We just saved a bunch of money by switching our car insurance to Geico!
I’ve always wanted to say that 🙂
But seriously, we did just switch all of our policies over to Geico from Allstate.
We’ve been in the “good hands” for about 6 years. Turns out that those hands are also expensive.
And they’re not as good as they used to be…
I wrote last year about Allstate’s new tropical cyclone deductible, which would make a homeowner pay a 3% deductible before covering any damages caused by a named storm. And by 3%, I mean 3% of the value of the house, not 3% of the damages. That would make our deductible more than $10,000 before Allstate chipped in a dime for a disaster like that.
So I’ve been meaning to switch our coverage since that notice came out, but like so many things it slipped by. Since all of our policies renew on April 15, I decided it was a good time to look around and see if we could do better.
I’ll bet every one of our American readers has heard at least a dozen Geico insurance commercials. They’re everywhere; they’re catchy, and they make bold claims… 15 minutes could save us 15% or more on our car insurance by switching. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really buy it.
But, when I Googled for “home insurance quotes”, I discovered Geico offers homeowners and landlord insurance. I figured I’d give the 15 minute claim a test. (I learned later that Geico Homeowner’s insurance and Landlord’s insurance is underwritten by Travelers).
The phone call took a lot more than 15 minutes… It actually took about an hour to get everything squared away.
I won’t bore you with all the details, but here’s how the numbers panned out…
Auto Insurance Comparison
We have a 2003 Toyota Corolla and a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan. We live in a busy suburb of Maryland.
- Allstate: $978 / 6 months
- Geico: $567 / 6 months
–> Geico is $822 cheaper for 12 months.
Homeowner’s Insurance Comparison
For $400,000 of coverage on the structure with good coverages for other aspects.
- Allstate: $1216 / 12 months
- Geico: $1176 / 12 months
–> Geico is $40 cheaper for 12 months.
Landlord Insurance Comparison
For $175,000 coverage on the structure with good coverages for other aspects.
- Allstate: $482 / 12 months
- Geico: $605 / 12 months
–> Geico is $123 more expensive for 12 months.
Umbrella Insurance Comparison
For $1,000,000 in additional liability protection.
- Allstate: $355 / 12 months
- Geico: $182 / 12 months
–> Geico is $173 cheaper for 12 months.
Total Savings Switching to Geico
All told, Geico came out $912 less than Allstate for identical coverage, or about 25% less. We actually reduced some of our structure coverages because Geico advised us that we simply didn’t need as much as we were carrying, for an additional savings of about $200.
Of course, Geico doesn’t have the tropical cyclone deductible–at least not in Maryland–which is a huge plus.
Now, we’re not wed to Geico. If another reputable company can best their offer, we’re game. In fact, companies like 2Insure4Less will send you quotes from multiple insurance companies by e-mail.
But we will stick with them for the next 6 months at least, since we spent their time getting signed up. And I will ride the ‘savings high’ for a little while…
Goodbye good hands. Hello, gecko!
Makes me think I should shop around a little….
I had Allstate for home and my TC deductible when up to 5% from 3%. When we started renting out the house I switched to State Farm who only has a flat $1000 deductible. Of course, Our premium just went up about $100 per house. Could be because we had a claim, though.
Now I’m wondering how Nationwide compares with Geico….
Insurance is one of those funny things that we all kind of hate doing, but really should…. I’m happy to have made the switch, but kind of regretting that I didn’t look at this a year earlier. We could have used the additional $1000 LAST year too.
We actually recently did the opposite! We had one company for auto/motorcycle and one for our home and we wanted to change to a company that could insure everything. We checked several companies, including Geico and ended up going with AllState. By changing companies we are saving about $2000/year and more that doubled our home owners insurance coverage and lowered all our deductibles by over half!! Geico’s quote didn’t even come close to it (in price, coverage, or deductibles), which really surprised me.
Great addition to this post. It’s important to remember that every insurance company runs their models differently, including how they ‘bucket’ people into groups. You must get multiple quotes to figure out the best price, which essentially means picking an insurance company that takes the most favorable view of your risk position. We actually switched to Allstate 6 years ago for the very same reason you’re citing here – and we saved a bunch of money. Over time, our premiums starting inching back up, and this time Geico proved better.
All that said, Allstate’s big downfall in our area is that 3% TCD. That thing is horrible, and while named storms are rare in MD, they do happen… and when they do, they tend to cause a LOT of damage… so its important to also make sure that you’re happy with the terms the insurance company stipulates for coverage.
I forgot to include that we have a problem similar to your TCD. Since we live in southern Indiana we do not need to worry about tropical storms, but we live on a fault line so we were concerned about earthquake coverage and deductibles. The company we had charged a 6% deductible based on the value of the home, which we would not be able to pay in the event of a major earthquake. Every company I checked had deductibles that ranged from 5% to 30%, all based on the value of the home. Which is insane in my opinion!! AllState’s deductible is 10% and it was a hard decision but we decided to go with it because, in our opinion, if we couldn’t afford it at 6% what difference is another 4%.
I agree it’s extremely important to be happy with the terms of the insurance company. In our case, what we will save every year, the increases in coverage, and low deductibles on everything else made the 4% increase in earthquake coverage worth changing companies.
The policies may not all be identical. One difference in policies regards replacement cost for possessions. Different companies have had different limits on what they will pay for depreciated personal property (furniture, clothes, etc). Given that I don’t replace my furniture every year, a five year old sofa might be worth $100, but a new one $1000. If the limit for replacement coverage is 3x on any item, then you either have to come up with $700 difference, or only get paid the $100 cash value and live without a sofa. Multiply this by all your possessions, and you can see this clause can be very important in a worst-case incident. The information on this clause is only available in the actual policy, and agents rarely know what it actually says, and can’t believe it when they read it. Since you buy insurance to protect against the worst case, be aware of this clause when comparing companies.
We have been with Allstate for about 10 years and they have notified they are not renewing our Umbrella policy. We have 6 rentals along with a vacation house along with our residence.Do not know why they are doing it since we have no claims. Their souluton is to increase the coverage on all the houses to 500k , which doesn’t cover us like the Umbrella.
Geico is our auto insurance provider. Too many young adults in apartments don’t carry renter’s insurance, which is somewhat troubling, since it’s not that expensive. Another issue is EARTQUAKE insurance, which is quite inexpensive, yet might prevent a catastrophic loss.