Looking for a Good Auto Insurance Carrier
October 2, 2008 10:36 AM   Subscribe

Our auto insurance is up for renewal and we're looking for a new carrier.

We presently have Geico but the rates have been going up for a while (no accidents). I had heard that one should shop for a new auto insurance carrier about every three years. We got a very good quote from Kemper (via the Automobile Club).

Does anyone have any pros or cons about Kemper they would like to share? Thx.
posted by Taken Outtacontext to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Before you sign up, tell Geico. They may offer you a deep discount. Progressive cut 50% off my quote when I told them I was leaving.
posted by Pants! at 10:40 AM on October 2, 2008

I would call up all the major insurance agencies in your area and see what they can offer, it should be pretty simple to fax over your coverage now and get some quick quotes.

I agree with Pants! I've heard that telling them you're searching could sweeten the deal, 50% may be too much to hope for but you never know.
posted by wangarific at 10:55 AM on October 2, 2008

Ameriprise is worth a look if you're a Costco member (and maybe even if you're not).
posted by brandman at 11:01 AM on October 2, 2008

I check with an independent insurance broker who sells for many different insurance companies. That takes care of a lot of your comparison shopping in one stop.
posted by winston at 11:07 AM on October 2, 2008

Before you sign up, tell Geico. They may offer you a deep discount.

Yes, I screwed up in doing this. I left Allstate for Geico, and when I called Allstate to cancel, they offered me a matching rate. I wouldn't have bothered with the hassle of switching if I knew that. (As it was, the hassle of switching back wasn't worth it either.)
posted by smackfu at 11:16 AM on October 2, 2008

All my insurance is through State Farm and has been for 10 years. That's homeowners, renters, person articles (camera and computer equipment) and auto. I have had a number of claims with them, and every single time I have made out well without absolutely no hassle from the company. I totally love 'em.

The problem with insurance is that the lower rates come at a cost in the customer service/claims resolution department. Get a real live agent who lives locally. They're a huge benefit when, say, a body shop doesn't do satisfactory work and paint starts flaking off 3 years down the road. A good agent really will go to bat for you and they wield a lot of power with body shops, etc.
posted by paanta at 11:37 AM on October 2, 2008

When considering new insurance companies, if you're going to look for anecdotes about them, look for ones from people who have actually filed claims. Good customer service is cheap, day to day. Insurance companies turn remarkably stingy and hard-assed the day you actually need them for anything. Geico wouldn't let me renew my policy with them after I got in an at-fault accident (my first ever). A previous insurance company (I forget who, someone in MA) lowballed me on payment for my stolen/totaled car, to the tune of $1800 or so. Both were great on the setup and administration fronts, right up until I needed them.
posted by autojack at 11:39 AM on October 2, 2008

Never hurts to ask: are you eligible for USAA?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:50 AM on October 2, 2008

Response by poster: We've already done our initial homework and Kemper is looking good in $$ so I'm wondering about customer service if we need them because of an accident.

Pants! going back to Geico is a great idea, thx.

ROU, what is USAA?
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 11:59 AM on October 2, 2008

USAA is great, if you can get a membership. It's open to (basically) military officers and their families (see here for more). Their customer service is the best I've seen for any company (not just insurance, but any company), and the rates are competitive for insurance.
posted by Houstonian at 12:18 PM on October 2, 2008

There are some insurers that you should avoid at all costs, and Kemper is one of them. Countrywide (if they're even writing auto policies anymore) is also on that list.

There's been some hot competition between Progressive, State Farm, and Allstate lately. All of them are "premium" insurers, and do a great job with customer service. Do a price comparison, and see what you get. (Just don't believe what the one says that the other's prices are going to be.)
posted by Citrus at 12:53 PM on October 2, 2008

Our cars and home are with Mercury. Never had a problem, and they have been the lowest every time I check.
posted by JAD'E at 1:00 PM on October 2, 2008

Seconding Mercury, and I have (unfortunately) had to claim with them 4 times. They were great every time with claim processing and customer service. Three were not my fault, one was 50/50 my boyfriend/the other driver. I'm not even sure rates went up after the 50/50, or if they did it wasn't significant.
posted by Joh at 3:23 PM on October 2, 2008

My wife just switched us yesterday to Electric Insurance Company. The price is much lower; hopefully the service is good. We'll see.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 9:56 AM on October 3, 2008

Response by poster: Turns out GEICO was our best deal. Thanks everyone.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 11:27 AM on November 7, 2008

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