Monday, December 18, 2006

Car Insurance Tip...

I got a letter, about a month ago, telling me that my car insurance policy was being canceled. Unbeknownst to me, I'd been riding on the coattails of my ex-husband's Champaign County Farm Bureau membership and they "caught" me.

I went out, then, to pick up a new policy elsewhere. I have a clean driving record, and figured it would be an across-the-board transfer to another company.

My insurance, for the last 2 years, has cost me about $220 every 6 months. Dirt cheap, I know.

The first company I visited (State Farm) quoted me $355 every 6 months.

Why? I ran home to get my current policy to bring back and hash over. While I was home, I called a 3rd company (American Family). This third company, for the very same policy that I already had, quoted me $82/month. That is, $492 every 6 months.

I pushed the agent to explain to me how there could possibly be $270 difference for the same policy offered by my current company. She said "I don't know. That's just what it costs."

I had one, last-ditch, hare-brained idea: I called my insurance agent (at Country Insurance) , and asked if I couldn't just get my own CC Farm Bureau membership.

He was all like "of course" and I was like, "Yay, but why didn't they indicate that on the letter that said 'we're going to drop you?' " Only I didn't really, like, say that, because I didn't want him to change his mind. (I'm like, done talking like this.)

My Farm Bureau membership cost me $20.

6 months of full-coverage car insurance, with rental insurance, and roadside assistance: $208.00.

The moral of the story: Shop around, and if you want my insurance agent's name, e-mail me.

The quandry of the story: How can I be such a shrewd, shifty-eyed business woman, saving pennies every chance, and still have the credit card debt that I do?

It's a complete mystery.


  1. That's what we pay for 12 months!

  2. Aaargh - you have just reminded me that I swore 2007 was going to be 'The Year of the Budget'! A thousand curses on you, woman!

    (well done though - a penny saved yadda yadda yadda)

  3. I went with Country as well when we shopped around for home owners insurance. They were scads easier to work with than the big companies (we tried Liberty Mutual, who our cars are insured with as well as State Farm, who was both the hubster's and my previous employer but they wouldn't take our policy because of the breeds of dogs we have... be warned). Maybe it's something to be said for working with the local folks. I don't know who I'll try to go with when we relocate.

  4. What a happy ending, especially this time of year when we're all facing post-holiday bill-shock.

    Well done my hot-chik!

  5. FYI: check out today's N-G. PS has been bought out by a firm from India....

  6. Dogbait: And I thought MINE was cheap!

    Sveny: It's not '07 yet. Spend up! Charge it!

    Mal: I did a search for a friend in CA, and they have their own version of farm bureau that offers similar insurance discounts. check it out in your new berg!

    Theresa: Yeah, yay for me! Thanks!

    Gamera: Oooo! good dirt, I forwarded to the YdotMdot

  7. One of my bosses asked me why I don't invest more in my 401(k) and I told him I have an expensive social life. That's my best guess regarding your credit card debt. It's hard to bargain hunt a good margarita. :)

  8. You should see my credit cards!!

    Too many shoes..

    Too many shoes!!

  9. Laurie: thank you very much, I was in blissful denial on the margarita/martini/blue moon front. That's it, time to start working the bars for FREE drinks!

    Mary: you need more shoes!

  10. I love a good bargain!! You are inspiring me to shop around!

  11. That credit card debt is what is driving your insurance rate, fyi.

  12. Anonymous10:17 AM

    Humph! The "other" big insurance company in Bloomington.

    I have three cars insured with State Farm and one of them is a vette. Costs me about $130 a month.

  13. FMMary: Good luck! Call your farm bureau!

    PBiker: Fine, fine, I'm working on whittling down that debt, stop screaming at me! ;-)

    StFarmer: Oh, heh heh, hi, how are you? Can I borrow the vette?

  14. Thanks for the offer to help. I live in NJ with the highest auto insurance rates in the nation. My wife and I actually got rid of our second car because it wasn't a necessity and the insurance was just too damned high.


  15. 1 year insurance = $2675.00
    Welcome to NY. F*ckers.

    Re: the quandry - you feel the pain of these type of purchases right away. The credit card you can get away with minimum monthly bills so you rack up huge amounts.
    The again since you considered $400 a year for insurance excessive you probably have about $200 credit card debt! :-P

  16. Well, Andy, $200 is a lot for someone who only makes $1 a year.

  17. That's, like, so awesome! I think I'm going to, like, take your advice and revisit my own budget, because, like, I don't need to be paying any more of my hard-earned cash to faceless corperations!

    And if I'm not back here by the weekend, let me just wish you a festive holiday!

  18. Anonymous8:42 AM

    Borrow the vette? I think not! I heard that you don't have very good insurance...

  19. Eh! Wah! Doesn't your insurance cover me? C'mooooonnnnnnn, hand over the keys, I'll be right back...

  20. Anonymous9:03 AM

    oh, alright, you can borrow it. I'm a sucker for a woman in tears. Just one thing though, you'll have to wait until Spring.

  21. Heh,heh, hehhhh, works every time! Ok. Spring it is. Don't think I'll forget, either!

  22. Anonymous9:24 AM

    So, does this mean I don't have to buy you a Christmas gift?

  23. Darn, my friends and I agreed not to exchange gifts this year. I guess you're off the hook. But you know...we wouldn't turn down a little jewelry or sumthin.

  24. oh i can relate, pinching pennies every second, then spending like a drunken sailor. I need tips on health insurance - that's whats killing me ( no pun intended). Happy Holidays!!

  25. Anonymous12:27 AM

    Great post dear! auto insurance has never been my thing, and I can already foresee these tips helping down the road :p


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