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Insurance Jumped Up For An Interesting Reason...


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I just got my car ins. bill, I pay every six months. I was surprised to see that my insurance jumped up to more than $170 from the last bill. No explanation in the bill, nothing. I am a great driver, no tickets etc. I have been with 21st Century for over ten years and as with any car I have ever had each bill gets smaller as the car ages...right? So I finally got a hold of a live "representative"....and I was told that there is a new evaluation of cars and now my car got reclassified! So this seemingly arbitrary reclassification is going to cost me almost $350 extra each year. I live in L.A. county....has anyone gotten this flagrantly dishonest bit of garbage? Please respond and I am sorry if this is not an appropriate post, please accept my apologies and take it off, but right now, I am livid. Of course I am now looking at quotes from other companies. Thank you all. Rey

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That is terrible...I am with AAA and just bought my RX400h....Insurance stayed the same.....I am in Sacramento area...I wonder if they did that because of the hybrid and the possibility of increased repair cost in event of damage to the hybrid system...

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Could be but I have had my hybrid over five years. This is just so wrong...I should start getting quotes from all over this week. So wrong......it is getting so hard to deal with all of the rising costs of everything...anyway....lets see if anyone else has been hit with this....Rey

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The mystery of insurance rates is mind boggling. When I got my '08 RX400h in 11/07, it replaced my four year old Nissan Maxima. The rate DROPPED.

In January, I traded an '85 Corvette in on an '09 Corvette. The rate dropped ~$80.

Hey, I'm not complaining, but what sense does this make? In the latter case, it probably has something to do with the added safety features of the newer vehicle, but how can they lower the rate on the Lexus which is valued ~$25K more? They probably used the old "performance vehicle" (Maxima) excuse on that one.

Gee, Rey, now I have something to look forward to from my company when they catch on to what's happening in CA. :angry:

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Insurance rates are not set arbitrarily but are based on loss experience using statistics both provided to and received from services like the ISO. Virtually all insurance companies rate use a symbol based rating system for autos: http://www.iso.com/Products/VINMASTER/Physical-Damage-Rating-Symbols.html

And rates are filed with and approved by each state. If you think you are being charged an unfair rate, you can file a complaint with your state insurance commission but remember that it is the entity that approved the rates you are being charged.

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Insurance rates are not set arbitrarily but are based on loss experience using statistics both provided to and received from services like the ISO. Virtually all insurance companies rate use a symbol based rating system for autos: http://www.iso.com/Products/VINMASTER/Physical-Damage-Rating-Symbols.html

And rates are filed with and approved by each state. If you think you are being charged an unfair rate, you can file a complaint with your state insurance commission but remember that it is the entity that approved the rates you are being charged.

All true! And since 21st century was bought by farmers insurance and rolled into the aig book of business that they also bought it makes perfect sense to me. The company has lost direction and they are trying to find themselves and they are changing. 21st century is to be a direct brand...farmers will be Exclusive like a state farm, and foremost will be the independent brand. You absolutely should compare your rates no question.

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Great posts, thanks...I got a great quote from Wawanesa...a friend of mine is with them and has been very happy for 17yrs with this company...anyone else familiar with them? If I go with Wawanesa I'll be paying less than before my rates went up...from $1,434 to $1,336 per year...I live in L.A. so I think we pay a lot more than the average American here...for everything! If I told you how much my home is....never mind! It's ghastly expensive here. Rey

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I'm with Progressive in NY.. Same thing.. rate hike of $125/6 months... I have to call them since my payment is not due yet I recevied my bill.. should be interesting.

OK.. so they said it went up "because of the cost of doing business".. WTF! really?!?!? that's their reasoning!

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Yes, auto insurance is a "rip off". I'm also in L.A. County. Don't know exactly what I'm paying for my '06 RX400H, but it is with Mercury through Peninsula General in Torrance. I've been with them since the second year I started driving, way back in 1972. I get competitive quotes often, but nobody has been able to come close to Mercury. (Have a clean record.) Have had to have several claims over the years with them, and in every case, the claim was handled efficiently and quickly. Claims never affected the rate I pay, (rear ended twice, side-swiped once. In all cases, other driver was at fault.) Only thing I don't like about Mercury is that they won't insure my Vespa. Have to go with someone else for that.

