Costco insurance--Auto and renter's policies
November 8, 2013 12:17 PM   Subscribe

A few weeks ago, I asked whether I should join Costco, and on your recommendation, I did (and am quite happy). Several people mentioned the Costco-branded insurance (underwritten by Ameriprise). There are both auto and renter's lines of insurance available, and my existing policies with another carrier are coming up for renewal. How is the insurance coverage and customer service on the Costco policies (or with Ameriprise in general)? Did you actually save the money you were expecting? Are there other carriers we should consider?

Right now we have auto (for our rather old car) and renter's insurance through Liberty Mutual. We've never made a claim, and I've never priced out comparable policies. We like the peace of mind of having good coverage from a good company--we're not looking to be penny wise and pound foolish. But it would be nice to save a bit versus what we're paying.

Come to think of it, I really don't know anything whatsoever about shopping for insurance, either renter's or auto. Please hope me!
posted by Admiral Haddock to Work & Money (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I saved the money I was expecting until I had an at-fault accident.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:48 PM on November 8, 2013

I think it is well worthwhile to do a quick consult with Geico. Their prices are very very good and they are consistently rated top highly in customer service by the consumer raters. My insurance prices are notably better than others that I know. I have never had to make a claim, so I can not testify as to that, but as I say they are typically highly rated in by consumer reports (at least last time I looked). Very easy to contact and work with.
posted by jcworth at 1:19 PM on November 8, 2013

There's lots on the internet about how sucky Ameriprise is, including this NYTimes article. I had a crappy experience with their financial planning division (not their insurance division), including having to call my credit card company when they refused to stop monthly billing for services that I was no longer receiving. Don't know if any of this would apply to your situation, though.
posted by Melismata at 1:44 PM on November 8, 2013

My experience comparison shopping with Geico was that they came out notably worse than my policy with State Farm. But you know what? I know that because I got a quote.

Having made a claim with State Farm when my car was destroyed in a hurricane I will say that it made me skeptical about ever going for a smaller firm for a car. The process was pretty streamlined and there was no issue getting it checked and my check cut. My experience years later when someone with fly-by-night sounding insurance sideswiped my wife was less great, though still eventually resolved.

Mind you, that was also the difference between a claim through my own company vs someone else's at-fault. But if you feel like LM has good local representation then that might be worth something to you.

But why not compare? Get your last statement and get a quote for identical amounts of collision and liability. If it's notably better then you can decide if you want to look further into people's satisfaction with them and/or take it to LM and say "hey, this is way better than I am paying you - we need to talk about that."
posted by phearlez at 1:47 PM on November 8, 2013

The only "branded" insurance I'd consider is AAA's insurance. Costco does what it does well, but they just can't have as much control over a third party vendor.

Go with a name brand with good ratings.
posted by gjc at 1:58 PM on November 8, 2013

If you are eligible for USAA I highly recommend them. Their customer service is great and their prices are always competitive when I do a comparison.
posted by radioamy at 2:36 PM on November 8, 2013

Yeah, I was also coming in to suggest AAA. I use them and am very happy with them.
posted by Sara C. at 2:38 PM on November 8, 2013

I was coming to suggest USAA if you're eligible. I've been on GEICO and USAA and USAA has had fantastic service for me, including following an accident that totaled my car.
posted by immlass at 3:01 PM on November 8, 2013

Ok, so I have to say that when our minivan was totalled by a distracted driver, Geico was pretty great at dealing with the claim. Do get a quote from them, at least.

I've also had insurance through AAA (Commonwealth, I think it was called) when I lived in MA where Geico doesn't operate (not sure why - too much regulation? Drivers too awful?) and it was ok, I guess.
posted by RedOrGreen at 3:20 PM on November 8, 2013

I did some comparison shopping when my renewal time came around and like you I just have auto and renter's insurance. I found cheaper insurance but then called my AAA agent to discuss the price difference and they matched the lower price.
posted by cairnoflore at 4:19 PM on November 8, 2013

I used to work for the Auto and Home division of Ameriprise. I stick with them because of the longevity discount but wouldn't recommend them for new business.
posted by Twicketface at 8:21 AM on November 11, 2013

I find auto and home pricing so frustrating these days. Many companies seem to quote a low rate to get you in the door, and then they (not so) slowly raise rates in second and subsequent years. Before you know it, you've been with them for several years and when you call around, you find out that they are no longer such a good deal. That was my experience with Costco Ameriprise Auto/Home. The discount through Costco was not enough. So I got rid of them for Gieco. I'd also recommend getting quotes from Hartford and Liberty Mutual, along with Amica and State Farm. Various family members use those companies and report good rates.

Rates are so much a function of where you live, the car you drive, driving record, credit history and other stuff that the company that gave me the best rate may not give you the best rate. You just have to call around.
posted by Sonrisa at 10:32 PM on November 16, 2013

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