Car/Bike insurance; it paid to call and complain

pkguyJanuary 26, 2008

Late last summer I bought myself a 2nd hand motorcycle from our neighbors who were moving. I've owned motorcycles for over 30 years and had my bike license since 16 and never made an auto or motorcycle insurance claim. However I parked my last bike about 5 years ago when it needed extensive work and time caught up with me and it sat and sat unused to the point it wasn't worth the cost of fixing anymore which was about when this deal with neighbors came up that too good to pass.

I called about insuring it but my insurer doesn't cover motorcycles, many don't apparently. My bank however does have an insurance dept and so I got a policy through them. They were slighly less than two other companies I also called. The policy was a whopping $1800 based on my not being able to provide them with any previous motorcycle insurance history and regardless of the fact I gave them a copy of my 10 year driving clean as whistle driving abstract, I would be treated as a new motorcyclist. Since it was late summer I only had to pay a few hundred dollars to finish the year. Then my policy renewal showed up two weeks ago for that whopping $1800. I called them to ask if there was anything they could do to lower it and guess what, they did. They said that since I hadn't had any claim in the 5 months they would re rate my policy to the next better level and my cost would now be $1024. Almost an $800 savings for a simple phone call. Next year with no claims it will drop again a few hundred dollars. BTW I didn't complain complain, I asked nicely if there was anything they could do to lower the cost.

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Yes, sometimes all you have to do is ask - terrific right?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 12:50PM
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Hi pkguy,

Thanks for sharing this piece of information with us.

While it may be useful for a limited clientele ... those who may qualify may find it very helpful to them.

However ... as we know, the street of this forum is travelled by far fewer eyeballs than others, e.g. Kitchen Table (the gossip column of the Gardenweb newspaper-equivalent, so to speak).

Being as I'm so frugal ...

... the idea of being able to help even a limited group of people save perhaps in the neighbourhood of $800. at a crack, by the simple expedient of making one (courteous) phone call ...

... pleases my heart no end!

I plan to forward it to a number of people on my friend/acquaintance list.

If you may have been around for a while, you may have seen the Christmas gift that I've offered (and re-offered on these forums for so many years that I forebore offering it again last year). A no-cost one, by the way.

It's that we make a list of all of the people that we've known from when we were young and find contact points with them - phone numbers, email addresses, etc. over time, re-establishing contact.

Then write down info relating to their training, work, residence, interests, vacation destinations, etc., incidentally, from time to time as it becomes known.

That when we have a need, go to our list of friends and press "Search" ... we'll often find someone who, since we all like to talk about stuff that interests us, will have information and be willing to share it that may be very helpful to the need that we have. I suggested that I figured that that list would likely save us hundreds, possibly thousands, during our lifetime.

But that can - and should - be a two-way street: when I know something that may interest even a few of the large number on that database ... and pass it on, it's easy for the 97 uninterested ones of 100 recipients to press "Delete".

If those acquaintances/friends become aware of what you're about ... they may come to ask you to find info for them occasionally.

Maybe put together some interesting info and send out a newsletter from time to time.

Curiosity may be my besetting sin ... but it has led me to a number of interesting experiences in life and in the last few minutes since reading your post, I've been wondering whether you might qualify as a "pk" that's familiar in my life, "preacher's kid"?

When you spoke of your bank having a linked insurance carrier, I wondered whether you might be in Canada.

As time goes along, we learn where various folks live, and last year, finding another piece of information relative to a person that I've met on That Home Site led me to find that she attends the same church congregation as I, so I'm wondering in which area of Canada you live.

Again, thanks for sharing this info with us.

We hope that the ones who save dollars through using your info may think to come back to say, "Thanks".

Good wishes to you and yours for the coming...

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 4:54PM
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Well ole joyful guy I just happen to live a little west of you by 60 miles, 2nd to last exit off the 402. I'm not a preachers son by any means LOL

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 1:55AM
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This just reminded me.. When I bought this house back in late 2006 I did my share of phoning to various insurance companies and ended up with the best rate from the same company I had dealt with back west before the move. At the time I recollect asking my elderly mom how much she was paying for her house insurance, same neighborhood, somewhat smaller house, and she was paying close to $200 more per year. I have to remember to find out when her policy expires and see if she can get a better rate from the company I deal with ING.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 2:03AM
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You should also check the rates at Progressive. Back when I use to ride they were several hundred dollars cheaper than any other insurance company. I don't use them for my car because I get cheaper rates thru another company but no one I contacted could beat their motorcycle rates.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 9:33PM
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The interesting thing I found during the times I've gone insurance shopping is how the rates vary even in the same company! The agent has a lot to do with rates.

