When I got laid off (six years ago this week) I sat down with some trusted advisors and went over my expenses to see what we could cut. When they saw my insurance costs (with a company I had been with for probably two decades) they said “oh! That seems really high! Shop around and get something lower.”
I wasn’t really interested in shopping around, but one day I was with a guy who happened to be an insurance salesman, and before you knew it we switched.
And then we switched again, when we found a “better” deal.
I really liked who we went with the first time (trusted friend). The second time we moved to cheaper insurance because we could get better coverage at a lower monthly cost.
Then, we had to USE our insurance. There was a little oopsie here, and a little oopsie there. We were told they’d be happy to replace our windshield, and that was one of the benefits. Not to worry, they said.
Then, they keys got locked in the car in our driveway, and they came and took care of it. Not to worry, they said. It happened about two weeks later. No problem, with a smile. That was INCLUDED.
Then, my wife had a significant accident (thank goodness everyone is okay). Our van was totalled. We were told they paid about $30,000 in damages.
And then we got The Letter. The breakup letter. It said as of July 1, 2011, we were going to be discontinued.
There must be some mistake, we thought. One accident and they discontinue us? We didn’t understand.
Our salesman, who was awesome at selling us policies, said he’d go to bat for us. He said he made a bunch of phone calls, but ultimately someone at the corporate office said that no, we were high risk, and we had “6 incidents.”
Let me list them (in no order):
- The big accident. $30,000 out of their pocket, apparently.
- A minor accident I had in a rental car. SO MUCH FOR NOT GETTING THE RENTAL CAR INSURANCE. Isn’t that what everyone says? Don’t buy it, because your insurance company will take care of it? HOGWASH. $700 out of their pocket, supposedly.
- Windshield replacement.
- Insurance fraud. My wife had a super minor “fender bender.” The other lady said “oh, there’s no damage.” They exchanged info anyway, and our insurance company paid out around, IIRC, $3k. We even have pictures of the no damage, and submitted them, but we’re being pinned as responsible for the “accident.” This is what I call FRAUD, and it’s a shame that person claimed it, and it’s a shame the insurance company (a) paid it, and (b) penalized us for it.
That’s it. 6 incidents of completely different values. But they said “6.” So, we were too expensive, and high risk.
What I learned is that you don’t switch insurance just to save $100 or $200 per 6 months. You don’t switch just because someone says they have better this, or better that.
I also learned that you NEVER claim simple things, like locksmith, windshield, etc. Even though they tout it as a part of their services, they keep track of the times you use it and then you are penalized for using it.
Since then, we’ve moved back to the original insurance company we had been with forever (and our parents had been with forever).
Since then, there have been no claims, no charges, no expense.
Since then, I have heard my old insurance company’s commercials on radio, online, TV, etc. and it makes me want to puke. They say they are awesome, but they put their money into marketing… as soon as you use them they DUMP YOU. I’ve found this documented online from other people.
My wife described them as the paper plate insurance company. Once you use them once you can’t use them again. They are garbage.
What a shame.
Makes me made to just write this post. So much for cheap auto insurance.