What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

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sean.mcgrath
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What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by sean.mcgrath »

Ok, I was triggered by msa6's post about "Huge escalations in cost of homeowners insurance:"
msa6 wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:22 am We have been with Chubb for 12 years. We live in Central VA, no claims history. Premium went up 49% earlier this year. I think there are several ways to describe the increase. Over the 12 years we've been with Chubb, the dwelling value in the policy has risen by a compounded 4.5% per year (5.0-5.5% during each of the last six years), and is now at what on its face looks to be an excessively high figure. Also, the premium's cost per $1,000 of insured dwelling value has risen dramatically, including a 45% increase this year, from $1.49 to $2.16.
For the last eleven years we have had a cottage in Michigan, and I have been stunned by the speed with which internet and insurance go up. I clearly have been in the Netherlands too long -- here these things go up by CPI or less. Family and friends tell me that you need to call them each year and threaten to quit, which I am far too lazy to do. So, my question is, which of the following three do you do? Feel free to comment as you like, but please also give me one of the three numbers. :wink:

1. I call them every year. I'm no idiot!
2. I can't be bothered, it is what it is.
3. Actually, there is another solution (Masonic handshake, Jedi mind trick, whatever)

Thanks!
Sean
stan1
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by stan1 »

sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:51 pm 1. I call them every year. I'm no idiot!
We did that with the cable company this year as we've done for the past 20 years. This year their answer was "sorry, we are no longer offering a lower rate". We would have to change to the phone company whose internet is significantly less reliable in our area. Maybe 5G will help us out but for now we are stuck with a monopoly.
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sean.mcgrath
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by sean.mcgrath »

stan1 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:55 pm
sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:51 pm 1. I call them every year. I'm no idiot!
We did that with the cable company this year as we've done for the past 20 years. This year their answer was "sorry, we are no longer offering a lower rate". We would have to change to the phone company whose internet is significantly less reliable in our area. Maybe 5G will help us out but for now we are stuck with a monopoly.
Thanks for the answer. I really find it horrible that you have to call them every year -- monopolies should be regulated. Dare I ask: any estimate on what you have save via twenty years of phone calls?
stan1
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by stan1 »

sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:02 pm
stan1 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:55 pm
sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:51 pm 1. I call them every year. I'm no idiot!
We did that with the cable company this year as we've done for the past 20 years. This year their answer was "sorry, we are no longer offering a lower rate". We would have to change to the phone company whose internet is significantly less reliable in our area. Maybe 5G will help us out but for now we are stuck with a monopoly.
Thanks for the answer. I really find it horrible that you have to call them every year -- monopolies should be regulated. Dare I ask: any estimate on what you have save via twenty years of phone calls?
We generally got about $20/month knocked off the new higher rate we were put on.
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FIREchief
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by FIREchief »

sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:51 pm 1. I call them every year. I'm no idiot!
Actually, it's 1b, I on-line chat them every other year. It takes about 10 minutes. I send them a message :

FIREchief: "I see my cable went up, we need to apply a promotion to bring it back down."
Cable company: "blah, blah, blah, we'll have to check to see if anything is available, blah, blah, blah" "Good news! I found one"
FIREchief: "I also need you to give me a free DVR again"
Cable company: "blah, blah, blah, okay, maybe we can do it one more time blah, blah, blah"
Cable company (mandatory at some point): "Oh, I see that you're not taking advantage of our super-duper, triple-offer that also gives you FREE FREE FREE phone! Thank goodness we caught that!"
FIREchief: "I don't want to pay you an extra $5 per month for the equivalent of a land line that nobody under 83 years old uses any more"
FIREchief: "Thanks. Talk to you again in 24 months."

