I recently learned a very important lesson about the pitfalls of complacency. Since June 2004, we had been with an auto insurance company called South Coast Auto Insurance/Anchor General, which we had chosen for its competitive rates in the Los Angeles area. When we moved to a more remote area in December of 2005, we assumed that the new rate they gave us here was just as competitive as in Los Angeles, and thus paid our premiums without question at each renewal period.
It wasn’t until November of 2007 when I happened upon an article on MSNBC about Progressive offering pet coverage that I even considered changing insurance companies. Because our dogs Ludwig and Wolfgang are very important to us (they always wear seat belts in the car), I immediately went to the Progressive insurance website to find out more. I learned that the pet coverage is included with their collision coverage and therefore assumed that it would be much costlier. But I was wrong.
The coverage we had with Anchor General was only for liability and at a rate of $300 for 6 months. When I obtained a quote from Progressive, I was amazed to find that for only $60 more, we could have 10 times the amount of liability coverage than we had been getting from Anchor General as well as medical payments, comprehensive, collision (including $500 pet coverage), and roadside assistance.
In fact, if we had paid our Anchor General premiums in monthly installments, which we didn’t due to their exorbitant $12.00 monthly installment fees, we would have paid exactly the same amount as the Progressive policy which has a more reasonable installment fee of $1.00 per month.
This experience really opened my eyes to the dangers of complacency not only with insurance but many other things. This could apply to all services and not just auto insurance — home insurance, health insurance, cell phone plan, etc.
So, never be satisfied with what you’re paying. I’m not saying you should spend all your time looking for a better deal, but at each renewal period, do a little research before re-committing yourself, which is sometimes the easier thing to do. With the internet, it is very easy to obtain insurance quotes these days. You don’t have to talk to anyone or deal with pushy salespeople trying to rush you into signing.
Spend a few minutes and you could possibly save a few hundred dollars.