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Cars & Driving
Best Car Insurance
By ballerinatwirler Comments: 2083, member since Sat May 29, 2004
On Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:25 PM

I've been lucky because my mom let me stay on her car insurance plan until now. I need to find my own car insurance and I honestly have no idea how to go about it.

-I'm 24
-My car is a 98' but has low miles
-I've never had a ticket or an accident
-I'm in school but my GPA dropped a bit so I can't get "good grades" discount until after fall semester

BTW I'm in the US.

Any advice?

15 Replies to Best Car Insurance

re: Best Car Insurance
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Mon Aug 20, 2012 02:57 AM
I have All State (it's actually the only insurance I've ever had), and I've got no complaints about them. The rates are reasonable, I've always been able to get my agent on the phone, when I wrecked my car they responded quickly, and in a way I was satisfied with. I'd recommend them.

My mom uses Geico, which is evidentally pretty cheap insurance. She's been satisfied with them. I think that they probably take longer to solve your problems, because rather than have to employ full time agents, you get sent the paperwork, you fill it out and send it back, they process it, then you get dealt with. So if time is of the essence, Geico might not be the safest play. :/ Fortunatly for my mom, the biggest insurance problem she tends to have is adding or dropping cars off her policy, haha...
re: Best Car Insurance
By Gioiamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3024, member since Sun Jun 20, 2004
On Mon Aug 20, 2012 03:23 AM
I have All State, and I have no complaints so far, however there are downsides to every insurance agency. Usually the larger the company, the poorer the service. I have heard from many people that if you can get USAA to do so. Not sure who qualifies for it, if it would have to be a parent in the military or what, but you would likely already know if you could get it.

I have heard horror stories about Geico, State Farm and especially Progressive. Honestly though, the bad things I heard could probably happen with any agency.

I would recommend trying to find an office in your area that offers more than 1 provider. They can give you a (hopefully) unbiased opinion on which insurance would be best for you in your area. Insurance is mostly mandated by state laws, so there won't be a whole lot of difference in price between companies as far as you are concerned since you have never had an accident or anything. Don't let any agent talk you into something you don't want. That is their job, to sell you on a guarantee of service. While it is nice to have a good/helpful agent, if anything goes wrong you will be working with adjusters anyhow, so your agent basically sells you the policy and then doesn't have much else to do with anything.
re: Best Car Insurance
By Brittanymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 15182, member since Thu Aug 22, 2002
On Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:06 PM
Edited by Brittany (36942) on 2012-08-19 22:07:10
Theresa wrote:


My mom uses Geico, which is evidentally pretty cheap insurance. She's been satisfied with them. I think that they probably take longer to solve your problems, because rather than have to employ full time agents, you get sent the paperwork, you fill it out and send it back, they process it, then you get dealt with. So if time is of the essence, Geico might not be the safest play. :/


Odd, I had Geico for 6 years (with 1 accident I caused and a few that others caused) and I never had to fill out any paperwork to get problems solved. Geico was always really quick to solve everything I went though right through the phone - including getting me a rental car when I was either 20 or 21 because someone hit my car right around winter break and it damaged the car so bad it was unsafe to drive and took a good handful of days to fix.

That being said, I get my car insurance through USAA because I get oodles of discounts, especially because I bank with them. I know you have to have a military connection to bank through USAA but it might be different for insurance as I know my co-worker has USAA Car Insurance and doesn't have military affiliations to my knowledge.

When I had to get off my parents plan I quoted a lot of different places - All State, Statefarm, Geico, USAA, etc etc and USAA came out to be the cheapest for me. It was annoying getting a million phone calls from them but at least I was able to see which company would be cheapest and provide me the best deals.
re: Best Car Insurance
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Mon Aug 20, 2012 04:18 AM
I'm still on my parents insurance. We have All-State. I'll probably get it too once I have to pay for my own.

They have been great, respond quickly and are very helpful.
re: Best Car Insurance
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Mon Aug 20, 2012 04:38 AM

Odd, I had Geico for 6 years (with 1 accident I caused and a few that others caused) and I never had to fill out any paperwork to get problems solved. Geico was always really quick to solve everything I went though right through the phone - including getting me a rental car when I was either 20 or 21 because someone hit my car right around winter break and it damaged the car so bad it was unsafe to drive and took a good handful of days to fix.