I've been on this routine for years. Cable is dying. You don't even have to threaten them with cancellation any more. I used to, but haven't had to for several cycles. Have fun! 8-)
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

2. Everything considered, Fios gigabit is a bargain. I think it’s $70/month or so with autopay.

ETA: we lost Fios for a day last week, while my neighbor’s Comcast stayed up. I’m considering adding Comcast to minimize single point of failure; I think it’s $50 for 200mbps. My wife relies on internet.
Last edited by TomatoTomahto on Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by sailaway »

FIREchief wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:23 pm
sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:51 pm 1. I call them every year. I'm no idiot!
Actually, it's 1b, I on-line chat them every other year. It takes about 10 minutes. I send them a message :

FIREchief: "I see my cable went up, we need to apply a promotion to bring it back down."
Cable company: "blah, blah, blah, we'll have to check to see if anything is available, blah, blah, blah" "Good news! I found one"
FIREchief: "I also need you to give me a free DVR again"
Cable company: "blah, blah, blah, okay, maybe we can do it one more time blah, blah, blah"
Cable company (mandatory at some point): "Oh, I see that you're not taking advantage of our super-duper, triple-offer that also gives you FREE FREE FREE phone! Thank goodness we caught that!"
FIREchief: "I don't want to pay you an extra $5 per month for the equivalent of a land line that nobody under 83 years old uses any more"
FIREchief: "Thanks. Talk to you again in 24 months."

I've been on this routine for years. Cable is dying. You don't even have to threaten them with cancellation any more. I used to, but haven't had to for several cycles. Have fun! 8-)
Around here, you can't just threaten with cancellation, you have to call in to cancel.
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sean.mcgrath
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by sean.mcgrath »

Thanks all. And thanks, Tomato, I'm glad I'm not the only one - but it is still annoying.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:30 pm Thanks all. And thanks, Tomato, I'm glad I'm not the only one - but it is still annoying.
I added to my post, about adding Comcast. Having reliable internet is priceless; it is what allows my wife to work from home.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by livesoft »

We just got our very first monthly cable bill. It is $37.10. We dropped our landline which was more, but included slower internet and telephone. We do not have cable TV and use OTA TV just like we have since we were born. I suppose we could get visual media via the internet, but we have not paid extra for it so far.

Internet speed test shows 69 Mbps download through the cable modem and thence through a 10-year old wireless router to my 7-year-old laptop.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by bob60014 »

Re the cable, How much time do you actually stay at the cottage? Is it rented out or used when you're not there?

For insurance, shop it each year. The insurance companies love those long term policy owners that just pay without giving it any thought.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by slick_dealer_05 »

No cable tv or subscriptions here, only ATT fiber internet which is $50/month.
Sold car in 2020 and switched to bicycle so saving on car insurance.
Haven't found any solution for homeowner insurance...
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by tibbitts »

It's not very helpful to ask what "Americans" do; it might be more helpful to ask what people on your street do. Things like calling to cancel or actually canceling and restarting service with the same provider work for some people in some places, but won't for others. We have a new provider for internet, but there are no new-customer deals other than a connection charge discount of $100 (from the normal $200) - no break on monthly rates. Same for their TV and phone service. Just a couple of streets over from me the choice of providers is different than for me, even in the same city.

As for insurance, you often can't just change your home insurance, you need to change the entire package to get a lower net rate. I've found that sometimes what I'd gain in the home insurance I'd lose in the auto insurance.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by JediMisty »

stan1 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:55 pm
sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:51 pm 1. I call them every year. I'm no idiot!
We did that with the cable company this year as we've done for the past 20 years. This year their answer was "sorry, we are no longer offering a lower rate". We would have to change to the phone company whose internet is significantly less reliable in our area. Maybe 5G will help us out but for now we are stuck with a monopoly.
+1. I call every year usually in June threatening to quit. Finally got around to calling this month. No lower prices or discounts!!
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by neilpilot »

tibbitts wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:54 pm

As for insurance, you often can't just change your home insurance, you need to change the entire package to get a lower net rate. I've found that sometimes what I'd gain in the home insurance I'd lose in the auto insurance.
I used to believe that as well. Then I shopped and asked for a separate price on home and auto, as well as the bundled "discounted" price. I ended up writing auto+umbrella separate from auto, and saved hundreds without that bundled discount.
Last edited by neilpilot on Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by Dontridetheindexdown »

Homeowners insurance with a small, mutual insurance company.

