(Privately) shopping for insurance

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jaybee9
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:36 pm

(Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by jaybee9 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:11 pm

I have neglected to shop around for insurance (home, auto; need to add umbrella) for some time now. One reason that I have dragged my feet on it is because my perception is companies want a lot of information in order to generate a quote. I cringe at having to give out any more personal information than needs be. Obviously, I would need to give out information to the company I decide to go with. Is it possible to get good quotes from several different companies in a generic way (i.e. specifying desired coverage) without having to give out too much personal information? If anyone can share any tips and pointers on good ways to do this that would be appreciated.

veindoc
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Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by veindoc » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:16 pm

Unfortunately they need a lot of personal information on you to assess risk: age birthdate, SSN, drivers license, education, occupation, salary and on and on. If you find divulging your personal information to multiple people distasteful, just go through an insurance broker. You share that information with that one person and they will provide you with several options.

Sadly, a lot of that information is retained. I was shopping for for auto insurance last year. I simply put my name and address in and the application auto populated with our vehicle information including VIN’s. My husband’s name also was pre-filled. It was odd and disconcerting, but o truly believe privacy is mostly a myth.

jaybee9
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Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by jaybee9 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:22 pm

veindoc wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:16 pm
I simply put my name and address in and the application auto populated with our vehicle information including VIN’s. My husband’s name also was pre-filled.
:shock:

jaybee9
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:36 pm

Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by jaybee9 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:15 pm

As a follow up to my original question, I happened to come across this article today about shopping for car insurance that I thought I would share:

http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/12/pf/auto ... index.html

It asserts that insurance companies and aggregators sell peoples' private information, which I don't have any difficulty believing. Here's the key takeaway:

"The safest route is to be targeted and intentional about your search.

By going directly to a well rated insurance company, it should be clear to you the specific firm you're dealing with. Be sure to ask about its privacy policy if you have questions about how your information will be used. Policies may vary by company and by state. Also, you may still need to opt out of having your information shared with other companies while on the site."

This is what I was thinking to do as well. It's tempting to go to a comparison site but not worth it IMO. I don't think it wise to spread my private information any more than it already may be.

denovo
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Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by denovo » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:44 am

veindoc wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:16 pm
Unfortunately they need a lot of personal information on you to assess risk: age birthdate, SSN, drivers license, education, occupation, salary and on and on. If you find divulging your personal information to multiple people distasteful, just go through an insurance broker. You share that information with that one person and they will provide you with several options.
The broker needs to provide that info to all the companies, using a middle-man doesn't address OP's concerns.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

boglerdude
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Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by boglerdude » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:46 am

Just avoid using debit cards (harder to recover from fraud)

Freeze your credit

And set up instant alerts for all activity on your financial accounts

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stickman731
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Location: New Jersey

Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by stickman731 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:00 am

One word of caution - make sure you know your coverage in year 1 of the change. I had a friend change home insurance 4 month before Superstorm Sandy to save a few hundred dollars on his policy. After the storm, he had to fight for over four years with added lawyers fees but eventually with help from the state agency he got his monies. For me, I was with one company for 10 years and got resolved in 30 days.

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goingup
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Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by goingup » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:17 am

I'm also loathe to give out personal info, email address, etc. We use USAA for primary home, auto, life and have never shopped it. But if I were to compare, I'd call Amica and reach out to a local State Farm or Farmers agent. Typing in my info into E-Insurance so I can be spammed for the rest of my days does not interest me. I'd just get one or 2 quotes from reputable insurers.

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lthenderson
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Location: Iowa

Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by lthenderson » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:24 am

I have insurance through a small regional company. Because there is no automated forms for insurance quotes, they only get the information they need to provide you with a quote. When you go with the large international companies, their online quote forms have to be generic enough to capture enough information to satisfy any type of insurance and so you have to give up more information than might be needed.

veindoc
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Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by veindoc » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:12 pm

denovo wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:44 am
veindoc wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:16 pm
Unfortunately they need a lot of personal information on you to assess risk: age birthdate, SSN, drivers license, education, occupation, salary and on and on. If you find divulging your personal information to multiple people distasteful, just go through an insurance broker. You share that information with that one person and they will provide you with several options.
The broker needs to provide that info to all the companies, using a middle-man doesn't address OP's concerns.
Using a middle-man means the OP just have to give the info out ONCE rather than regurgitate it multiple times to multiple people. The information has to be given out regardless; using a middle man may lessen the OP’s discomfort.

