Given all my financial faults, I think that one of my worst qualities is that I am lazy and loyal at the same time.
Despite the fact that I’ve been picking up tips on how to reduce our debt months prior to our wedding and loss of job, the one that I have glossed over is “Get quotes from different auto insurance companies.“
Husband and I have been looking more seriously at our debts and bills lately. You can see my breakdown of what I owe here. So, like all good shell-shocked 20 somethings, I began to research what I could do to reduce my debt.
We have already done away with cable and even cut our Xbox Gold account. We are pretty frugal in grocery shopping. We are cutting our CTA card. This weekend, we bought a space heater and window protectors with our leftover Bed Bath and Beyond store credit to reduce our gas bill. All in all, I think we are doing good.
But the bills still didn’t fall where I wanted them. So I gave in and cheated on Geico. I’ve been with Geico for 6 years. I find their customer service to be the BEST of any company I’ve ever worked with.* The catch is that I am paying $95 in car insurance, for my one car, and that’s not the top of the line coverage either.
I decided to get quotes from two highly recommended insurance companies: State Farm and Progressive. When I got the quotes, I asked for the same or equal level of coverage and I also requested to bundle my renter’s insurance (I currently pay $12.40 a month with Geico’s affiliate).
Background: My husband had a DUI (yes, I know…) 5 years ago so I knew that should receive significantly reduce quotes from what we are paying now. But I also have two tickets in the last two years and we had one not-at-fault accident. We have one car- a 2012 Hyundai Accent leased in 2011 with under 18k miles. We drive maybe 8k miles a year on average. Most of it is for leisure and in city.
Here’s what we got back in quotes:
- Geico (online): $83.80 + $12.40 renter’s
- State Farm: $88.29 + 11.30 renter’s
- Progressive: $59.60 + 14.90 renter’s
Progressive was the clear winner! From what I was paying currently, that was almost a $30 savings per month or $360 per year! Hallelujah! I was overjoyed to call Geico and cancel…
I actually called them. As soon as I said I was canceling, the sweetest customer service rep practically begged me to let a specialist take my call so that he could run the numbers again. Being the sap I am for good customer service, I said I would be willing to let him try.
The specialist first asked me about my online quote and he mentioned that Geico auto-fills in my old information. So, if you do not update your profile with them from time to time, your quote is inaccurate. We both realized that because of my laziness, my address wasn’t up to date, and apparently in bizarre-o insurance world, living in the city is much less of a liability than living in the middle of nowhere. Also, being married to the second driver also changed everything.
Geico’s second quote: $65.80
Good, but no cigar. This + renter’s insurance would put me pretty close to Progressive, but I was pretty content with moving on.
But wait! He tried again. This time he gingerly asked me if he could look up my credit score as that may get me some more discounts.
He laughed as he said the third quote: $40.30 and my renter’s insurance was now down to $10.80.
In less than 5 hours and a lot of maneuvering on my part, I saved myself almost $55 a MONTH on car insurance. That’s over $650 a year. I didn’t change my coverage at all. I didn’t beg for him to reevaluate me. I didn’t really even negotiate.
- Don’t trust online quotes. Call companies and speak to a human who may know more discounts and tricks.
- Clear your cache. I learned this from another blog and it was true for State Farm where my quote was $2 cheaper when I cleared my cache (I had previously gotten a quote from Geico’s online about 10 minutes before).
- If you tweet, tweet! As soon as I found out about Progressive’s quote, I tweeted and instantly heard back from a Geico rep in a PM and public tweet asking me what they could do to help.
- Leverage, negotiate, and be honest. It’s worth the money.
- Any life change is worth making a call with your insurance company. Once I said that I had just gotten married, the specialist kept dropping little hints that if/when I have a baby, to call back and get it reduced a bit more. Ha!
*I was not compensated by Geico or an affiliates to write this post. I just love my customer service experiences!