During 20 years, average premium increase 4.7%/year, based on the company's prior year payout to all customers, and projected payouts.

State Corporation Commission approves annual rate increases.

Our insurance provider is our partner in risk management.

We talk regularly with our agent, and with company management, to discuss trends, technology, and safety.

We have $2500 deductible, and any claims would likely affect future premia.

I would most likely not make a claim unless it was well over $10,000, maybe more.

Cable (internet only) with a regional provider.

During 8 years, average cost increase of 9.5%/year.

Again, State Corporation Commission approves rate increases.

Initial cost to acquire cable for internet was several thousand dollars for "last mile" installation.

Previous satellite internet was also an expensive installation, and monthly costs were twice as much as cable, for half the speed.

Overall, we are delighted with our homeowners insurance and cable internet.

The benefit/cost for each of them is extremely high.

They each deliver a service that costs far less than if we were to produce it ourselves.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

I fully expect my house insurance will go up yet again simply because the rate earned by the insurance companies on their vast portfolio of fixed income securities has taken a big dip this year and now we probably have a few catastrophic claims to boot by other policy holders due to hurricanes and tornados.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by tibbitts »

neilpilot wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:59 pm
tibbitts wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:54 pm

As for insurance, you often can't just change your home insurance, you need to change the entire package to get a lower net rate. I've found that sometimes what I'd gain in the home insurance I'd lose in the auto insurance.
I used to believe that as well. They I shopped and asked for a separate price on home and auto, as well as the bundled "discounted" price. I ended up writing auto+umbrella separate from auto, and saved hundreds without that bundled discount.
It's not a belief, it's just something that true for some people, based on getting quotes as you said. Other people can benefit from unbundling.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by sean.mcgrath »

bob60014 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:44 pm Re the cable, How much time do you actually stay at the cottage? Is it rented out or used when you're not there?

For insurance, shop it each year. The insurance companies love those long term policy owners that just pay without giving it any thought.
Ugly question. I spend three weeks a year (pre-COVID), plus weddings and funerals. I do not rent it out, but counting us and family and friends, it is used about 100 days per year. We had ATT 100kbps for seven years or so, and I finally broke down to spending 10x on real internet. I will say my siblings are deeply appreciative. :happy
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by sean.mcgrath »

tibbitts wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:54 pm It's not very helpful to ask what "Americans" do; it might be more helpful to ask what people on your street do. Things like calling to cancel or actually canceling and restarting service with the same provider work for some people in some places, but won't for others. We have a new provider for internet, but there are no new-customer deals other than a connection charge discount of $100 (from the normal $200) - no break on monthly rates. Same for their TV and phone service. Just a couple of streets over from me the choice of providers is different than for me, even in the same city.

As for insurance, you often can't just change your home insurance, you need to change the entire package to get a lower net rate. I've found that sometimes what I'd gain in the home insurance I'd lose in the auto insurance.
Could be true, but I was interested in a general reply (and you didn't answer my question). I don't have an "entire package" -- it's home and a boat, that's it. They have started linking rates to my (non-existent) credit score, which is yet another annoyance. Perhaps I should run up debt, get a fake job in one of our subsidiaries, and open three credit card account to save $1,000 per year on home insurance. :)
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by 02nz »

I just did this yesterday for internet. When the year of "new customer" pricing is up, I set up a disconnect. Then I use my phone (not home wifi) to sign up for new service. About an hour of work (and interruption in service) total, so I pay $30/mo for internet instead of $66. Since I make a lot less than $432/hour after tax, that's time very well spent.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by michaeljc70 »

Calling your homeowners insurance company is very unlikely to do anything. You can shop around for a lower rate with other companies. Cable/internet you can call (always say you are cancelling....otherwise you won't get the best rate just asking for a discount) or switch providers (depending on area/availability). My spouse and I switched account names the last 2 years for internet. It saved about $250 so I think it is worth an hour or less.

