What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

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INTRESIS
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What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by INTRESIS »

I need to switch. My current insurer has issues.
boglerdude
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by boglerdude »

The cheapest one, unless your house is high end. Shop them all and self-insure for as much as you can.
fourwheelcycle
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by fourwheelcycle »

boglerdude wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:52 am The cheapest one, unless your house is high end. Shop them all and self-insure for as much as you can.
I suspect boglerdude's is the right answer. I have been with AMICA for forty-six years for cars, home, and umbrella. I have had four car claims and one house claim during that period, none of them major. Importantly to me, all of my claims experiences have been problem free. At times I have price-compared and AMICA looked pretty good; now I just stay with them because I know them. At some emotional level, I think I may get better service due to my loyalty record, but I realize they don't really know me or recognize me when I call with questions. Recently, responding to an industry trend, I think, they required me to switch to six month billing on car insurance - at my advancing age I do not like change.

I also used Progressive for thirty-five years for my woods and street motorcycles. I never made any claims, but their price was good and their phone service was also very good.
FireFool
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by FireFool »

In general I agree with the importance of price in making your insurance decision, but I'd add that claims servicing reputation also matters (talk with your friends in regards to any claims experiences they may have had and sort out the bad experiences that can be attributed to them buying/under-buying correct coverage). Also addressing the comment in regards to another poster thinking they'll get better claims service due to being a long term customer - the reality is that service HAS to be consistent regardless of tenure and is primarily dictated by the policy contract. The state's department of insurance mandates non-discriminatory claims handling practices i.e. everyone gets treated the same.
jbuzolich
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by jbuzolich »

Amica. Been with them for many years now on multiple policy types. Two total loss car accidents over the years and the payout was quick and smooth. I'm feeling they are expensive now and tempted to get quotes on our policies which I've not done in over ten years, but their reliability makes me very reluctant in considering others.
BGeste
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by BGeste »

Geico.

I switched my auto, home, umbrella policies from USAA to Geico about two years ago. I saved about 50%. Geico's service has been excellent. In addition, my auto rates went down in the last year.

When I switched to Geico I got quotes from many other companies. Overall Geico had the best prices, service, website, etc.
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Munir
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by Munir »

Geico. Good service. Cheapest rates.
softwaregeek
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by softwaregeek »

There certainly is a tier where you get much better service and claims are more generously paid out - Chubb, Pure, Nationwide Private Client (As distinct from mass-Market Nationwide). However, expect to pay significantly more for the service, if your account is big enough for them to do business. For reference, Pure starts at $1M rebuilding cost on home and their umbrella policy amount started at $5M and went to $50M.

But with most of the mass market insurers, according to JD Power there seems to be little correlation between service and price. For example, Geico is the cheapest for me for Car insurance. But they have above average JD Power satisfaction on claims. Whereas, Travelers, which is generally viewed as a 'better' brand and company, gets below average scores on Homeowners and just average on Auto.

More important than the company is the policy. The bigger risk is underinsurance. For example, I prefer to raise my deductibles and also my coverage limits. A $2500 deductible on an auto accident for me is an irritant, but won't break me. But I have an umbrella for extra coverage.

Make sure you also have the proper endorsements.

Consider the following for homeowners:
1. Water backup
2. Replacement cost coverage inside and out
3. Code coverage endorsement...ie, in my state, if over 50% of square feet remodeled, requirement is to put in sprinkler system. I could also be forced to do seismic upgrades.

For Auto:
1. Match policy limit to umbrella, if necessary.
2. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist.
3. Rental car, if necessary.
phxjcc
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by phxjcc »

If in CA, Hartford has the best EQ insurance.
like2read
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by like2read »

INTRESIS wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:30 am I need to switch. My current insurer has issues.
If you have the time, check out Checkbook magazine. Our local library carries it. They do a great survey by region on things like cost, company health and customer service. They also list sample customers types - i.e. number of cars, age of drivers, etc.

For our area Amica and Erie had some of the best metrics. We ended up switching from Allstate to Erie and saved about 1/3 total on home/auto/umbrella.

Also, many other threads on this board on this topic. One of the main take aways - shop your policies every few years. Otherwise, like us, your rates may have crept up to the point of being uncompetitive.

l2r
Downtown1
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by Downtown1 »

softwaregeek wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:08 pm There certainly is a tier where you get much better service and claims are more generously paid out - Chubb, Pure, Nationwide Private Client (As distinct from mass-Market Nationwide). However, expect to pay significantly more for the service, if your account is big enough for them to do business. For reference, Pure starts at $1M rebuilding cost on home and their umbrella policy amount started at $5M and went to $50M.

