Every year or so, I like to take a look at our car insurance rates and shop around a bit to see if we still have the best rate. I’m not sure what sort of hashish the insurance company actuaries are smoking, but it seems that rates are always fluctuating. And with all the different factors that go into determining the rates, I find it hard to understand why anyone would want to be an actuary. It must be all the money, raves and women…
Anyway, the other day I took a peek at a couple of other companies to see how the rates were compared to the one I had with Progressive. I had GEICO insurance for 5 years while living in Utah, but when we moved to Arkansas, Progressive ended up being cheaper. We also did the Progressive Snapshot discount thing, which I’m convinced is just a way to make you feel like you’re getting a discount, but it’s really a way for them to jack up their premiums. Club Thrifty wrote a post a while ago about a similar program by Allstate. Skeevy indeed.
The problem that I usually have with car insurance is that I have a little bit of a lead foot. In a matter of 10 months since we moved to Arkansas, I’ve gotten a speeding ticket in Missouri, another in Oklahoma, and have almost gotten two in Arkansas. So frugal tip for the day: obey the speed limit. Not only do you get slapped upside the face with a fine, but you also get reminded about how big of an idiot you are every time you pay the higher car insurance premium.
I also ran some numbers on our cars and found that the one I drive is worth only $1,500 (although at 185,000 miles it still runs like a champ). So then I had a dilemma. Should I drop the collision and comprehensive coverage or should I keep it? $1,500 is a lot of money, but we just started getting things going a couple of months ago and don’t have that much in savings yet. At the same time, the last time I got in an accident where it was my fault was 11 years ago when I was in high school, so it can still happen, but it’s not likely. But at the same time, we just started our journey of greatness a few months ago. On the other hand, even though our income isn’t rocking our socks off right now, with a $500 deductible, we’d only get $1,000 to put toward a new car if it had that much damage. So I decided that to me, it’s worth it to save the money now and hope that if I get in an accident, it’s the other chump’s fault.
Ahhh the joys of insurance 🙂
We also need renter’s insurance now that we have our own place, so I looked up Progressive, GEICO, and a few other insurance companies to see what the rates would be for both. It went a little like this:
Progressive: Auto: $436 bi-annually (w/out roadside assistance and rental allowance), Renter’s: $268 annually
GEICO: Auto: $423 (w/ roadside assistance and rental allowance), Renter’s: $174 annually
Other companies: Auto: a lot, Renter’s: a lot.
(I’m adding roadside assistance and rental allowance because we’re making a 22-hour trip back to Utah for Thanksgiving and it’ll be nice in case our 11 year old car bites the dust.)
I don’t know about you, but saving money gets me excited!!! Combined, it’s only $10/month, but ten bucks is ten bucks. That comes out to be a 17.7% savings annually. Does that mean I recommend GEICO to everyone? No. Like I said before, there are so many different factors they take into consideration that for some people, GEICO is on the high end. Must be the hashish…
When’s the last time you checked your auto insurance rates? Do you feel particularly loyal to any one company or are you like me and care only about the rates?