The bottom line is if your time is worth more than you think you will gain, then you just have to accept it. The cable companies count on people like you.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by sean.mcgrath »

michaeljc70 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:59 pm Calling your homeowners insurance company is very unlikely to do anything. You can shop around for a lower rate with other companies. Cable/internet you can call (always say you are cancelling....otherwise you won't get the best rate just asking for a discount) or switch providers (depending on area/availability). My spouse and I switched account names the last 2 years for internet. It saved about $250 so I think it is worth an hour or less.

The bottom line is if your time is worth more than you think you will gain, then you just have to accept it. The cable companies count on people like you.
I am amazed that this is true, but all my family/friends say the same. I will say the local authorities were deeply negligent when they let people lay cables.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by jeffyscott »

FIREchief wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:23 pm Actually, it's 1b, I on-line chat them every other year. It takes about 10 minutes. I send them a message :

FIREchief: "I see my cable went up, we need to apply a promotion to bring it back down."
Cable company: "blah, blah, blah, we'll have to check to see if anything is available, blah, blah, blah" "Good news! I found one"
FIREchief: "I also need you to give me a free DVR again"
Cable company: "blah, blah, blah, okay, maybe we can do it one more time blah, blah, blah"
Cable company (mandatory at some point): "Oh, I see that you're not taking advantage of our super-duper, triple-offer that also gives you FREE FREE FREE phone! Thank goodness we caught that!"
FIREchief: "I don't want to pay you an extra $5 per month for the equivalent of a land line that nobody under 83 years old uses any more"
FIREchief: "Thanks. Talk to you again in 24 months."

I've been on this routine for years. Cable is dying. You don't even have to threaten them with cancellation any more. I used to, but haven't had to for several cycles. Have fun! 8-)
At least for those with internet only, this sort of thing or even calling no longer works here, it hasn't for years. When we did cancel and turn in our cable modem, we were told that if we ever come back we'd be eligible for a promo rate. There are some around here who switch back and forth between the cable company and ATT to get new promos, I think these are generally people with TV service, though.

The way you feel about the cable company's phone service is about how we feel about their TV service, it's worth less than the equipment cost to us.

Last fall I discovered that a local computer store resells ATT internet service with no games, no promo rates, ever. This is a thing I did not even know existed prior to last Oct or Nov. With the reseller our rate ($49) is about what the direct ATT month promo rate would be for internet only, but it's not promotional and also includes the gateway, for which I think ATT charges $10 per month. Also no data cap unlike the direct ATT service, that would be highly unlikely to ever be an issue, but it's nice to not have to think about it at all.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by Gnirk »

1. We research other insurance companies for both Homeowner's and Auto insurance every two years. Interestingly, our California desert's homeowner's insurance premium is 2X the cost of insurance for our primary home. And the insured value for the California desert home is less than half of our primary home! And it's always been this regardless of the insurance company. This doesn't include cost of our umbrella policy.

As far as cable is concerned, Spectrum is included in our HOA fees for the California home, and it's far less than if we were to pay it as an individual.
We have Comcast cable in Olympia, but ONLY because it is the only way to get the ROOT sports channel, which my DH watches and will not give up. I HATE DEALING WITH COMCAST!!!

Otherwise, I'd pull the plug and just have YouTube TV, Amazon Prime Video, Acorn TV, and PBS Passport. I currently have Prime Video, Acorn TV, and Netflix in addition to Comcast. I donate yearly to my local PBS station, so will call them about adding PBS passport.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by BogleFanGal »

neilpilot wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:59 pm
tibbitts wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:54 pm

As for insurance, you often can't just change your home insurance, you need to change the entire package to get a lower net rate. I've found that sometimes what I'd gain in the home insurance I'd lose in the auto insurance.
I used to believe that as well. Then I shopped and asked for a separate price on home and auto, as well as the bundled "discounted" price. I ended up writing auto+umbrella separate from auto, and saved hundreds without that bundled discount.
I tried the shopping around for insurance, but never did have much success, despite all the claims of big money savings I read on BH. I couldn't find a single company that offered umbrella without getting both auto and home through them - unless I wanted to pay a lot more for the privilege of splitting it up. Every time I shop around to compare home or auto, I never see the bargains...and I've been with my current insurer for more than 2 decades.