But with most of the mass market insurers, according to JD Power there seems to be little correlation between service and price. For example, Geico is the cheapest for me for Car insurance. But they have above average JD Power satisfaction on claims. Whereas, Travelers, which is generally viewed as a 'better' brand and company, gets below average scores on Homeowners and just average on Auto.

More important than the company is the policy. The bigger risk is underinsurance. For example, I prefer to raise my deductibles and also my coverage limits. A $2500 deductible on an auto accident for me is an irritant, but won't break me. But I have an umbrella for extra coverage.

Make sure you also have the proper endorsements.

Consider the following for homeowners:
1. Water backup
2. Replacement cost coverage inside and out
3. Code coverage endorsement...ie, in my state, if over 50% of square feet remodeled, requirement is to put in sprinkler system. I could also be forced to do seismic upgrades.

For Auto:
1. Match policy limit to umbrella, if necessary.
2. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist.
3. Rental car, if necessary.
I have been with Safeco over 10 years and while no complaints I will shop it this year and see what the difference is in premium and coverage with the higher end companies. I do hear companies like AIG and Chubb are pulling out / substantially increasing premiums in CA so may not be best time to switch.
barberakb
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by barberakb »

I like USAA
UALflyer
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by UALflyer »

boglerdude wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:52 am The cheapest one, unless your house is high end. Shop them all and self-insure for as much as you can.
This is exactly the way that so many people out there shop for insurance and then, when they file a claim, discover a coverage hole that could've been addressed by purchasing an inexpensive endorsement or using a different company.

As I've explained in other threads, your contractual features matter a ton and should be the first thing that you look at. If Company A is at the top of the ratings chart, but only offers you an HO-3 policy, covers your roof at its actual cash value, which factors in its depreciation, and only provides $10K in coverage for water and sewer backups, while Company B is in the middle of the pack, but offers you an HO-5 policy, offers full replacement cost coverage for your roof and provides $100K in coverage for water and sewer backups, you need to fully appreciate these very significant coverage differences, which, in the event of a claim, can result in very different payouts. It doesn't matter how well Company A is rated, as when your contractual coverage is clearly limited, when it comes time to file a claim, that contractual limitation is the beginning and the end of the conversation.

In the above example, the person may've been able to get the best of both worlds, as Company A may've actually been able to provide comparable coverage through an endorsement and/or with additional documentation and underwriting approval. If the person did not know what to ask though, he/she would not have known any better.

Regardless of what market segment you happen to be in, while company reputation is quite important, you need to first look at and compare your contractual features, which doesn't just mean looking at the deductibles.
sport
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by sport »

I have been happy with State Farm. Claims experience has been very good and the prices seem to be reasonable.
UALflyer
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by UALflyer »

BGeste wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:55 am Geico.

I switched my auto, home, umbrella policies from USAA to Geico about two years ago. I saved about 50%. Geico's service has been excellent. In addition, my auto rates went down in the last year.

When I switched to Geico I got quotes from many other companies. Overall Geico had the best prices, service, website, etc.
As I've mentioned to you in other threads, GEICO (it's an acronym, so all the letters are capital) is an auto insurance company and has never had a homeowner's insurance arm. GEICO just has an independent insurance agency that sells third party insurance policies issued by unaffiliated companies, and in doing so they act in the same capacity as any other independent insurance agent.

So, when you praise GEICO for its HO coverage, it's like praising your independent agent (because that's exactly what GEICO is when you purchase your HO coverage through them). If and when you have an HO claim, it will be the HO carrier and its contractual features and policy handling that will determine how well your claim is handled. Likewise, even if a person happens to be happy with the way that GEICO might've handled his/her auto claim, this tells you absolutely nothing about the way that a homeowner's insurance claim would be handled, as it'll be done by a totally different company.
Last edited by UALflyer on Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
UALflyer
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by UALflyer »