Since you are getting quotes, it might be worthwhile to call Peninsula General to see what they'll do for you.

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Rey, I too have 21st Century here in Arizona. I just received a renewal and my rates stayed the exactly same.

But I should also comment that I have not had rates drop during the time I owned a vehicle for many years. This has always seemed like a ripoff to me. Yes it still costs the same to repair the vehicle regardless of age. But if I experience a total loss, the reimbursement will only be the fair market value of my vehicle, which is far less than when it was brand new.

Tom

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Rey, I too have 21st Century here in Arizona. I just received a renewal and my rates stayed the exactly same.

But I should also comment that I have not had rates drop during the time I owned a vehicle for many years. This has always seemed like a ripoff to me. Yes it still costs the same to repair the vehicle regardless of age. But if I experience a total loss, the reimbursement will only be the fair market value of my vehicle, which is far less than when it was brand new.

Tom

What are the chances that you will have a total loss? That's what people don't understand...today cars are not totaled unless there is some major damage. When you order the parts to repair your car it actually could be higher for a previous model car unless companies have started to make after market parts too. That is why you don't see a drop from year to year as your car depreciates in value. That and the premiums on your BI is increasing because of lawsuits. Also there are many carriers that give new car credits. So once the car goes into the 3rd year of ownership the premiums go up slightly. Carriers have found that "most" people will take better care and drive their new baby better than someone who has owned a car for a few years. If people think auto insurance is such a ripoff it's simple drop your coverage to the lowest allowed by the state and take full coverage off of your car and self insure it. You can take your chances...

There are just to many factors with rates and how they are determined. Most people can save money on their policies but they just don't review their own policies or work with someone who can do it for them.

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I actually understand that costs go up...I just did not like the reason and the fact that there was nothing along with my bill to explain the much higher rate than what I have been paying for the past 5 years of having the same car. When I did finally get someone on the phone I didn't like their attitude....I hate smugness and that's what I got.

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Rey- you are 100% right! First if any of my bills go up I would want to know why...if I get the attitude on the other end of the phone I will find someone else to do business with. Working with an independent agency is a good thing because you are able to deal with the same person with multiple carriers.

One of my famous sayings in the office is "its all in how you talks to dem". Kind of a joke but not really. Most people if you take your time and work with them they are fine... There are to many companies that want "your" business!

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Your chances of a total loss are considerable. If you have a serious accident and the repair cost is greater than the book value, that is a total loss. So is a theft that is not recovered.

Tom

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Your chances of a total loss are considerable. If you have a serious accident and the repair cost is greater than the book value, that is a total loss. So is a theft that is not recovered.

Tom

Tom that is the whole point. What are the chances that you will have a total loss vs. have a $5k or $6k accident? Of course there is a chance it will be a total loss. As far as thefts it is getting harder and harder to steal newer cars http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-10-18-vehicle-thefts_N.htm

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  • 3 weeks later...

Your chances of a total loss are considerable. If you have a serious accident and the repair cost is greater than the book value, that is a total loss. So is a theft that is not recovered.

Tom

Tom that is the whole point. What are the chances that you will have a total loss vs. have a $5k or $6k accident? Of course there is a chance it will be a total loss. As far as thefts it is getting harder and harder to steal newer cars http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-10-18-vehicle-thefts_N.htm

Lexi, it's not as hard as one might think to total a high end unibody vehicle now worth about half of it's original price. As far as theft, I live in the number two state for same. A trip to Mexico with a stolen vehicle takes about two hours.

Tom

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Tom I guess we are just not going to see eye to eye on this. But I deal with claims every day...today's cars especially higher end cars are not totaled as easy as you may think. Doesn't matter anyway the facts are it is much, much, MUCH greater that someone will have a fender bender than a total loss therefore there is no discount associated with the depreciation of your car. As I said before companies find that people with new cars have fewer claims. And the theft deal...facts are facts. You can't take a coat hanger and pop the lock of every car anymore and most cars have some type of anti theft device too.