Maybe I'm remembering the brand wrong or something, haha. I could have swore she said she had Geico though. :/
re: Best Car Insurance
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16415, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Mon Aug 20, 2012 06:34 AM
State Farm and Progressive have both been very good to me. With Progressive, I had a rental car in four hours and a check in my hand less than 12 hours after my wreck. State Farm has the best rates for young drivers that I have ever found and I searched hard.

kk~
re: Best Car Insurance
By SarahdncrPremium member Comments: 635, member since Wed Jul 29, 2009
On Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:43 AM
I have USAA, and I have had it for over 17 years now (and now live in their hometown btw). Over the last 5 yrs or so, they have opened up thier membership restrictions quite a bit, so if anyone inyour immediate family has a connection to the military, you might just qualify for membership. Their rates can't be beat...most discount carriers who are always advertizing to get you to get a free quote from them, will not even give you a quote, if you tell them your current carrier is USAA, they normally can not touch their rates.
re: Best Car Insurance
By Tansey Comments: 2367, member since Fri Mar 27, 2009
On Wed Aug 22, 2012 01:03 AM
I had GEICO for many years, and they were wonderful. If someone hit my car I called GEICO and they took care of everything. Could not have been better, and they were less expensive than the others. I would still be with them but when we moved to Massachusetts, GEICO was unavailable here. So we switched to Arbella. They've been good too. We get a lot of discounts; for having home and auto insurance both with them, for the kids maintaining good grades, and safe driver discounts. I just heard on the radio that GEICO will now be available in Massachusetts. I'm going to look into switching back.
re: Best Car Insurance
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 8600, member since Thu Apr 17, 2003
On Wed Aug 22, 2012 01:36 AM
I've had Geico for almost 10 years and never had a problem. I may switch to USAA in the near future if the rates are lower.
re: Best Car Insurance
By Brittanymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 15182, member since Thu Aug 22, 2002
On Wed Aug 22, 2012 02:18 AM
SaraTheGrouch wrote:

I've had Geico for almost 10 years and never had a problem. I may switch to USAA in the near future if the rates are lower.


Bank with them too! Seriously, best move I ever made was moving my money over to USAA. I know I am in an easier spot to do it with the main branch being here in San Antonio but you get no ATM fees up to a certain amount, can deposit checks at any UPS store or through scanning them, and they are just always so helpful to me. The more things you do through USAA the more discounts you get, it's pretty much awesome.

I have USAA, and I have had it for over 17 years now (and now live in their hometown btw)


San Antonio represent!
re: Best Car Insurance
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6359, member since Thu Jul 12, 2007
On Wed Aug 22, 2012 03:36 AM
USAA insures military. At one time it was only officers, but I think it is now any military. They say that you can "inherit" the right to USAA if a parent was in the military, but I don't know how far that extends. I was never in the military, but my late father was a WW II veteran and I was a civilian employee of the military (now retired.) I don't know if that means that someone like my father (now deceased) would have to have been insured by USAA, or simply that I am the son of a veteran.I've never asked the question since I have been satisfied with the insurance I have. BTW, Brittney...I've seen their HQ which when I had project in San Antonio was on I-10 about a mile or two outside the "410 Loop."

GEICO, which is HQ'd here in Washington originally was just for government employees. GEICO means Government Employee's Insurance COmpany though it has no connection with the government. A lot of people in this area have it and I've heard no complaints from them.

I have Nationwide because my Government Agency's Civilian Employees Organization made up only of employees and retirees of my former agency negotiated a deal with Nationwide with costs and benefits similar to GEICO. When Nationwide lost the rebidding of this contract, the credit union which serves my agency picked up sponsorship. Nationwide insures my cars, my house, a general "all other things liability policy" and my musical instruments in a package deal.

I have had only very few claims, but their service was fine. When I had boats, they insured them too and when one of these boats sunk at its dock, Nationwide took charge, no only paying me for the loss, but also arranging salvage and raising it from under the water. The had no hesitation in declaring it a "total loss." Once salvage was completed and the boat hauled away...I signed the title to them and had my check for the full insured amount minus salvage costs in a week.