softwaregeek wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:08 pm There certainly is a tier where you get much better service and claims are more generously paid out - Chubb, Pure, Nationwide Private Client (As distinct from mass-Market Nationwide). However, expect to pay significantly more for the service, if your account is big enough for them to do business. For reference, Pure starts at $1M rebuilding cost on home and their umbrella policy amount started at $5M and went to $50M.
As an fyi, PURE, just like every other HNW carrier out there, does offer $1MM umbrella policies. They just don't give you an umbrella discount on the HO and auto side until your umbrella is at a $5MM level.
But with most of the mass market insurers, according to JD Power there seems to be little correlation between service and price. For example, Geico is the cheapest for me for Car insurance. But they have above average JD Power satisfaction on claims. Whereas, Travelers, which is generally viewed as a 'better' brand and company, gets below average scores on Homeowners and just average on Auto.
Although I wholeheartedly agree that price has nothing to do with coverage quality, I don't find the JD Power surveys particularly helpful. GEICO and Travelers, for instance, generally target very different types of customers, not to mention the fact that Travelers, depending on the state and the driver profiles, is able to offer more comprehensive contractual features. GEICO does not, as it is a non-standard company, which primarily targets higher risk drivers. This isn't intended as an insult to any GEICO customers, as plenty of them have superb driving records. GEICO's pricing structure is just very attractive to those who don't fit the preferred and ultra-preferred driver profile that other insurance companies target, which is also the reason that GEICO only offers 6 month policies (in the states where it's allowed), which allows them to raise rates or kick you out that much faster, does not ever pay for OEM parts and does not offer the option of purchasing an endorsement for it, does not ever pay for OEM windshields, etc...
A $2500 deductible on an auto accident for me is an irritant, but won't break me.
Just remember that a higher auto deductible also means that if you find yourself in a smaller accident where the other driver is at fault, and that driver's insurance company takes forever to "investigate" the claim, if the damage is below your $2,500 deductible, you won't be able to file with your insurance company, get a rental car, get the repairs under way and then get your insurance company to subrogate against the other insurance company. Instead, you'll be without a rental car and at the mercy of the other driver's insurance company.
Last edited by UALflyer on Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
blackholescion
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by blackholescion »

One company no one has mentioned is Cincinnati insurance. They are considered a higher tier (Pure/Chubb level) but more reasonably priced. They have annual policies and every high end feature you could want. Agreed value on vehicles, full replacement (not 125% or 150% coverage) if your home is over 500k value, OE parts, and even underinsured/uninsured umbrella coverage. They aren’t much more expensive than the State Farm and Erie’s of the world at an annual level but provide much better service at claim time. In fact, Cincinnati was the same price as GEICO for me. I never had an issue with GEICO until they kept increasing rates for inexplicable reasons.
UALflyer
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by UALflyer »

blackholescion wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:33 pm One company no one has mentioned is Cincinnati insurance. They are considered a higher tier (Pure/Chubb level) but more reasonably priced. They have annual policies and every high end feature you could want. Agreed value on vehicles, full replacement (not 125% or 150% coverage) if your home is over 500k value, OE parts, and even underinsured/uninsured umbrella coverage. They aren’t much more expensive than the State Farm and Erie’s of the world at an annual level but provide much better service at claim time. In fact, Cincinnati was the same price as GEICO for me. I never had an issue with GEICO until they kept increasing rates for inexplicable reasons.
Cincinnati is an excellent insurance carrier, which targets upscale properties and offers superb contractual features. On the HO side, the availability of their contractual features depends on your dwelling value. The same is true for other companies like it, such as Travelers (Travelers has a high value HO product), Hanover, Encompass, etc...

As a word of caution though, when you talk about "reasonably priced" companies, you are just talking about your specific situation. Insurance pricing is so individualized that the lowest priced company for you could easily end up being the most expensive company for your next door neighbor.
HobbesMB
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by HobbesMB »

UALflyer wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:44 pm In the above example, the person may've been able to get the best of both worlds, as Company A may've actually been able to provide comparable coverage through an endorsement and/or with additional documentation and underwriting approval. If the person did not know what to ask though, he/she would not have known any better.

Regardless of what market segment you happen to be in, while company reputation is quite important, you need to first look at and compare your contractual features, which doesn't just mean looking at the deductibles.
I asked this in another thread where you raised these helpful points, but you didn't get a chance to respond. So I'm reposting it here.

How would one properly educate themselves on all of these factors if they were shopping for insurance, outside of going through an agent?
UALflyer
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by UALflyer »

HobbesMB wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:41 am
UALflyer wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:44 pm In the above example, the person may've been able to get the best of both worlds, as Company A may've actually been able to provide comparable coverage through an endorsement and/or with additional documentation and underwriting approval. If the person did not know what to ask though, he/she would not have known any better.