denovo
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Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by denovo » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:38 pm

veindoc wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:12 pm
denovo wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:44 am
veindoc wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:16 pm
Unfortunately they need a lot of personal information on you to assess risk: age birthdate, SSN, drivers license, education, occupation, salary and on and on. If you find divulging your personal information to multiple people distasteful, just go through an insurance broker. You share that information with that one person and they will provide you with several options.
The broker needs to provide that info to all the companies, using a middle-man doesn't address OP's concerns.
Using a middle-man means the OP just have to give the info out ONCE rather than regurgitate it multiple times to multiple people. The information has to be given out regardless; using a middle man may lessen the OP’s discomfort.
He doesn't want the insurance companies to have the information. Giving it only once to the broker may give him an illusion that the info hasn't been given to all the companies that he needs to shop around with, but that's it.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

veindoc
Posts: 378
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:04 pm

Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by veindoc » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:02 pm

denovo wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:38 pm
veindoc wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:12 pm
denovo wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:44 am
veindoc wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:16 pm
Unfortunately they need a lot of personal information on you to assess risk: age birthdate, SSN, drivers license, education, occupation, salary and on and on. If you find divulging your personal information to multiple people distasteful, just go through an insurance broker. You share that information with that one person and they will provide you with several options.
The broker needs to provide that info to all the companies, using a middle-man doesn't address OP's concerns.
Using a middle-man means the OP just have to give the info out ONCE rather than regurgitate it multiple times to multiple people. The information has to be given out regardless; using a middle man may lessen the OP’s discomfort.
He doesn't want the insurance companies to have the information. Giving it only once to the broker may give him an illusion that the info hasn't been given to all the companies that he needs to shop around with, but that's it.

My impression is that using a middle man they solicit generic quotes for a two story colonial, roof age <5 yrs, with no previous claims etc etc with replacement cost of x, liability of x, personal property value of x. The middle man would not necessarily have to give out the address of the home or info of the property owner to get initial quotes. That info would only be divulged once the application was made to the company with the best initial quote. I may be wrong but when I have shopped for life and disability I went with an insurance agent who gave me several options. The insurance co that eventually got my business got all my information for the first time. I did not do this for home/auto but instead chose the painful way by calling various companies and they wanted all the info right off the bat, although they did let me get away without giving out my SSN. Using the agent seemed more efficient and less invasive.

jaybee9
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:36 pm

Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by jaybee9 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:47 pm

So an independent insurance broker is a possibility I suppose. Some years ago I used one to help us get auto insurance and had a bad experience with one of the companies he recommended to us. Thereafter I switched to dealing direct with nationally known insurers. I suppose it doesn't hurt to investigate that route again.

talzara
Posts: 624
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by talzara » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:41 am

veindoc wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:02 pm
My impression is that using a middle man they solicit generic quotes for a two story colonial, roof age <5 yrs, with no previous claims etc etc with replacement cost of x, liability of x, personal property value of x. The middle man would not necessarily have to give out the address of the home or info of the property owner to get initial quotes. That info would only be divulged once the application was made to the company with the best initial quote. I may be wrong but when I have shopped for life and disability I went with an insurance agent who gave me several options. The insurance co that eventually got my business got all my information for the first time. I did not do this for home/auto but instead chose the painful way by calling various companies and they wanted all the info right off the bat, although they did let me get away without giving out my SSN. Using the agent seemed more efficient and less invasive.
You can't get accurate quotes without giving that information to the insurance companies.

Social Security Number is needed to pull credit history. Since credit history can change the premium by a factor of 2, the quotes will not be accurate.

Street address is needed to calculate the location factor. Territories are not always assigned based on ZIP code. Some companies use census blocks, some use a grid system, and some use their own territorial divisions. They need to know exactly where your house is.

veindoc
Posts: 378
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:04 pm

Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by veindoc » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:16 pm

talzara wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:41 am
veindoc wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:02 pm
My impression is that using a middle man they solicit generic quotes for a two story colonial, roof age <5 yrs, with no previous claims etc etc with replacement cost of x, liability of x, personal property value of x. The middle man would not necessarily have to give out the address of the home or info of the property owner to get initial quotes. That info would only be divulged once the application was made to the company with the best initial quote. I may be wrong but when I have shopped for life and disability I went with an insurance agent who gave me several options. The insurance co that eventually got my business got all my information for the first time. I did not do this for home/auto but instead chose the painful way by calling various companies and they wanted all the info right off the bat, although they did let me get away without giving out my SSN. Using the agent seemed more efficient and less invasive.
You can't get accurate quotes without giving that information to the insurance companies.

Social Security Number is needed to pull credit history. Since credit history can change the premium by a factor of 2, the quotes will not be accurate.

Street address is needed to calculate the location factor. Territories are not always assigned based on ZIP code. Some companies use census blocks, some use a grid system, and some use their own territorial divisions. They need to know exactly where your house is.
If you have excellent credit, I don't think your first point matters much. If your credit is sub-par, then I guess giving out that information would be essential to getting a more accurate quote. The quote I received from the insurance broker was the same as the final invoice. My experience was with life/disability, so can't really speak to the street address issue. What you are saying is likely true.

talzara
Posts: 624
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: (Privately) shopping for insurance

Post by talzara » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:19 am

veindoc wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:16 pm
If you have excellent credit, I don't think your first point matters much. If your credit is sub-par, then I guess giving out that information would be essential to getting a more accurate quote. The quote I received from the insurance broker was the same as the final invoice. My experience was with life/disability, so can't really speak to the street address issue. What you are saying is likely true.
If you have excellent credit, then your insurance quote will be higher than the true premium. Without your Social Security Number, they dwn't use the best credit score. They'll use a neutral score.

Life insurance and disability insurance do not use credit history. That's why your premium didn't change.

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