Also, they tend to do automatic increases, and like to insure your basement at a full value. Even the small town, volunteer fire departments can usually save the basement! (hey, it's a joke - I have utmost respect for fire fighters!) So check and give consideration to the values they put on your place. My cousin bought a modular home and placed it on his lake lot. The house cost $42k (not including basement, septic, well, etc, of course).... The insurance company valued it at $96k! He fought them on it and they backed it down. Many people wouldn't even look at it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 1:20AM
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The other thing with insurance companies, sort of the proof of the pudding is in the payout. Will they pay? Back around 1990 the part of town I was living in was literally hit by the worst hailstorm in Canadian history, near baseball sized hailstones. They ruined my roof, smashed thru the white resin picnic table on the back deck, the aluminum siding on the front second storey was pockmarked all to H. I had Allstate and within a day or two the adjuster came and since the aluminum siding couldn't be color matched to the sides and back of the house I had the whole house re-sided in vinyl, new table etc. My neighbor two doors down did get new shingles but his insurer wouldn't pay for new siding and the front of his house looked just as bad or worse than mine.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 2:12AM
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The beauty of having a good insurance agent is that they can do all the 'leg work' for you.

Ours found us a great insurance company (one I'd never heard of--they aren't big, they don't advertise a lot) that was very reasonable. They only insure drivers with impeccable records. We've been with them for many years now. Over that time, I've checked some of those companies that advertise that they'll save you money, their rates are the cheapest--not once have I been able to find ANYone who can compare to our company--they're hundreds less than any other insurance company. But we've never have found them on our own.

A few years ago, dd was a little strapped for cash, and asked the agent if she could find her something cheaper (than OUR company). Believe it or not--yes, the agent was able to put dd into a company that was an even better buy for her. So when our insurance came up for renewal, I got a quote from that company--nope--due to the differences in our needs, THEY were more expensive for us, than our original company.

Not only does an agent help you find the best deal for you, but they represent you if and when you need to make a claim. It's not worth it to me to pay more for insurance from a big company who is just interested in selling their product, and not caring for their customers after they get their money.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 8:19AM
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Last year, my house insurance went up 10%. I went back into my records and discovered the year before that, it went up 30% and 20-something percent the year before.

I called my agent and complained. I told him I was never prosecuted for arson, never had a claim, am home all the time which lowers risk on the house,and wanted a better rate or I was walking. Guess what? My new rate went WAY,WAY down. Like $300 per year!!! I asked him to explain why and all he would say is he applied some additional discounts.

What a load of baloney. All these insurers do is fish. They figure they will raise your rates and see if it floats. Most of the time it does because people just pay it without really examining it. So when you get your bill, check how much it's gone up since the last bill. If you complain, they'll usually find some "discount" to lower the bill.

I told my insurer that the bill better not start floating upwards because I'm ready to walk away from them at any time. So far, the bill has been the same but you can bet he's on my radar screen.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 11:07AM
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Not sure if it works in your area, but it is worth asking your insurer if they would offer a better auto insurance rate if you get your VIN number etched on all of the glass windows.

If so, start surfing around online for VIN etching kits, they should cost less than 20 bucks. Much less if you shop around or split the cost by doing more than a car at once.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 3:26AM
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Wow I pay less then $1600.00 a year for car insurance for 3 cars 2 drivers and thats with full coverage on all 3 cars.Why is a motorcycle so high to insure?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 9:19PM
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Bikes are high because of the risks of damage to both the rider and the bike. It's extremely high for newbie riders but does drop down considerably the longer you drive without any claims.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 12:56AM
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Insurance companies often do that. When we bought our second new home I found out the mortgage company had put a insurance policy on it that cost $15. a month for 15 years. When I found out I called and asked why. They said it is for the mortgage company in case we defaulted on the loan. That really bugged me and after a year I called and talked to them again. They agreed to do a drive by and they might drop the insurance if they liked what they saw. She called me back and said we are dropping the insurance because you have already done improvements to the home, fence, plantings, etc.. It pays to ask.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 2:19PM
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I pay around $200 a year on my motorcycle insurance. I've only had my motorcycle for 3 years now.

I think the reason I pay so little is due to a number of factors:

Used bike = so cheap that I'll just buy another instead of fixing it after an accident

Medical = my medical insurance through my employer covers me

High deductible = again, I'll live w/ whatever damage on the bike, or just replace it

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 4:04PM
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