I am not saying I don't see your point. (my car cost 66k drove it 3 years and now it is worth 30k and my premiums went up). Usually it isn't the premiums on the comp or collision it is the medical or liability coverages...however the discounts associated with the new car that I was speaking of applies to the comp and collision coverages

:cheers:

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LexiRX,

Do you know what the requirements are to self-insure?

It all depends on the state that you reside in…most states require some form of liability insurance but (I THINK) there are some state’s like Alaska that you can avoid having insurance…but I honestly am not sure about that. You would have to check with your state's DMV to find out their insurance requirements. I don't know much about self insuring it at all. If you would happen to be in a state that you can self insured you must post a deposit with the state or have a bond in an amount equal to the minimum liability limits of the state. It is a terrible idea and "may" end up one of the most costly mistakes someone could make. Even if you have enough money to self insure...you more than likely wouldn't have enough money to pay out a substantial claim without loosing everything you have. I have an insured that is being sued for 2 million right now...so if you have that kind of assets they will absolutely go after them. Let's say he decided to self insure...post a $50,000 bond or deposits an amount of $50,000 with the state so he wouldn't have to pay insurance and now faces a claim like this? The attorney fees too.

The best way to reduce cost is to kind of self insure...raise your deductibles as high as you can. This way you are self insuring against small claims however you are insured for the big ONE. But keep the limits there to protect you. If I was worth 100 million dollars I would still have insurance…AND A LOT of it…

:cheers:

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Lexi, I defer to a man with much more knowledge than I. :cheers:

My state, Arizona, does allow self-insuring but it is very difficult to accomplish and in my book should involve an attorney considering the consequences of doing it wrong.

Tom

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Thanks everyone. I am currently working with someone that is looking into this for me. Dave, that is a GREAT price and I would imagine SD and LA should be comparable. $1,780 a year is just too much!

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Thanks for your thoughts, Lexi; it's just sad that we have to dish out so much for insurance that almost always benefits the insurers.

Rey, I remember back in the mid-80s when an uncle who lived near Beverly Hills was paying $1700/year for his Mazda RX7. LA has a higher population density than this area so those living in or commuting to that city may have to pay more than those who live on the outskirts of San Diego. Still, it's worth shopping around as I did many years ago when I grew tired of State Farm's constant rate increases.

Speaking of insurance: Someone scraped the passenger rear bumber and fender of our RX, last Sunday. We believe it happened when we were in the gas station concession area. Of course, whoever did it either didn't realize they did it or did but left the scene. In a blink of the eye we are out $500 deductible.

Dave

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Unfortunately, I have found with insurance company there is no value given to customers who have been loyal and cost the company Zero in claims. They arbitrarily raise you, or keep you at a set price even though your vehicle depreciates.

I found out this the hard way, when I had a legitimate home claim (and my vehicles happened to be with the same company) and I was completely getting the shaft from the claims adjuster... long story short, I got the home insurance policy cancelled along with the claims request... and in doing so, shopped around.

The company I swapped my home insurance too, I asked them if I could also swap my vehicles since it was easier to have one policy, one company and everything covered by the same company. I had them quote me for my three vehicles. When they quoted me, I thought there price was per vehicle and the 1st vehicle quote given was for my BMW M5, when in fact, their quote included all three vehicles (and I thought it was only for the M5) was LESS than the cost of insuring just my M5 with the "other" company.

So, in the insurance game, it doesn't pay to be loyal and complacent because if you think being loyal gets you anywhere, let me tell you the insurance companies "goal" is not to satisfy you (in a claim) by any stretch of the imagination. So in the time of a claim, they will do everything to save, so my advice is the same to the end user. Screw them, because in the end, they WILL try to screw you if given the chance.

Now, as a rule, every couple of years, I call up other Insurance Companies... get them to quote me (comparing apples and apples, of course) and if they are "reasonably" less... I do not even call back the present Insurance Company, I just Change.

Cheers,

LormaD

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