Sometimes when you are under 25, about the only insurance you can get is with the same company which insured you when you were under your parents' policy. I imagine that varies from company to company. It was true for males when I was first insured in my own name at age 22 and living too far away to be carried on my parents' policy.

Jon
re: Best Car Insurance
By SarahdncrPremium member Comments: 635, member since Wed Jul 29, 2009
On Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:42 AM
Jon: I think you would qualify for USAA membership based upon them loosening up their membership creiteria, and as seeing that your dad had a military service connection. Also, back when they used to be officer's only, those that were FBI agents, and CIA case officers used to qualify as well (at least according to some old advertizing brochure I still have). I would imagine that an NSA officer would qualify too as well.

They do have a huge presence in this town. Their campus is across the street from where I get my cars worked on, and to get into the place is like trying to get into Fort Knox. They do have one walk-up banking window on the main campus that is open to the public. What was funny was this past summer they hosted at their campus here a number of the presidential candidates for private gatherings with their employee's. I was not very comfortable (as a member) with how they were sublimely telegraphing to the locals who's parties candidates they are endorsing.
re: Best Car Insurance
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 3037, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:05 PM
Sadly, these insurance companies are so huge that most of them can't act as a unit. A company can serve one region very well and be like a desk top pencil sharpener in another - yes, a company can do worse than suck.

I have heard good things about State Farm in other regions, but don't go near that company if you live anywhere near Washington DC. It took two full months of raw hassle to settle a claim, and for all of that time I did not even have the use of my car - and the car was legally parked when it was hit.

Geico has done well for me here, but I can't speak for other locations.

I have been with Allstate before on both car and home. The company had poor clerical staff, but at least it never made an error that I could not get corrected.
re: Best Car Insurance
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3906, member since Fri Jul 25, 2008
On Sat Aug 25, 2012 01:00 PM
We have Erie. Rates are good, and we love having an actual agent that we can call when we need help with something. However, we have not had to file a claim since we've had them, so I can't speak to that aspect. But I would definitely recommend using a company where you actually deal with an agent who knows you, rather than a company that doesn't offer that type of personal service.
re: Best Car Insurance
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6359, member since Thu Jul 12, 2007
On Sat Aug 25, 2012 08:48 PM
^Several years ago, I was hit by someone with Erie Insurance. He not only hit me, but hit four other cars in a chain-reaction crash...all with comparatively minor sheet metal damage They treated me very well and very efficiently. They sent the claims guy to the body shop I chose on Monday (accident was on Saturday.) My car was drivable and I called their 24 hour claim service. I drove my car to my preferred body shop on Monday morning en route to my work and Erie had a rental car waiting for me there for my use.

The worst insurance incident I ever had was our state's "insurer of last resort"...the the Maryland Auto Indemnity Fund (MAIF) which is a state agency for people who can't get insurance anywhere else. My understanding is that all insurance companies who do business in this state have to participate in this in a "Risk pool" for the worst drivers. Most states have such an agency. My wife got hit by a MAIF policy holder. MAIF didn't respond so I had to have my insurer fix the car and pay the deductible. The problem they said was that the guy who hit me never reported the accident to them. He gave my wife false information for address (an old address on his driver's license) and telephone numbers. I did talk to his mother who refused to tell me where he lived. This accident occurred only a half dozen block from my house. He hit my wife while making a U-Turn (it was clear he had also been drinking.) By chance, a couple months later we saw the truck which hit her parked in the same area and concluded he may have had a girlfriend in the area. For three nights, I staked out the place. On the third night the truck appeared and the guy got out (I knew him on sight as at the time of the accident, my wife called me and I went to the scene and spoke with him and the police.) I traced him to a particular address (without him seeing me.) I noted the address, then used a reverse sort address book to figure out who lived there and got the phone number. I then called MAIF and said Mr. ****** who hit my wife is consorting with Ms. ****** who lives at ***** with phone ***-****. My insurance company was reimbursed and they in turn refunded my deductible amount a week later. I heard that he was refused any more insurance, had his drivers license taken away for a year for lack of reporting and providing false information to us and was fined.

Moral: Don't mess with a U.S. Government Intelligence Officer.

Jon

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