Thursday, July 30, 2009

July 30 - Auto Insurance (zzzzz)

Is there a bigger snooze topic than Auto Insurance? Probably not. Why should you read this? You probably don't need to.

My twice-annually renewal is here. Each time for the past few years, I've taken the opportunity to 'shop around' for better rates. Hasn't happened to date. These companies tout how they can save me (and my average Californian neighbors) over $400 a year! Wow. I want that!

So I fill out the online form, I weed through response emails and phone calls, all with my skeptical eye waiting to hear their quotes. They always lose. Of course, they usually blame my current insurer (Mercury) for not providing me with the proper coverage. Their favorite is that Mercury is lower because, "They only cover me and my car if I AM DRIVING and not anyone else if they are driving." (More on this later.)

Fair enough, but I am the only one who drives my car, so I'm OK with that if it saves me money. What else ya got?

Well, one guy came in with a whopping 50% lower rate. WOW! I want that! But wait? What happened to my coverage? Instead of stuff like 100K/300K, they were quoting me 10K/30K. Oh, got it... 50% cheaper, but 90% less coverage. In fairness, he did re-quote it with my current coverage levels, but then only came in $25 cheaper. Not worth switching.

Then came one company and said they could put me into a comparable Mercury Policy for less. About $150 a year less... or $200 less a year if I get Renter's Insurance for $120 a year (so, a total of $80 savings + Renter's Insurance for free!).

I then called my current Mercury Agent (we'll call her CMA) and low and behold, they accused the new Mercury Agent (we'll call him NMA) of misquoting, missing something important, etc. So CMA gave me some other numbers, ratings and bits of info that I should confirm.

I called NMA and told him what CMA said and NMA said 'bullshit, I'll call Mercury and check your current Policy and call you back.

Long(er) story short, he did, they confirmed, I signed and finally (after years of checking) am saving money (and have more coverage for my cds and books and prized treasures from across the globe). Oh, and since it's a Mercury Policy for a Mercury Policy, my 'persistent customer' discount continues!

Moral of the story - go ahead, check your rates. Save yourself some green. Love ya!

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