It occurred to me recently that I’ll never REALLY be satisfied with paying for insurance.
Home. Auto. Life. Travel....whatever.
I could think of hundreds of things I'd rather spend $3,000 a year on.
1. Buy used Seadoos every year to ride and abandon.
2. Buy new grass each year and never take care of it knowing more is coming next year.
3. Purchase and crash those trendy drones I see around.
4. Unlimited Ice Cream and Milkshake Budget.
5. Donate it. (had to offer up SOMETHING that wasn't totally self indulgent)
This could go on, but I think you see where I'm going here.
Insurance is a lot like PROPERTY TAX or AN OIL BILL. I don't WANT to pay it, but it's a requirement if you have a vehicle, or home.
So with this in mind, I submit to you a suggestion for improving your feelings about these payments.
Make sure the money you spend is MAXIMIZING your personal enjoyment of this otherwise disappointing expense.
It seems that a LOT of people derive the VALUE from knowing they paid the absolute bottom dollar for insurance coverage.
They shop for new carriers every year, they don’t mind waiting on hold forever, and they have zero interest in getting to know the people offering that product.
THE VALUE FOR THEM is about feeling like they got the VERY LOWEST PRICE AVAILABLE.
In today's world.... I TOTALLY get that approach. It keeps the most dollars in your pocket TODAY, and you're rolling the dice on never needing to use it.
If you're this type of customer....you should shop with a direct insurer.
There are lots of them out there catering exactly to what you're looking for. (TD, UNIFUND aka JOHNSON, Sonnet, etc)
The model is setup so that the insurers save costs on selling it (using call centers) and then pass some of those savings to the customer through lower premiums.
ALL UPSIDE right? Not necessarily.
There's a TRADE OFF you may not know about.
When you buy direct from an insurer, you're opting to represent yourself in all dealings with that provider.
A broker's job is to advocate for their client in a claim. So by removing the broker from the equation you're forfeiting that extra layer of protection/advice you could be getting.
No different than buying a home without a realtor. Super idea until you find out the house is built on a swamp. Since you're actually risking more to buy direct it makes sense the price should be lower.
If you have a claim that goes sideways or you forget to update them about important changes during your policy, it's an uphill battle for those who aren't familiar...and hopefully you've banked some of that money you've saved on premiums to hire a lawyer.
You forfeit the right to complain if you declined a coverage to save money, or don't feel well represented in a claim situation.
You shouldn't troll the TD social media accounts about how BAD THEY ARE AFTER A CLAIM IS DENIED. *Although I should admit I enjoy reading those.
If you bought the off-brand Z-PAD on E-Bay....it's unlikely you're going to receive Apple product quality.
If lowest price was the only thing people VALUED the market would be FLOODED with Kirkland Basketball Shoes and Big 8 Jeans...yet I can't find Big 8 Jeans anywhere.
VALUE can be lots of things...
If you're wondering what "telematics" is, check out this earlier post.
This one is focused on what it's like to setup and use the app.
This review is based on the use of 'MyBridge' app through Pembridge Insurance. There are a few companies out there using 'telematics' and their experiences are likely to vary.
My policy started in late September 2018, and I didn't actually start using the app until mid November. Typically it begins within the first 30 days of a policy.
CON: Most people disagree with the penalty, or don't remember it happening which brings a bit of resentment towards anyone involved.
Tale of the Tape
Results at Day 61
We saved a few hundred dollars THIS year by using it, and am on track to get more next year at renewal.
(I was cut off by a snowplow and it didn't even register)
Matt Davison is a
Auto Insurance Rates Explained
Back To School
Home And Auto Insurance Advice
The Role Of A Broker