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Posts tagged with: Progressive

Saving Money on Car Insurance

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When I first started to blog here a couple years ago I saved a TON of money on car insurance by reducing our coverage to a more reasonable level (we were way over-insured at the time).

Since then I really haven’t given insurance much thought.

But after our trip to Texas over the Christmas vacation, I was left with a  few chips in my windshield. I went to a place to have the chips repaired and discovered that although my insurance covers repairs 100%, they do NOT cover full glass replacement. The person who was doing the repairs put a black light (or some kind of ultraviolet or something) on my car and showed me the truth….I thought I had 3 chips but I had about 15. ALL OVER the windshield. Plus I’ve had previous chips repaired, which are still visible. Basically, the windshield is a whole big mess.

At that time I also discovered that windshields are crazy-expensive! To replace it paying outright would be over a thousand dollar for my car make and model. What in the world!?

But the repair shop guy gave me a good tip. He said I needed to call and increase my insurance to cover full windshield replacement. “It will cost about 3 bucks a month,” he said. Plus, given the amount of driving we do (biannual cross-country trips:  every summer and winter), the odds of having future windshield chips are HIGH. The guy can continue repairing and repairing, but at some point the windshield really needs to be replaced.

This was back in early January and I just now got around to calling my insurance company to increase my insurance so it includes windshield replacement.

The repair guy was a little bit off (it’s more like $10/month, not $3/month), but the call actually ended up SAVING me money rather than costing me money!

The representative on the phone said we haven’t updated our personal information in several years. She asked where we worked and what we did and, lo and behold, entering in that information actually ended up saving us about $15/month. So now we were actually paying LESS even though I’d increased our coverage.

But wait, there’s more…

Initially I’d tried to add the windshield coverage online and couldn’t figure it out (which is why I ended up calling in and speaking to a representative). However, when I was online there was a little box that popped up saying I could save $160 if I paid in full rather than through monthly installments. I asked the representative what I was paying for an installment fee because I’d thought it was super low. She responded with “The installment fee is $1 per month.” So I was like, “Uhhhh, that’s $12 per year. So pre-paying saves 12 bucks. Why does it say online that I could save $160?!”

Turns out, not only do you save the installment fee, but they also give you one monthly payment FOR FREE (which is where the $160 came from – because that’s about one month worth of car insurance).

WHAT? Shut the front door! How have I not known about this all along?!?

They only pre-pay for 6 months at a time (not a full year), but I sure did throw down payment as quickly as I could grab my wallet! So this month we’ll have a pretty high insurance payment coming out of our budget, but this will end up saving us money in the long-run (and we’ll just have to increase our “semi-annual fees” monthly budget to account for this expense).

So as a lesson to all of you:  1) if you haven’t updated personal information in awhile, you might want to call and see if it can save you some money! and 2) find out if you can save serious money by pre-paying your insurance!  All along I’d just assumed the only savings was that measly $1/month installment fee. Who cares about that? But saving an entire month of car insurance is a bigger deal! I feel like it should be more heavily advertised! I’m not sure if all carriers have similar deals, but we’ve got Progressive so if they’re your insurance carrier, give them a call! (side note: they don’t know about the blog, this is not sponsored or anything, just giving a heads up to save some money!)

What’s the last big ticket item on which you were able to cash in some big savings?


I just saved 15% in 15 minutes!

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We’ve all seen the Geico commercials. “You can save 15% in 15 minutes on your car insurance!”

I particularly like the new commercials (from E-surance) poking fun at the old commercials. Their point is you can actually save more money in less time by using online car insurance services.

Well, in my quest to spend less so I can pay off debt faster, I thought car insurance would be a good place to start. We are very loyal customers of Progressive. Although we have good driving history, ourselves, we have both been very impressed with Progressive’s customer service whenever we’ve been in accidents (between the two of us, we’ve been rear-ended 3 times in the past 4 years). In some cases the other guys’ insurance companies have been a hassle to deal with. Progressive is awesome – they front us the money needed for repairs/rental car/etc., and then pursue the other insurance company to be reimbursed. We love it because we don’t have to wait for the “other guys” to approve a claim. Progressive does it automatically and then THEY deal with the headache of getting the other people to pay up. All of this to say, I am not interested in switching car insurance companies at this time. But I AM interested in saving money.

I was reading one of Suze Orman’s books, The Road to Wealth, and there’s a whole section about auto insurance. After reading what she had to say, I went to progressive.com to their online services (SO convenient!). Wouldn’t you know – we were over-insured!!

Exhibit A. Chris’ work truck. Chris drives a 2002 Ford pickup truck. It’s old, beat up, and has high miles….worth approximately $2,000. And for some reason we were paying comprehensive insurance on it! So I dropped the comprehensive/collision insurance.

Exhibit B. Suze Orman says, “those with fewer assets should consider changing their policy coverage to $15,000 for bodily injury per person, $30,000 bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 personal property coverage per accident.” I checked it out and we were insured for WAY more than that. Seeing as we have very few assets (in the unlikely scenario that someone would sue us from an accident), I lowered our coverage. I switched from $100,000 down to $15,000 (bodily injury per person), $300,000 down to $30,000 (bodily injury per accident), and from $50,000 down to $25,000 (personal property per accident). You’ll notice that I still kept our “personal property” coverage a little higher than Suze Orman suggested – mainly because the cost of cars is so expensive that $10,000 felt a little too low.

And guess what…..

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I saved WAY more than 15% in 15 minutes!

 

Our monthly bill was sliced from $128/month down to only $80/month! That’s a savings of $48/month ($576/year), or 37.5% lower than our original bill. And it only took about 5 minutes, if that!

So there you have it! I encourage all of you to check out your policies! I’m sure when I originally signed up for our coverage that I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I think I recall asking the insurance agent (who makes a commission, by the way) what they recommended and just going with that! Ha! I can’t wait to funnel that extra $576 per year toward debt! Wahoo!!!

How much do you pay for car insurance? When’s the last time you checked your policy and assessed your coverage?

Pssst: Check back this afternoon for another big announcement!