Regardless of what market segment you happen to be in, while company reputation is quite important, you need to first look at and compare your contractual features, which doesn't just mean looking at the deductibles.
I asked this in another thread where you raised these helpful points, but you didn't get a chance to respond. So I'm reposting it here.

How would one properly educate themselves on all of these factors if they were shopping for insurance, outside of going through an agent?
Sorry, I don't have a good answer to your question. In my case, I've been interested in these topics for quite some time, so I've talked to knowledgeable agents and underwriters, read industry publications, looked up documents that compare policy features, etc...
mnsportsgeek
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by mnsportsgeek »

I've been happy with Geico outside of renters insurance. When I used to own a home, Geico (Liberty Mutual) home owners insurance was pretty competitive . However, when I got quoted for renters it was obnoxiously high, so I went with State Farm for renters.

So right now I only carry Umbrella and Auto through Geico, but I've been happy with them other than them attempting to overcharge me for renter's insurance.
avidracer
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by avidracer »

BGeste wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:55 am Geico.

I switched my auto, home, umbrella policies from USAA to Geico about two years ago. I saved about 50%. Geico's service has been excellent. In addition, my auto rates went down in the last year.

When I switched to Geico I got quotes from many other companies. Overall Geico had the best prices, service, website, etc.
While I am still wtih GEICO for my auto + home - the home portion of it is via different companies: mine is through stillwater and I have heard here in BG - not pleasant interactions during the claim process. I am shopping around and see hippo to be decent. However unsure how my car insurance will get dinged if I decouple home alone from GEICO services.
hudson
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by hudson »

HobbesMB wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:41 am How would one properly educate themselves on all of these factors if they were shopping for insurance, outside of going through an agent?
I haven't found a way....if there's an answer it will likely pop up here.

The experience of one....
I've been with State Farm, USAA, Nationwide, GEICO, and now an independent agent....for maybe 5 years.
I've priced shopped most of the companies listed above.
My current agent uses Penn National for home and auto. She switched me from another company to get a better deal.
After 2 years, I shopped around with all of the local insurance companies....independent and other. They couldn't touch my agent's prices or policy. The price hasn't gone up much. Many of my previous insurers raised rates pretty much after the first year or two...causing me to shop around.

Bottom Line: The best answer I've found is to call around. When I do, I have key pages of my policies ready to text, email, or fax...prices whited out if requested. I've found that calling works better than using the internet; the back and forth communication is more effective for me.
GlennK
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by GlennK »

Erie Insurance if they are available in your area.

When my mini-van burned up on vacation (literally burned up - still not sure what started it), they went above and beyond to get us home. Allowed me to rent a SUV for the drive home, paid to ship the extra supplies we could not fit in the SUV, and also allowed a rental while we finished our vacation. I have since price shopped, but I would be hard pressed to leave them after that experience. Luckily, both times they were still the least expensive in my area.
UALflyer
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by UALflyer »

hudson wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:12 amBottom Line: The best answer I've found is to call around. When I do, I have key pages of my policies ready to text, email, or fax...prices whited out if requested. I've found that calling works better than using the internet; the back and forth communication is more effective for me.
That's just price shopping by comparing your basic coverage limits and deductibles. Unfortunately, this approach will frequently cause you to miss coverage limitations and potential ways to address them.

For instance, do you check to see whether you're being quoted an HO-3 based policy or an HO-5 based one? If you only look at the coverage limits and deductibles, you'll miss this difference. With a number of companies, since most people only focus on price, by default they only quote the cheapest policy form (HO-3). Upon request, they may still be willing to offer an HO-5 based policy (sometimes it requires additional questions and underwriting approval), and the additional premium may be next to nothing, but if you don't know the difference, you'll never realize that it's not an apples to apples comparison.

Likewise, with some companies, certain coverages are automatically built into the policies, while with others you need to purchase an endorsement. Further, more and more companies are putting in various exclusions into their policies that should be inquired about up front. You need to have a list of hot button issues that you ask about up front, which not only saves time (if a company does not offer a particular coverage, there's no point in wasting your time going through the entire quote), but also avoids expensive surprises down the road.
ChicagoBear7
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by ChicagoBear7 »

UALflyer wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:48 am
HobbesMB wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:41 am
UALflyer wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:44 pm In the above example, the person may've been able to get the best of both worlds, as Company A may've actually been able to provide comparable coverage through an endorsement and/or with additional documentation and underwriting approval. If the person did not know what to ask though, he/she would not have known any better.