For those in disaster-prone areas with volatile insurers that come and go, I'd be cautious about ditching a reputable, stable one. It's too easy to end up with a cheaper rate, but tons more aggravation if/when a disaster hits and customers are all clamoring for attention at once. Smaller or less stable companies often have inadequate staffing and support when the you-know-what hits the fan: claims become a major aggravation when you need them most.
Last edited by BogleFanGal on Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by neilpilot »

BogleFanGal wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:36 pm
neilpilot wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:59 pm
tibbitts wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:54 pm

As for insurance, you often can't just change your home insurance, you need to change the entire package to get a lower net rate. I've found that sometimes what I'd gain in the home insurance I'd lose in the auto insurance.
I used to believe that as well. Then I shopped and asked for a separate price on home and auto, as well as the bundled "discounted" price. I ended up writing auto+umbrella separate from auto, and saved hundreds without that bundled discount.
I couldn't find a single company that offered umbrella without getting both auto and home through them - unless I wanted to pay a lot more for the privilege of splitting it up.

For those in disaster-prone areas with volatile insurers that come and go, be very careful ditching a reputable one. It's easy to end up with a cheaper rate, but tons more aggravation in the long run when a claim occurs and you need them most.
GEICO wrote auto & umbrella. Homeowners with Farmers. At least where I live, they both have good claims reputations and are not considered fly-by-night.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by BogleFanGal »

neilpilot wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:39 pm
BogleFanGal wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:36 pm
neilpilot wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:59 pm
tibbitts wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:54 pm

As for insurance, you often can't just change your home insurance, you need to change the entire package to get a lower net rate. I've found that sometimes what I'd gain in the home insurance I'd lose in the auto insurance.
I used to believe that as well. Then I shopped and asked for a separate price on home and auto, as well as the bundled "discounted" price. I ended up writing auto+umbrella separate from auto, and saved hundreds without that bundled discount.
I couldn't find a single company that offered umbrella without getting both auto and home through them - unless I wanted to pay a lot more for the privilege of splitting it up.

For those in disaster-prone areas with volatile insurers that come and go, be very careful ditching a reputable one. It's easy to end up with a cheaper rate, but tons more aggravation in the long run when a claim occurs and you need them most.
GEICO wrote auto & umbrella. Homeowners with Farmers. At least where I live, they both have good claims reputations and are not considered fly-by-night.
They are good...unfortunately way too expensive in my area.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by jeffyscott »

BogleFanGal wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:36 pm
neilpilot wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:59 pm
tibbitts wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:54 pm

As for insurance, you often can't just change your home insurance, you need to change the entire package to get a lower net rate. I've found that sometimes what I'd gain in the home insurance I'd lose in the auto insurance.
I used to believe that as well. Then I shopped and asked for a separate price on home and auto, as well as the bundled "discounted" price. I ended up writing auto+umbrella separate from auto, and saved hundreds without that bundled discount.
I couldn't find a single company that offered umbrella without getting both auto and home through them - unless I wanted to pay a lot more for the privilege of splitting it up.
I never even thought of trying to split it up. I have only shopped around for insurance maybe every 5 years, always inspired by a large rate increase. We currently use an independent agent, so maybe next year I will ask about that at the next renewal. That'll be our 3rd or 4th year with them, so it might be about time to at least ask them to check around to make sure current company is our best deal, anyway.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by stan1 »

JediMisty wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:57 pm +1. I call every year usually in June threatening to quit. Finally got around to calling this month. No lower prices or discounts!!
Let me guess, Spectrum?
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by bob60014 »

sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:40 pm
bob60014 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:44 pm Re the cable, How much time do you actually stay at the cottage? Is it rented out or used when you're not there?

