Nope, not by switching to Geico. In fact, I switched away from Geico long time back. The secret is in getting renter’s insurance for your apartment. I’m sure, it would also work if you get a home insurance. We recently switched from Progressive to AllState and in fact, we weren’t even shopping for a quote. After taking a class in disaster recovery and mitigation last semester, I realized that in today’s age of increasing risk from natural disasters like hurricanes and floods, insuring your home separated the haves from the have-nots post-disaster. Ignoring the extreme low-income class, most people do not opt for home or renter’s insurance even though they can afford it. They simply assume that God will be merciful when in fact, no such thing happens.
But why buy property insurance if you live in a region not prone to calamities? Well, if nothing else it will save you a ton of money on your car insurance. And I bet you are required to purchase car insurance in any state you live, right? Here’s how it works.
Insurance companies usually give you discounts if you purchase more products from them. When I signed the renter’s policy, the agent asked me if I was interested in a quote for car insurance since they would be able to offer a discounted price. A quote doesn’t hurt, right? I was surprised to see that their quote knocked off nearly $200 from my previous insurance when in fact, I had a speeding ticket this time. So effectively, paying an annual premium of $59 for our renter’s insurance policy ($15,000 coverage) got us $200 (for six months) off our car insurance and got our apartment covered against loss. Although our area isn’t prone to hurricanes or floods (we have a creek flowing nearby though), the policy covers theft and fire which is, god forbid, a possibility anywhere you live. In spite of Ash being an under-25 and new driver, we are paying the lowest amount I have ever paid (even individually) since I owned a car in this country.
Of course, this might not work in areas like Florida, California, etc that are prone to natural disasters where property insurance is astronomical. And also, the fact that now we drive less per month may have made a difference.
Finally, since we got the insurance from a real-time agent, we got personalized service which you wouldn’t from a policy you buy online. The agent even read and liked my post on homelessness :)
More detailed tips on saving money on your car insurance.
Update: Ujval writes in to share some insider information:
What helped the switch is that All-State “packaged” your quote – meaning they could take the hit on the auto quote because of the renter’s insurance. Different companies do it different ways. Companies like State Farm and All-State who offer some sort of home insurance reduce rates for their customers by packaging quotes. Companies like Geico and Progressive do it by using credit & driving history and high end revenue segmentation.
More tips via Ujval:
Increase your limits to 100/100/100, that typically gets you better rates than state minimums.
Check rates with a real-time agent instead of relying on online quotes only.