Let's Talk Car Insurance

adk

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 11, 2005
1,937
21
Stuck in the middle with you
I'm moving to a new state and shopping for a new car insurance provider. I've narrowed it down to a few companies based on the quotes they gave me. I'm trying to decide between going through an agent (like Farmers) or a direct online company (like Geico). I can see the advantage of having a real live insurance agent in town, but having a real life agent is about 25% more expensive. Any insight from the wise Mac Rumors community?
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
I went directly with Progressive, getting insurance online through their website. Didn't see any advantage to having an agent, and they've been fine to work with on the couple claims I've had over the years and when I had a $1,200 claim for a cracked windshield (don't ask why it was so much) they didn't even raise my rates, in fact, they went down next renewal.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
Geico customer almost 20 years. No one ever comes close to their rates. Two big claims over the years and never a rate increase.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
Geico customer almost 20 years. No one ever comes close to their rates. Two big claims over the years and never a rate increase.
I have to agree with rdowns on this one. There was a time when only Geico would insure us military folks going overseas with our vehicles. I check rates every once in a while but no one compares.
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,774
485
I'm with Nationwide. Based on the claims of savings from Progressive and Geico in their advertising, I don't see how they'd save me anything that's worth changing over so I haven't really shopped. I've also done some quick estimates online and the rates I'm seeing don't really compare.

My policy is through a local agent (one my parents have used for years) but I haven't been in their office or in contact with them but once in the last 10 years, when I needed a copy of my insurance card after buying a new car (long story, end result is it wasn't sent to the dealer in a timely manner).
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
I'm with Nationwide. Based on the claims of savings from Progressive and Geico in their advertising, I don't see how they'd save me anything that's worth changing over so I haven't really shopped. I've also done some quick estimates online and the rates I'm seeing don't really compare.

My policy is through a local agent (one my parents have used for years) but I haven't been in their office or in contact with them but once in the last 10 years, when I needed a copy of my insurance card after buying a new car (long story, end result is it wasn't sent to the dealer in a timely manner).

With my GEICO app, I can pull up my insurance cards at any time. :D
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
10,853
7,462
Austin, TX
I had State Farm from age 16 to 25. My roommate in college now works for State Farm at the hq in Bloomington. My wife had USAA. He said "State Farm is the best, but USAA is likely the best for the price". He's right. Moved to USAA.
 

b3av3r

macrumors regular
Dec 9, 2012
185
0
Louisiana
I switched from Progressive to State Farm when State Farm gave me a much better price on my motorcycle insurance and comparable rates on my car. I have never had a claim of my own but had a few fender benders with people who also had State Farm. Everything was set up with the repair shop in a day.

Just remember whoever you go with to get adequate limits and not just the minimum required limits.
 

senseless

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2008
1,762
152
Pennsylvania, USA
I always get great "new customer" rates, it seems. 3 years later, the rates creep up again. I hate the way some insurance companies give breaks to new business while ignoring loyal customers. This kind of thing happens in other services too.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
11,823
I had State Farm from age 16 to 25. My roommate in college now works for State Farm at the hq in Bloomington. My wife had USAA. He said "State Farm is the best, but USAA is likely the best for the price". He's right. Moved to USAA.
State Farm actually screwed me over after being with them for 21 years. Clean record for them until I had 5 claims in 2 years, all of them legitimate, from car break-in to burglary to collapsed ceiling to an idiot running his car into my house without his license. After that last one, which SF handled on it, they dropped my multi-line policy, saying that I was 'too high of a risk to insure'. This after being with them since I was 16 years old, with no claims to my name until then (which was 2 years ago).

Real nice 'good neighbor' thing for them to do, isn't it?

I get my auto (and condo) insurance through AAA. It's Commerce Insurance, good premiums, lots of discounts, and great service.
This. I went straight to them, and they've been great ever since. Same amount taken out on my multi-line policy, costing at least $100 cheaper. Plus they will never drop anyone as long as they are a member in good standing.

I gave State Farm a chance to work this out. They wouldn't budge, despite my long standing with them; their rules and regulations were more important than keeping 20+ year customers happy.

Never again with State Farm.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
32,801
22,653
Behind the Lens, UK
But what does actual insurance cost in the US? I have a pretty cheap insurance in the UK due to my age and lack of claims. Paying around £300 on a 1.6 petrol Ford Focus.
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
24,981
7,927
Detroit
But what does actual insurance cost in the US? I have a pretty cheap insurance in the UK due to my age and lack of claims. Paying around £300 on a 1.6 petrol Ford Focus.
It varies widely from State to State. In my State, Michigan, we tend to have much higher premiums than other states. I pay about $1,400 per year for a new Ford Fusion.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
30,368
Boston
I get my car insurance through a local insurance agent. I find using them is typically a lot better then some of the faceless insurance companies.

For instance, when I wanted to get my license plates off my car and onto the truck and my wife wanted a new set for the car. All I did was show up and give them my check. They did all the paperwork and sent someone down to the Registry (what we call the DMV).

While mostly a dying breed, I find dealing with a person face to face is much better then trying to navigate through a automated voice system maze just to try to get a hold of someone.

The rates are generally the same, though direct sellers typically can offer less premiums because they're not paying a commission to the local agent.

Another advantage is the local agent isn't tied to a specific insurance company so they can provide feedback on what's best for your situation. YMMV but I prefer independent agents :D
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
24,981
7,927
Detroit
Yeah for some reason trucks are less expensive then cars. My premiums went down even though I went to a new vehicle. I expected them to go up or stay the same.
Is your Ridgeline 4-wheel drive? My F-150 was and it caused the premium to be a tad higher when it was new.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
I can with my Nationwide app, too. I couldn't 3 years ago when I bought my car (not sure Geico could either).
Their app had been around since 2009.


But what does actual insurance cost in the US? I have a pretty cheap insurance in the UK due to my age and lack of claims. Paying around £300 on a 1.6 petrol Ford Focus.

I pay $1,050 a year for full coverage on an Acura TSX. I carry maximum insurance limits with a $500 deductible.
 
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colourfastt

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2009
885
524
It varies widely from State to State. In my State, Michigan, we tend to have much higher premiums than other states. I pay about $1,400 per year for a new Ford Fusion.
Agreed; I'm in Louisiana and had State Farm. My May renewal was $1770 for 6 months. Found Progressive online and only paid $850 for 6 months. Bye bye State Farm, and I'd had them as my auto ins. co. for a decade.