Car Insurance

newhomeseekerFebruary 20, 2009

I just wanted to advise/warn everyone of my experience with Progressive Auto Insurance. You see all the commercials about how you can save $ and they will compare your rates to those of other companies. This could possibly be a scam.

I went online to and got a quote. I own two vehicles (one paid off, one with a loan). I have never paid more than $500 for six months of full coverage. I entered my info and the same limits I have on my current policy and the same deductibles. My first quote was around $520. They showed me ONE other company to compare my rate to. That company was $502. So for about a $20 difference I would just choose to stay on Progressive's site (as I'd already filled out all my info with them) I did not need to buy coverage that day (my current policy didn't expire for a month and I was just shopping around). Two days later I logged in to check my quote again but it hadn't been saved (but they did send me an email with this quote) so it asked me to start the process all over which I did. This time my quote was over $100 higher than the one two days earlier. Same exact information was entered. I thought I must have made an error so I let the system send me an email for the 2nd quote (so I'd have proof) and then I started the process all over again. This was about twenty minutes later. Same info was entered. This time my quote was $430! Which was LESS than both the quotes and almost $200 less than the quote I was given twenty minutes earlier!!

It was as if the system just spits a random number out and they hope you will pay it. The numbers for the cost of different coverages changed as well (for example if you wanted rental car coverage you paid $10 in the latest quote and the earlier one it cost $22. Made no sense.

I had done a quote for my fiance as well and he liked the quote but did not want to pay online so he found a local agent that deals with Progressive and went to her office. She entered the exact same info that I entered online and she came back with a rate that was almost $100 less than the one he got online. He was thrilled obviously and signed up right then.

I decided to call this local insurance agency to see if their rates were cheaper than my online quote. I gave them the same info I'd inputed online and they ran it through PRogressive. The woman came back and told me my quote was $892!!!! I had the print out from my cheapest online quote directly from Progressive's web site and it was $400 less. I have lived in my state for five years and have never had any tickets, had one not at fault accident. Plus I have great credit. So I did not understand at all why the quote was so high. The agent couldn't tell me either. Their six month rate is more or equal to what I normally pay in a year!

I called an agent (who wasn't local) and she found insurance coverage (not through PRogressive) that is full coverage (and the same thing I requested of progressive) for $351 for six months. And the other agent wanted to charge me almost $900!! Just doesn't make sense at all.

I do not understand how the quotes could vary so much even just online in a matter of minutes! Just be careful if you use this company.

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Yes, you are right.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 10:11PM
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Best thing to do is deal with a reputable insurance agent. One who has been in business for many years, who deals with many different insurance companies. They can get you the very best deal for YOUR situation.

Years ago, my agent placed us with a small insurance company who only operates in our state, and who only insures good drivers. The price was excellant and we've been extremely pleased with the company over the years. From time to time, I've checked around--getting quotes from the various 'discount' companies, from AAA, etc. and no one can come close to our insurance company.

Interestingly, when State Farm pulled out of our state, DD was left without car insurance, so she went to our agent and got a policy with the company we use. Much cheaper than she'd been paying SF. After a year, her money was tight, so she went to the agent to see if she could get a cheaper rate. Sure enough the agent found a company that has a good name and came in even cheaper for DD. Well, that sounded good--so we got a quote. Higher for us. See what I mean? Everyone's situation is different, every company uses different criteria. An insurance agent will do the leg work for you and get you the best price.

Another thing to remember is to check with your state insurance commissioner--they can generally tell you who has the cheapest rates in your state. And once you find a company/policy that sounds good--be sure to check to see if the company does business in NY state and/or NJ--if not, you don't want to mess with them. NY and NJ have some of the highest insurance criteria, and only the most reputable companies are allowed to do business in those states.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 7:46PM
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I've seen major differences, too.

We insured with Allstate for 30 years. For our cars and our home. During that whole time, we had our pick-up broken into twice, we hit a deer once, someone pulled out in front of me and I hit her van (her insurance paid) and someone broke into our garage and then stole CD's out of my car. No tickets though. When our kids were teenagers, they made us insure ALL our cars for them driving them, even though there was NO WAY they were going to be allowed to drive anything but the used car we bought for them to share. It was quite expensive. Our son got several tickets and every time he did, all our insurance premiums went up.