For insurance, shop it each year. The insurance companies love those long term policy owners that just pay without giving it any thought.
Ugly question. I spend three weeks a year (pre-COVID), plus weddings and funerals. I do not rent it out, but counting us and family and friends, it is used about 100 days per year. We had ATT 100kbps for seven years or so, and I finally broke down to spending 10x on real internet. I will say my siblings are deeply appreciative. :happy
Unoccupied for 2/3 of the year, ouch. For long stretches when the internet is unused check with the provider, some have the option to suspend service but keeping the account open by paying a minimum fee. Some snowbirds do this.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by Dottie57 »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:27 pm 2. Everything considered, Fios gigabit is a bargain. I think it’s $70/month or so with autopay.

ETA: we lost Fios for a day last week, while my neighbor’s Comcast stayed up. I’m considering adding Comcast to minimize single point of failure; I think it’s $50 for 200mbps. My wife relies on internet.
I wish I could get FIOS. Centurylink and Comcast are the two in my area. TBH comcast is really pretty good. I just hate the tv monopoly.
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willthrill81
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by willthrill81 »

4. Shop around.

We shopped around quite a bit for a new home and auto insurer, and we were able to get equivalent coverage from a good insurer at about 30% less expense than our prior insurer.

The cost of our internet plan was permanently locked in place a couple of years ago. Unless we switch plans, it stays at the same nominal dollar amount.

We have no cable or satellite bill. We do have Netflix and periodically Hulu also, but they're a pittance compared to traditional TV.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
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dodecahedron
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by dodecahedron »

For insurance, for the past six years I have been with an independent agent who shops around on my behalf among multiple carriers for the best deal for my needs. Family-owned business that has been in operation for over 125 years, I personally know the owner and my account rep (the latter since he was a little boy that I mentored.)

My rates have been very stable during this time, and cost a lot less than my previous brand name carrier (Allstate.)

For cable, I have no interest in watching it, so no advice to give there.
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greg24
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by greg24 »

My cable company Mediacom makes us sign a two year "contract", which goes up in price at the end of year one. So I call at the end of year one, renegotiate and sign a new contract, and have to call back again next year. So, having to call every year now, I've developed a good plan.

When the bill goes up, I call and say "my bill went up, can you help me lower it?" I am really nice, and I don't bother with threatening to cancel.

I usually have to call 3 or 4 times. Every CSR is a totally different outcome. One will refuse to deal with me since the account is in my wife's name. One will insist I have the cheapest package they offer. As soon as I see where the call going, I thank them for their time, hang up, and call back. You get a new CSR every time, its a roll of the dice. Usually I finally get someone who finds me a package that gets my price basically back to what it was before the increase. The whole process takes about an hour of my time.

YMMW.
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Monsterflockster
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by Monsterflockster »

JediMisty wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:57 pm
stan1 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:55 pm
sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:51 pm 1. I call them every year. I'm no idiot!
We did that with the cable company this year as we've done for the past 20 years. This year their answer was "sorry, we are no longer offering a lower rate". We would have to change to the phone company whose internet is significantly less reliable in our area. Maybe 5G will help us out but for now we are stuck with a monopoly.
+1. I call every year usually in June threatening to quit. Finally got around to calling this month. No lower prices or discounts!!
This. We had a sweet deal... $10 internet for 50 mbs and $45 ATT Now. Our cell phone plan changed and magically all the discounts disappeared as they were apparently linked to our phone account? Well I called a bit peeved to say the least. Well there’s “nothing they can do” as there’s “no discounts available to give.”
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by marcwd »

02nz wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:47 pm I just did this yesterday for internet. When the year of "new customer" pricing is up, I set up a disconnect. Then I use my phone (not home wifi) to sign up for new service. About an hour of work (and interruption in service) total, so I pay $30/mo for internet instead of $66. Since I make a lot less than $432/hour after tax, that's time very well spent.
How does this work? Your ISP considers you eligible for a new service discount an hour after you disconnect service from that same ISP?
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gwe67
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by gwe67 »

