. Eliot

  8. #8
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    I've been with State Farm for a number of years and have no complaints. Of course, I live in a small town where I can go speak with my agent face to face when I need to. I changed from Allstate because I got much lower rates for the same coverage. My auto rate does fluctuate. Some months it will be up a couple of dollars; some months it will go down. My niece's husband worked for Allstate for a while, and he warned against companies like Geico and Progressive. It had something to do with how they are registered with a state. They are likely to register as carriers of only high risk clients. When people sign up with them not knowing this little fact, they are considered high risk whether they are or not. I may not be telling that exactly right, but it was along those lines. The customer got ripped off in any case.

  9. #9

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    If you're military (US), USAA is a great insurance company.

  10. #10

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    Here in Florida the "big" companies no longer write policies. I went with AAA home and auto combined policy about two years ago, and it was competitive with other companies that do write down here.

    I hate those ba$tards at State Farm and Allstate. They want to write auto here, but not homeowners.

  11. #11

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    I had forgotten about AAA. I should look them up too. Thanks for reminding.

  12. #12
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    Try The Hartford; they’ve been giving me the best car insurance rates for over a decade now. Since you have a clean record, you’ll probably be eligible for their Disappearing Deductible; basically they’ll reduce your deductible every year that you keep a clean record, and you’ll finally be deductible free.

  13. #13
    engaged to dupa
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    Quote Originally Posted by skipaway View Post
    If you're military (US), USAA is a great insurance company.
    Or former military - they've recently changed their policy.
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

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