Regardless of what market segment you happen to be in, while company reputation is quite important, you need to first look at and compare your contractual features, which doesn't just mean looking at the deductibles.
I asked this in another thread where you raised these helpful points, but you didn't get a chance to respond. So I'm reposting it here.

How would one properly educate themselves on all of these factors if they were shopping for insurance, outside of going through an agent?
Sorry, I don't have a good answer to your question. In my case, I've been interested in these topics for quite some time, so I've talked to knowledgeable agents and underwriters, read industry publications, looked up documents that compare policy features, etc...
Definitely listen to UALflyer's advise on getting the best insurance contract! I'm not in insurance, but my father was an underwriting manager for a large international insurer, so I have some passing knowledge. A great thing he did was to set me up with great independent agency that has access to a good number of large national and regional insurers. Their agents will explain the various riders, ask questions about your activities to try and make sure you get the coverage you need at a reasonable price. You need to understand that the Best insurance for your needs may not be the Cheapest! If you do not know a good independent agent, ask your banker, attorney, accountant if they can recommend one.

If you need a starting point for upgrading your insurance knowledge, I would suggest Insurance For Dummies by Jack Hungelmann as a good primer for someone wanting to learn more about coverages riders, differences in umbrella policies etc. Jack is now retired as a insurance risk consultant, but he has a website and it links to numerous articles he wrote for the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI). www.jackhungelmann.com I have cited some of these articles in previous threads highlighting that Umbrella policies are NOT STANDARDIZED. Reading these items can help get you ready for a good discussion with an independent agent.
talzara
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by talzara »

UALflyer wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:22 pm GEICO does not, as it is a non-standard company, which primarily targets higher risk drivers. This isn't intended as an insult to any GEICO customers, as plenty of them have superb driving records. GEICO's pricing structure is just very attractive to those who don't fit the preferred and ultra-preferred driver profile that other insurance companies target, which is also the reason that GEICO only offers 6 month policies (in the states where it's allowed), which allows them to raise rates or kick you out that much faster, does not ever pay for OEM parts and does not offer the option of purchasing an endorsement for it, does not ever pay for OEM windshields, etc...
You've getting GEICO confused with Progressive. GEICO is targeting low-risk drivers, and it offers very steep discounts to get them.

GEICO is a preferred company that expanded into standard and non-standard policies. Progressive is a nonstandard company that expanded into standard and preferred policies.

You can still see the history of the two companies in the rate manuals. GEICO does most of its pricing in the underwriting, because GEICO is screening out higher-risk drivers from its preferred and standard companies. GEICO uses four separate companies in each state to cover the different risk pools: two preferred, one standard, and one nonstandard. (One of the preferred companies is only for government employees.)

Progressive does most of its pricing in the rating. Progressive uses only one company in each state to cover all risk tiers, because it believes that it can price any risk correctly. No matter how safely or dangerously you drive, Progressive will calculate the right premium. (Progressive sometimes uses a second company in states that have assigned risk pools.)

Risk tiers are separate from policy terms. GEICO's preferred, standard, and nonstandard policies all get non-OEM parts.
UALflyer
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by UALflyer »

talzara wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:09 pmYou've getting GEICO confused with Progressive. GEICO is targeting low-risk drivers, and it offers very steep discounts to get them.
I am not. GEICO and Progressive are both non-standard companies, with the rate structure that appeals to higher risk drivers.

GEICO does try to be all things to all people, so they have certainly expanded into standard policies, but still do not offer any contractual features that are offered by some of its competition that specifically targets lower risk drivers (so, they only offer 6 month policies, at least in those states that allow it; do not offer an OEM parts endorsement; do not ever pay for OEM windshields; do not offer replacement car endorsements).
Risk tiers are separate from policy terms. GEICO's preferred, standard, and nonstandard policies all get non-OEM parts.
Risk tiers are related to policy terms. Insurance companies that target primarily low risk drivers have lower claims frequencies and tend to offer better contractual terms. Those that primarily target higher risk drivers structure their policies in a way that minimizes their risk exposure, which is the reason that none of their policy contracts offer any of the above optional perks.
Last edited by UALflyer on Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
talzara
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by talzara »

mnsportsgeek wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:49 am I've been happy with Geico outside of renters insurance. When I used to own a home, Geico (Liberty Mutual) home owners insurance was pretty competitive . However, when I got quoted for renters it was obnoxiously high, so I went with State Farm for renters.

