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View Diary: My Car Insurance Company Tried to Screw Me Post-Sandy. I Beat Them. (104 comments)

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  •  They didn't become the largest by luck (8+ / 0-)

    Sure, State Farm can be a bit more expensive than some others, but they have a big captive agency force that wants to sell insurance. The agents get pissed when their customers are unhappy. Bad claims handling makes customers unhappy. There are no shareholders to complain if you don't try to squeeze your policyholders.

    Unlike independent agents, the captives lose you as a customer when the insurance company loses you as a customer.

    The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

    by freelunch on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:14:41 PM PST

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    •  I agree they are more expensive. I disagree they (1+ / 0-)
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      are interested much in service or good relations.

      The linked site states the opposite of what you and I believe (they're more expensive):  

      They believe in keeping the rates low while giving the best coverage.
      While living in another state, I had excellent insurance with American Family and at lower rates.  After moving, I tried State Farm, until I had some practical experience with their 'service.'

      And for house insurance, they have among the highest rates around.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 07:27:41 PM PST

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      •  The best luck I've ever had was The Travellers (2+ / 0-)
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        wader, YucatanMan

        one of their drivers hit my son, who had stopped at a light, while she was talking on her cellphone.

        They could not provide him a rental, after totalling his 1991 Dakota (which he inherited from my Dad and we'd spent $4k refurbishing for him), but they paid for a rental for me so he could drive my vehicle (he was at the time under 25 years old and could not get a rental in his name in Texas); they paid a fair market value for the truck and paid half the value of his cello, which was damaged beyond repair in the wreck.

        We were fortunate he didn't sustain serious injuries.

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:02:16 PM PST

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      •  Perhaps depends on the location, too (1+ / 0-)
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        SF has covered some truly odd car repair situations and accepted the word of mechanics outside of their network to pay for things such as a replacement engine when fixing other damage to the powertrain became a game of hide and seek.  In almost all cases, someone or something else caused the damage to my car (and me), but they've been good about the followup.  With that personal record, I haven't tried shopping around for awhile.

        But again, local management may be a difference in service quality levels provided.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:03:55 PM PST

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        •  State Farm has various divisions like "Mutual," (2+ / 0-)
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          wader, freelunch

          "Lloyds," etc.  My understanding is that service levels vary quite a bit.  The divisions have something to do with regulation within each state.

          I don't remember the details about Texas any more, but the State regulates insurance companies, unless (nice loophole created by the legislature), they are a (say) "Lloyds Limited" company.  IN that case, there is zero regulation on price or on service.

          State Farm takes advantage of situations to avoid regulation, so I do not think their overall company culture is one of good service.

          If you live in a blue state, there probably are not the types of ridiculous, industry-created loopholes in the law, so you may get better results as the insurance companies don't want trouble from the stat regulator.  


          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:13:14 PM PST

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        •  Here's some background on the "Lloyds (1+ / 0-)
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          exemption," which has persisted and is now used to charge higher rates without regulation.

          Today, about 95% of homeowners are insured by Lloyd's companies
          Because of the "Lloyds exemption," State Farm and many other companies create a "Lloyds" division or branch or arms-length subsidiary and screw the customers without regulation.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:19:50 PM PST

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    •  When my former State Farm agent retired (1+ / 0-)
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      my husband and I found that the premiums we were being charged could have been much less with State Farm for the same coverage... when we asked why we were "overcharged" the retiring agent said "well you never asked for better rates."  Asshole.

      So, if you have State Farm, negotiate a bit.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

      If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. John F. Kennedy ( inaugural address, January 20, 1961)

      by Outraged Mom on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 05:26:36 AM PST

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