April 30th, 2010

Under the wings of an unwinged creature...

About four weeks ago, I got an e-mail from Progressive indicating it was time to re-up my policy for another six months. I logged into their site, and I was greeted with a rude surprise: the half-year premium, paid in full, would be five hundred dollars higher than it would've been if I'd had the new car for the whole of my current coverage period. I did some investigating, and it confirmed my initial suspicion - that a minor car accident I had last September was the reason for this price hike. This angered me for multiple reasons. One, Progressive severely overreacted; I tapped the vehicle in front of me at the bottom of an exit ramp, going maybe five miles per hour. Two, the incident was listed on my renewal declarations page for the previous renewal last October. In other words, Progressive knew about the accident then and, intentionally or not, chose to wait six months to hit me for it. While it saved me money in the short term, it still probably cost me money overall because it delayed me from doing exactly what I did next.

As soon as I saw the quote - which was upwards of two grand for six months - I began the process of shopping around. It was a short process. As soon as I went to GEICO's website, I was floored by how low the number was. I matched the coverage to what I previously had with Progressive, and it was about 70 percent less than what Flo's company wanted from me. I was even still able to get the "good driver" discount because the damage from my accident was a sufficiently small amount. As I was doing this research, my brother dropped by. I asked him who he was with for car insurance, and he said "well, I was with Progressive for a long time, but I recently switched to GEICO." That sealed it; I bought the policy, and cancelled with Progressive the next day. I'll give them a tiny bit of credit; I was pleasantly surprised at not having to argue or suffer through a sales pitch when I made the call to cancel. I'm pleased with the service I've received thus far, and it's nice to be under the protection of the gecko, the caveman, the googly-eyed stack of money, and the deep-voiced guy who asks rhetorical questions. All in all, it's a good place to be, and certainly far better than where I was (and would have been) had I maintained the status quo.
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