Thursday, February 11, 2010

Government Employees Insurance Company

I feel like I've dumped a family friend and now everyone hates me. I was surprised that no one would believe me when I told them yesterday that our car insurance was so high. It surprised the hell out of me, so maybe everyone was just in shock.

From the very moment I was even thinking about marrying Joe everyone told me USAA was the way to go for everything, auto insurance, banking, life insurance, etc. And I believed them. I mean, it's set up for the military family, right? They have to be the best for our situation. So when Joe and I moved to Kansas we handed our two cars and renters insurance to USAA. And it was cheaper than what I was using at the time. And Joe had car insurance with them for two years while he was in Germany.

So in December 2008 when we needed a new (used) car, we automatically assumed that USAA would give my SGT husband a car loan. He's been with them for almost 4 years, never missing a payment, plus he's a soldier!! Well, they wouldn't give Joe a loan. And that really pissed him off. He vowed to never bank with USAA. I didn't really care either way.

When we moved to Colorado Springs, we called USAA and updated all our info. This is a MUCH bigger city than Junction City, so it didn't surprise us at all that our car insurance went up a little. Joe was quoted a rate of $188 a month for full coverage on his 06 Accord with a $1000 deductible and only liability on my 04 Pilot. We go the bare minimum because Joe feels like his car insurance should be under $150 a month. But $188 in a big city, whatever. We were willing to go along with it. And then USAA auto drafted $244 out of our account March 3rd. Now, $19 of that is renters insurance. So our $188 quote turned into $225. NOT COOL!! So I called USAA yesterday morning to make sure there wasn't a typo or other misunderstanding. Nope, that was the monthly charge. I was stunned. I wrote down all the numbers and got off the phone. Then Joe came home for lunch. Joe has two settings when dealing with money - off and PISSED!! He spent his whole lunch break on the phone with USAA trying to get that number down. There was no way to take off more coverage off our cars. He got off the phone and asked me to find a new insurance company to make sure USAA numbers were competitive.

I finished an online quote with Geico and just sat there stunned. Surely I missed a key or didn't check a button. That number on the screen wasn't right at all. Full coverage on the Accord with a $500 deductible and liability on my car for only $83 a month???? No way! I did something wrong. So I called the number on the screen and got the nicest guy on the phone. He couldn't believe my story or my number from USAA. So we piled as much coverage on both cars as we could. Wanna guess the number? Full coverage on both cars, $500 deductible, EVERYTHING Geico offers (uninsured motorist, medical for the other people in the cars, roadside assistance, accident forgiveness, EVERYTHING!!) was only $127 a month!!! I was blown away. I spend 2 hours on the phone with this guy working all the numbers. He ran our records and he couldn't find anything that would make USAA's rate so high. I needed to make sure this wasn't a joke, so I got off the phone and checked two other insurance companies, Progressive and All-State. Their numbers were a little higher than Geico's, but only by $20 to $30 - no where near USAA's $225!!

So the Geico guy called us back after 5:30pm (staying after his shift was over) because Joe wanted to talk to him about the numbers. I called USAA and canceled our insurance. The THREE women I talked to couldn't believe what I was saying. Apparently people don't cancel their USAA insurance very often. They wrote down the numbers Geico quoted us and said that they would look into it. They are "95% competitive" in most places and will reevaluate their coverage in Colorado Springs. BUT I have a good friend who was in the same situation that we are in (one car with full coverage, the other with liability, living in Colorado) and she's only paying about $125. What gives?? Well, all THREE women I was passed to last night couldn't match Geico's rates. Not even for renters insurance. USAA was charging us $19 for $20,000. Geico quoted us $30,000 of coverage for $12 a month.

So as much as everyone thinks USAA is the best insurance ever, I would strongly suggest looking around, even just get an online quote with a few other places just to make sure your insurance is the best and lowest you can get. Two days ago I was online telling a future Army wife how great USAA was about taking care of their military families. Well, I cant say that anymore. And it was so funny to watch all of my army wife friends come to USAA's defense. "They are always the lowest for us." Well, that's fabulous. Gotta find ways to save money in this economy, but I cant stay with a company just because they are "supposed" to take care of military families the best. In this case, my pocket book is doing the talking.

Do you know what GEICO stands for? Government Employees Insurance Company. That's right. Geico was started as an insurance company for government employees, military servicemen, postal workers, etc.


AimeeJ said...

It's great that you were able to get a good rate from somewhere else, but you shouldn't be so quick to bash USAA. They are wonderful and have helped out countless military families. Not everything can be perfect for every family out there.

Julie the Army Wife said...

Thanks for sharing this! I do love USAA but mostly for the experience I have had with banking. We are with them now for insurance because they really are the only real choice overseas. I will be shopping around for the best rates when we move to the US though. We used Progressive before we moved here and felt they were good too.

Samantha the ArmyWife said...

I had the same issue with USAA. I got a quote from them and it was exponentially higher than my current company, American Family here in Colo Springs. Good thing you found a deal.

Marsie said...

We really like USAA for our other accounts, but we had an insurance experience similar to yours. The payments got crazy high, and they couldn't match quotes from other companies. We have Progressive now and are very happy.

I'm glad you got it all figured out though! Paying over $200 is just nuts!!

Jenny said...

USAA has great service -- my dad helped me set up my first car insurance policy with them when I was 18. But after a couple of years of paying insanely high premiums, I switched. I've never gotten a quote anywhere NEAR as high as my USAA premiums were. Same story with my husband. Glad you made the switch and saved some moolah!

Sara said...

Oh I know USAA has made a huge difference for a lot of people. I hear how great they are all the time. I think that may be part of the problem. I cant believe after my experience with USAA so many people come forward with their *not so great* USAA stories. I think everyone thinks they are the best, when sometimes they just arent. I think people need to know both sides of the story.

stefanie said...

We have never had an account or insurance with USAA. Why? Because they wouldn't even insure us only because my husband has something minor on his criminal record that happened 7 freaking years ago! Can you believe that?! He was a teenager then and now is a grown, responsible man and USAA is still being stupid about something that happened so long ago. We are with GEICO as well and love them to pieces. For two cars (2003 BMW and 1999 Jeep) with FULL coverage we pay $120. We love GEICO and their customer service is outstanding.

TheAlbrechtSquad said...

I always believe that everyone should do their own research. I do like USAA as I had a horrible experience with GEICO who continued to raise our premium month after month with no explanation. I check insurance premiums annually to make sure we are getting the best deal for our money.

Glad you got what worked for you.

ABW said...

Glad you found something that worked for you! That's all that really matters. We had GEICO and they also raised our rates all the time when we had no accidents or any tickets or anything. When I called to switch they were so rude and told us they would keep our account open because USAA would drop us. We pay just over $100 for insurance and rentor's insurance. We had GEICO for about 5 years, and USAA for about 10.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info Sara! I'm a new Army wife and i didnt know which insurance to go with, my father is an insurance agent and he straight up told me to go somewhere else than his company. i did hear that Geico wasnt that great, they dropped my brother for no reason but i will definately do some shopping around before just jumping on the USAA train. I was also told that USAA was the first and only choice. Thanks again!


kelly said...

My husband is insured under Geico for his motorcycle. I recently tried signing us up for USAA a few weeks back, however, they said they do not cover motorcycles. The woman I spoke with was extremely helpful and referred me to Progressive insurance. I was hoping to purchase a scooter and they do not cover those either. This was my first experience with car insurance and I thought they had fairly good customer service. Surprisingly great experience!