So right now I only carry Umbrella and Auto through Geico, but I've been happy with them other than them attempting to overcharge me for renter's insurance.
GEICO doesn't have access to State Farm renters policies. State Farm only sells through its own agents.

In fact, GEICO doesn't have access to half the homeowners insurance market in most states. If you're insured by GEICO, you should also shop your homeowners separately to see what's available.
avidracer wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:00 am While I am still wtih GEICO for my auto + home - the home portion of it is via different companies: mine is through stillwater and I have heard here in BG - not pleasant interactions during the claim process. I am shopping around and see hippo to be decent. However unsure how my car insurance will get dinged if I decouple home alone from GEICO services.
GEICO's multipolicy discount is only 3%. Most people can get a better deal or a better policy by unbundling homeowners at GEICO.
talzara
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by talzara »

UALflyer wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:24 pm
talzara wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:09 pmYou've getting GEICO confused with Progressive. GEICO is targeting low-risk drivers, and it offers very steep discounts to get them.
I am not. GEICO and Progressive are both non-standard companies, with the rate structure that appeals to higher risk drivers. GEICO does try to be all things to all people, so they have certainly expanded into standard policies ...
As I explained, you are describing Progressive, not GEICO.

Progressive started with nonstandard policies and moved into lower-risk business. GEICO started with preferred policies and moved into higher-risk business. The two companies are mirror images of each other. They started on opposite ends of the risk spectrum and then moved onto each other's turf.

If you don't believe me, maybe you'll believe Warren Buffett when he referred to preferred risks as GEICO's "core" business:
In-force policy growth for GEICO's core preferred-risk auto business was 12.8% in 1997 and 7.3% in 1996. Policy growth in standard and non-standard auto markets was 36.6% in 1997 and 33.5% in 1996 reflecting continued marketing efforts to offer rate quotes to potential customers who do not meet GEICO's preferred-risk underwriting guidelines.

https://www.berkshirehathaway.com/1997ar/mda.html
Or anything written about Warren Buffett's investment in GEICO:
“In 1936 Leo Goodwin had a marvelous idea,” explains one of Graham's leading disciples, multimillionaire investor Warren Buffett. Goodwin's idea: Insure only preferred-risk drivers such as government employees ...

Forbes, Volume 127, Page 108
Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO) is a multiple line property and casualty insurer engaged in direct response writing of preferred risk private passenger auto insurance.

John Train, The Midas Touch (1987), p. 120
As for a "rate structure that appeals to higher risk drivers," you're describing Progressive again.

GEICO has a rate structure that appeals to low-risk drivers. GEICO almost went bankrupt in the 1970s when it tried to expand into higher-risk standard business. It didn't understand that its rate structure didn't work for higher-risk drivers.

GEICO's successful expansion in the 1990s-2020s became possible when it understood how to apply its rate structure safely. GEICO now does most of its pricing in the underwriting. It puts preferred, standard, and nonstandard customers in four risk pools. That way, the standard and non-standard drivers will only drive up the rates of other standard and non-standard drivers. The two preferred risk pools are protected.
talzara
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by talzara »

UALflyer wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:24 pm GEICO does try to be all things to all people, so they have certainly expanded into standard policies, but still do not offer any contractual features that are offered by some of its competition that specifically targets lower risk drivers (so, they only offer 6 month policies, at least in those states that allow it; do not offer an OEM parts endorsement; do not ever pay for OEM windshields; do not offer replacement car endorsements).
GEICO is a discount insurer. It's always been a discount insurer, even when it was only insuring preferred business. OEM parts and replacement car endorsements drive up costs, so GEICO doesn't offer them.

Bogleheads should understand this. Vanguard and TIAA used to have similar expense ratios in the 1980s. Now Vanguard's expense ratios are much lower than TIAA's expense ratios. Vanguard chose to compete on price, and TIAA chose to compete on service.

GEICO has a history of following actuarial trends more closely than other insurers. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, there was a decline in driving. Many insurers kept their rates unchanged for years as they enjoyed the low loss ratios. GEICO cut its rates repeatedly to underprice the other companies.

