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Ask for Discounts or Get Screwed…

I don’t know how else to say this, so…I took 15 minutes and saved 15% or more on my car insurance.  :-D  Seriously.

Quick Car Insurance Breakdown

Okay, to give a little back story, my husband and I have two cars, both paid off.  Here is the coverage we have on each.

2007 Toyota Prius – Full Coverage

  • $300,000 Bodily Injury
  • $100,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $2500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • $50,000 / $100,000 / $25,000 Uninsured Motorist Coverages
  • $1000 Comp and Collision Deductible
  • $25 per day Rental Vehicle Coverage

2005 Chevy Aveo – Liability Only (No coverage for comprehensive or collision damage)

  • $300,000 Bodily Injury
  • $100,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $2500 Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • $50,000 / $100,000 / $25,000 Uninsured Motorist Coverages

For the past few years, we’ve been insured by Geico and the coverages above have come to about $110 per month ($70 for the Prius and $40 for my car).

Car Insurance

Our Car Insurance was Raised…Again

This happened in early February.  I received the notice from Geico that our policy was up in April and they included the new rates.  They went up by $6 a month…again.  Every 6 months, they try to raise our premiums despite the fact that we don’t get into accidents or receive tickets.  So every 6 months, I call in, threaten to leave, and we get the rate lowered back to normal and move on with life.

Well, I was in a bad mood already and just hit the roof this time.  So I wasn’t just playing the game when I called.  I wanted either no fight at all or the biggest fight ever…one way or another, this crap was going to be resolved quick.

So I wasn’t surprised at all that the rep I first reached offered to increase our deductible or decrease our coverage.  I declined.  Then they asked me to take defensive driving again since our last class certificate from 2009 expired early last year.  I said I would get to it, but I wanted the rates lowered to the same amount we were paying before without the certificate so that if I took defensive driving, it would be an actual discount.  Well, that rep couldn’t do anything like that for me, so I was transferred to a “specialist”.

Someone Not Full of Crap

I was honestly surprised by the next rep.  She was polite, knowledgeable, and didn’t act like I was too stupid to live.  She also performed a miracle…she actually reads company memos.

So after hearing me out, she asked me to hold for a few minutes while she looked into a new program in Texas that she heard of – Geico Advantage.  So I held for maybe 4 minutes before she popped back on the line and started laying out the new program.  It was actually pretty easy.  Geico Advantage is identical to what I had except it has a new name and uses new criteria to set rates.  Since credit history (Excellent) and accident records (none in about 10 years) were two of the biggest criteria, we got the lowest rates they offered.

The Miracle

We literally qualified to pay half of what we were paying FOR THE EXACT SAME COVERAGE!  No joke!  The exact same everything EXCEPT $30 allowed per day for a rental instead of $25 (so BETTER) for HALF.  Not only that, but she started me on the new plan immediately, so what I had already paid covered the next two months.  Overall, I will start paying for car insurance again in May 2013 and it will be $55 a month.

I actually waited to write this post because it sounded like a scam.  But my March payment was skipped as stated, and I received all of my coverage info in the mail along with our new insurance cards.  It truly is identical coverage and will cost us about $330 every 6 months instead of $660.  I love it when stuff works!!!

Ask for All of Your Options!

If I hadn’t called in that day to ask how to keep our rates lowered long-term, I wouldn’t have been transferred to the specialist that reads company memos.  So I would not know about Geico Advantage and I’d still be forking out $110 a month for car insurance when I could have been paying $55 a month instead.  So, remember to ASK for all of your available options or you could be getting screwed and not even know it!  I got lucky in that Geico Advantage was only apparently released recently, so I only overpaid for a month or two…what if I had waited until next year to get pissed and call?  Just ask.  It’s worth it.

Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by asking for discounts?

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13 comments to Ask for Discounts or Get Screwed…

  • What about pay in full discounts? By paying 6 months of premiums at once, we get a discount of I think about 8%.

  • We definitely need to ask for discounts on our insurance! Just yesterday I start searching for cheaper home insurance rates but didn’t find anything cheaper, most places actually wanted twice as much as we are currently paying!

  • I can’t believe they raise your premium every six months! That’s insane! I’m glad you called in and finally got connected to somebody who knows what they are doing. I have never asked for a discount on my insurance, but have with other bills and it’s been successful.

  • Good for you for saving a huge amount of money! BUT… the crap Geico put you through is the very reason why I refuse to even consider doing business with one of the ‘big name’ national brands. My insurance is through a local agent, who then deals with the underwriter (in my case that in Cincinnati Insurance). My agent knows me by first name, and I know him. He fights for me and ensures my rates stay consistent. If I have a claim, his office is the one I work with and they handle any hoopla that the big underwriters might try to pull. Do I pay the cheapest rates in town? I have no clue (I am so happy with my service I refuse to price things out) but I assume I could save a few bucks elsewhere, but for me the service I receive is worth every penny.

  • Our TV bill went up $6 per month recently and I called ready to cancel and the lady matched the competitor’s price, which was $15/month cheaper. I also called my internet provider last year to ask if they had a better rate, and she gave me half price! I certainly agree. Just call. You never know.

  • Thanks for this; didn’t realize discrepancies could be so severe. Great post!

  • Jep, we got a situation like this about a few months ago. Our car-coverage was very high, we ask for a cheaper one and get it.
    Greetings from Germany

  • I once called to complain about my cable modem fee going up a dollar a month and got $20 off my bill for 6 months. It was crazy!

  • This is off topic but….

    I am Canadian and I wonder about Geico. I get a lot of American television channels that are based in New York State.

    Geico is always advertising for employees. Are they growing so fast that they need more and more staff or are they so awful to work for that they can’t get or keep staff?

    Television commercials are expensive. Maybe your car insurance would be less expensive if they didn’t run so many help wanted ads.

  • I’m sort of the king of asking for deals. I always ask for a lower price. From club cover to parking space when buying a condo lol!

  • What is your experience with Geico? Are they a good insurer?

    I am with State Farm and really need to start looking at other options. At least to threaten State Farm with.

    We have two cars:
    Honda Civic 2007
    Mitsubishi Lancer 2008

    We pay $210/ month for full coverage for my 23 year old husband and 22 year old me.

  • [...] my internet bill just by calling to ask for a better rate. Crystal at BFS just got her car insurance lowered by almost half by calling. If making calls will save you a few hundred dollars a year, it’s worth it every time, [...]

  • [...] @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes Ask for Discounts or Get Screwed… – I don’t know how else to say this, I took 15 minutes and saved 15% or more on my car [...]