For cable and mobile phone, I use Billshark to negotiate lower rates on my behalf. They do take 40% of the savings but it's worth it to me.
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JediMisty
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by JediMisty »

stan1 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:51 pm
JediMisty wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:57 pm +1. I call every year usually in June threatening to quit. Finally got around to calling this month. No lower prices or discounts!!
Let me guess, Spectrum?
Cable vision.
JediMisty
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by JediMisty »

Monsterflockster wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:22 pm
JediMisty wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:57 pm
stan1 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:55 pm
sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:51 pm 1. I call them every year. I'm no idiot!
We did that with the cable company this year as we've done for the past 20 years. This year their answer was "sorry, we are no longer offering a lower rate". We would have to change to the phone company whose internet is significantly less reliable in our area. Maybe 5G will help us out but for now we are stuck with a monopoly.
+1. I call every year usually in June threatening to quit. Finally got around to calling this month. No lower prices or discounts!!
This. We had a sweet deal... $10 internet for 50 mbs and $45 ATT Now. Our cell phone plan changed and magically all the discounts disappeared as they were apparently linked to our phone account? Well I called a bit peeved to say the least. Well there’s “nothing they can do” as there’s “no discounts available to give.”
Because they can. They know we don't want people in our homes right now to set up new service. And many of us are can't afford interrupted service anyway since we're WFH.
02nz
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by 02nz »

marcwd wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:28 pm
02nz wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:47 pm I just did this yesterday for internet. When the year of "new customer" pricing is up, I set up a disconnect. Then I use my phone (not home wifi) to sign up for new service. About an hour of work (and interruption in service) total, so I pay $30/mo for internet instead of $66. Since I make a lot less than $432/hour after tax, that's time very well spent.
How does this work? Your ISP considers you eligible for a new service discount an hour after you disconnect service from that same ISP?
Sign up with the name of a different member of your household.
marcwd
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by marcwd »

02nz wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:19 pm
marcwd wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:28 pm
02nz wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:47 pm I just did this yesterday for internet. When the year of "new customer" pricing is up, I set up a disconnect. Then I use my phone (not home wifi) to sign up for new service. About an hour of work (and interruption in service) total, so I pay $30/mo for internet instead of $66. Since I make a lot less than $432/hour after tax, that's time very well spent.
How does this work? Your ISP considers you eligible for a new service discount an hour after you disconnect service from that same ISP?
Sign up with the name of a different member of your household.
Ok, sounds too easy, but I’ll keep that in mind when I switch over to Comcast. Is there any verification done on that “different member”
of the household?
MBB_Boy
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by MBB_Boy »

sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:02 pm
stan1 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:55 pm
sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:51 pm 1. I call them every year. I'm no idiot!
We did that with the cable company this year as we've done for the past 20 years. This year their answer was "sorry, we are no longer offering a lower rate". We would have to change to the phone company whose internet is significantly less reliable in our area. Maybe 5G will help us out but for now we are stuck with a monopoly.
Thanks for the answer. I really find it horrible that you have to call them every year -- monopolies should be regulated. Dare I ask: any estimate on what you have save via twenty years of phone calls?
They ARE regulated - that's why they are allowed to have the monopoly. Same with electricity in a lot of areas. There are states / regions that De-regulate and then see lower prices as competition does what it does and consumers are allowed to choose.
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sean.mcgrath
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by sean.mcgrath »