6-month policies allowed GEICO to reduce churn during the recession. People shop less when they see their rates go down. 6-month policies also allowed GEICO to increase rates quickly when the economy recovered. That's part of why GEICO could reduce rates. It was confident that it would not be left holding the bag when the loss ratios increased.
egrets
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by egrets »

sport wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:48 pm I have been happy with State Farm. Claims experience has been very good and the prices seem to be reasonable.
I had State Farm years ago for homeowners and flood, and they were horrible when I had a flood claim. They were so bad that the state sued them as many people were affected by the flooding and State Farm's horridness.

Now I have Amica. I never have to worry. As someone said, it's like your mother was the CEO.
sport
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by sport »

egrets wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:50 pm
sport wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:48 pm I have been happy with State Farm. Claims experience has been very good and the prices seem to be reasonable.
I had State Farm years ago for homeowners and flood, and they were horrible when I had a flood claim. They were so bad that the state sued them as many people were affected by the flooding and State Farm's horridness.

Now I have Amica. I never have to worry. As someone said, it's like your mother was the CEO.
Every company has both happy and unhappy customers. Personal experiences are anecdotal. It is difficult, perhaps impossible, to judge which experiences are more typical and which are the exceptions. This may also depend on the state you live it as each state has its own rules for insurance companies to follow.
interwebopinion
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by interwebopinion »

+1 for Checkbook mag - they are a Consumer Reports affiliate.

And +1 for Amica - just excellent service when you need them.
like2read wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:21 pm
INTRESIS wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:30 am I need to switch. My current insurer has issues.
If you have the time, check out Checkbook magazine. Our local library carries it. They do a great survey by region on things like cost, company health and customer service. They also list sample customers types - i.e. number of cars, age of drivers, etc.

For our area Amica and Erie had some of the best metrics. We ended up switching from Allstate to Erie and saved about 1/3 total on home/auto/umbrella.

Also, many other threads on this board on this topic. One of the main take aways - shop your policies every few years. Otherwise, like us, your rates may have crept up to the point of being uncompetitive.

l2r
Lalamimi
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Location: Texas

Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by Lalamimi »

Just got a quote from Amica, and it is $1500 more on Home Owners but $500 less on Auto. Staying with Allstate. It really depends on the area in which you reside.
BGeste
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by BGeste »

UALflyer wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:58 pm
BGeste wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:55 am Geico.

I switched my auto, home, umbrella policies from USAA to Geico about two years ago. I saved about 50%. Geico's service has been excellent. In addition, my auto rates went down in the last year.

When I switched to Geico I got quotes from many other companies. Overall Geico had the best prices, service, website, etc.
As I've mentioned to you in other threads, GEICO (it's an acronym, so all the letters are capital) is an auto insurance company and has never had a homeowner's insurance arm. GEICO just has an independent insurance agency that sells third party insurance policies issued by unaffiliated companies, and in doing so they act in the same capacity as any other independent insurance agent.

So, when you praise GEICO for its HO coverage, it's like praising your independent agent (because that's exactly what GEICO is when you purchase your HO coverage through them). If and when you have an HO claim, it will be the HO carrier and its contractual features and policy handling that will determine how well your claim is handled. Likewise, even if a person happens to be happy with the way that GEICO might've handled his/her auto claim, this tells you absolutely nothing about the way that a homeowner's insurance claim would be handled, as it'll be done by a totally different company.
I understand how Geico works and the products they underwrite and which ones they broker to other quality companies. This does not change the fact that i bought auto, home, and umbrella products from Geico very efficiently through a single phone call with a Geico employee. It also does not change the fact that when I bought this bundle of products from Geico i saved over 50 percent versus the same bundle i bought from USAA. The Geico website enables me to service all three insurance products easily. Their website is superior to all insurance companiesin the marketplace.
Alan S.
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Re: What is the best company for auto/property/renters/umbrella insurance?

Post by Alan S. »

Personal lines insurance premiums are highly localized. A competitive carrier in one territory can be totally uncompetitive in another, perhaps even in the same state.

A key is how widely catastrophe losses are addressed now that the areas being subject to these losses have grown well beyond the areas of 10-20 years ago. Companies purchase reinsurance to protect against massive losses over certain areas and in many cases and the cost and availability of this reinsurance will drive the rates charged in many places, and even affect the amount of exposure a company can take on.

As for general service including claims service, that is often dependent on whether the company must use independent adjusters to handle catastrophe claims and often breaks down to catastrophe loss settlements vs. non catastrophe losses.
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