Then, seven years ago, we bought a house in the next town that is practically a suburb of the city that we lived in, and sold our current house. Even though we only paid $68,000 for our new house, Allstate insisted on insuring it for $125,000, and the premiums were huge. We then started shopping around. We found Shelter Insurance which allowed us to insure the new house for the same amount but at a much lower rate. Our car insurance quotes were a lot less too. Of course the kids were long grown up by then. But we had a grandson growing up in our house. When he started driving, I told the agent he had his own vehicle and he was not going to be driving ours. She said, "Fine". His insurance is kind of high, but the vehicle is an older one so that helps.

When we left Allstate, after having been with them for thirty years for our house and two cars, do you know no one at Allstate even bothered to even ask why we were cancelling our insurance with them? I guess they didn't need our business any more.

The big question that you have to ask, when it comes to insurance, is what their performance is when you need them. For that you'd just about have to ask people who've had that experience. With Allstate, at first it was easy. The adjuster looked at the damage, we got three estimates and then they gave us a check. The last time we had a claim was when we hit that deer. They wanted my husband to drive the car 50 miles to Tulsa for the adjuster to look at it! Can you imagine driving a car with a crumpled hood that wouldn't stay closed, a dangling headlight and who knows what kind of internal damage, 100 miles total? My husband said he'd call the insurance commission, so they made arrangements to look at the car locally.

The year we had so much hail, we put in a claim for damage to our concrete patio. There were circular areas about the size of a saucer, where the top layer of the concrete flaked off, but it didn't show up until winter after water had seeped into the fine cracks and then frozen. Our claim was denied, the adjuster said it was "normal wear and tear".

I've known people who have insured with smaller companies and then they can't get any service. Sometimes they insist that you use cheap parts for the repair. Buying insurance is getting so complicated. Make sure you're comparing exactly because there are so many variables, and make sure you know what those are and whether you need them all. If you have an older car that's not worth very much, it may not be worth having the part that replaces your vehicle if you wreck it.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:18AM
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When we left Allstate, after having been with them for thirty years for our house and two cars, do you know no one at Allstate even bothered to even ask why we were cancelling our insurance with them? I guess they didn't need our business any more.

I got exactly the same non-response after 20 years with State Farm, during which I got older, the car got older, I had just one minor claim, and the premiums kept going up up up. Good riddance.

It is tough to know which insurance companies are the better ones. Even the ones which used to be good seem to go bad....

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 8:33PM
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My parents had a similiar experience (think it was with Liberty Mutual. They had four vehicles on their policy, had been with the same insurance company for ten years with no tickets and no accidents. Always paid their bills. Were what you'd consider good customers. Easy keepers with no claims. The insurance premium would go up maybe $20-$50 every six months to a year. They received their renewal from the company and the letter stated they'd been good customers for ten years and thank you for being such loyal customers... and the renenewal included a rate increase of over $200 for six months!! My parents were shocked by the increase. There was nothing to warrant it- no accidents, no new vehicles, no tickets, etc. They called the company and were told it was just a "normal" increase and that insurance rates were going up. Their insurance agent said he didn't know why the rates had changed and found them a cheaper insurance company. He told them that Liberty Mutual would be calling them asking them to come back etc. Never happened. They never heard a word from the company. How nice of them to send that letter though thanking them for being such great customers- and for being good customers here's your thanks- a $200 rate increase!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 1:27PM
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I have gotten insurance quotes that sounded great. A few weeks later gotten info in the mail from the company itself and the rate was way higher than the quote that the agent had given to me. Some agents don't get the complete rundown of your driving record and when the actual agency takes a look...well your new bill is a good bit higher than the quote. I gave up my new cars with the huge payments for two good used cars. I only pay for liability coverage. I probably should look into full coverage but I only paid $2400 for one and $2000 for the other and the deductable and the higher cost probably wounld'nt be worth it in the end.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 3:00PM
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As long as you never have to use it the best insurance is the cheapest. If you do need it who knows what is best, you could be paying top dollar and they can still turn their back on you. I fed Farm Bureau for 8 years with no claims and paid a premium price for insurance in the country. When I did have a claim (water heater stat stuck and relief valve didn't pop) water heater split open and flooded the floor with an inch of water. I was told I wasn't covered for that but a year earlier I had my policy 'reviewed and updated' and was told "You are covered for any loss above your deductible" and later when I have a claim it was actually acts of God and that was pretty much it. I had paid them for 8 years over 100 a month and only asked for 1,800.00 to replace carpet and a couple other things.

I don't know who is good or bad anymore but I know I will never step foot in a Farm Bureau office again in my life.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 12:58AM
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