MBB_Boy wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:16 am
sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:02 pm
stan1 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:55 pm
sean.mcgrath wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:51 pm 1. I call them every year. I'm no idiot!
We did that with the cable company this year as we've done for the past 20 years. This year their answer was "sorry, we are no longer offering a lower rate". We would have to change to the phone company whose internet is significantly less reliable in our area. Maybe 5G will help us out but for now we are stuck with a monopoly.
Thanks for the answer. I really find it horrible that you have to call them every year -- monopolies should be regulated. Dare I ask: any estimate on what you have save via twenty years of phone calls?
They ARE regulated - that's why they are allowed to have the monopoly. Same with electricity in a lot of areas. There are states / regions that De-regulate and then see lower prices as competition does what it does and consumers are allowed to choose.
Everything is regulated to some extent. Their prices should be regulated.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by michaeljc70 »

Where I live, we can use Comcast or AT&T for internet. AT&T tends to be more expensive. I just looked and all the internet only plans have a 1 year promo rate of $50 whether you get 1000Mbps, 100Mbps or 25Mbps which makes little sense. I pay $20/mo on Comcast for 25Mbps.
02nz
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by 02nz »

marcwd wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:38 pm
02nz wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:19 pm
marcwd wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:28 pm
02nz wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:47 pm I just did this yesterday for internet. When the year of "new customer" pricing is up, I set up a disconnect. Then I use my phone (not home wifi) to sign up for new service. About an hour of work (and interruption in service) total, so I pay $30/mo for internet instead of $66. Since I make a lot less than $432/hour after tax, that's time very well spent.
How does this work? Your ISP considers you eligible for a new service discount an hour after you disconnect service from that same ISP?
Sign up with the name of a different member of your household.
Ok, sounds too easy, but I’ll keep that in mind when I switch over to Comcast. Is there any verification done on that “different member”
of the household?
YMMV depending on ISP. My experience with 3 different ISPs is no generally they don't care as long as it's a different name/SSN (since usually they'll do a credit check).
marcwd
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by marcwd »

02nz wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:29 pm
marcwd wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:38 pm
02nz wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:19 pm
marcwd wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:28 pm
02nz wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:47 pm I just did this yesterday for internet. When the year of "new customer" pricing is up, I set up a disconnect. Then I use my phone (not home wifi) to sign up for new service. About an hour of work (and interruption in service) total, so I pay $30/mo for internet instead of $66. Since I make a lot less than $432/hour after tax, that's time very well spent.
How does this work? Your ISP considers you eligible for a new service discount an hour after you disconnect service from that same ISP?


Sign up with the name of a different member of your household.
Ok, sounds too easy, but I’ll keep that in mind when I switch over to Comcast. Is there any verification done on that “different member”
of the household?
YMMV depending on ISP. My experience with 3 different ISPs is no generally they don't care as long as it's a different name/SSN (since usually they'll do a credit check).
OK, I can provide that. :wink:
Lalamimi
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by Lalamimi »

We dropped TV (ATT Uverse at the time) and only have basic internet. We check every year, but Allstate is the winner. Changed cell phones from AT&T to Consumer Cellular.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by jeffyscott »

michaeljc70 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:20 pm Where I live, we can use Comcast or AT&T for internet. AT&T tends to be more expensive. I just looked and all the internet only plans have a 1 year promo rate of $50 whether you get 1000Mbps, 100Mbps or 25Mbps which makes little sense. I pay $20/mo on Comcast for 25Mbps.
With ATT, I believe the 1000 Mbps is fiber and has very limited availability. With the regular service, speed depends on how far you are from a node, our house can only get the 25 Mbps service (tests at close to 30), if you go down the block maybe about 1/2 way to the node then 50 becomes available. They probably just want to hook you on the highest available speed for your location.

Our cable company (Spectrum) does not even offer any lower tier service, it's 200 Mbps at about $75 per month (incl. taxes and fees) or nothing.
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Re: What do Americans really do about cable and homeowners insurance?

Post by bhsince87 »

Where we live in PA, cable has gone up maybe 2-3% a year over the past 10 years. In the fine print, most of that is called "local sports viewing fees".

And our homeowners insurance has been steady for many years.

Keep in mind that as property values increase (and they have gone up spectacularly in many areas, not much here), replacement cost increases, so the insurance fees must increase as well.
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