When you get a quote for car insurance, you might think that only a few things matter — your driving record, the cost and use of your vehicle, the type of coverage you need, and other factors directly related to operating an automobile. But the fact is that many insurers are basing your insurance quotes on data points that have nothing to do with driving, like your credit score, marital status, and ZIP code. New research shows that determining price using these types of demographic and financial factors (rather than driving record alone) can have a serious impact on the affordability of car insurance. [More]
3 Things We’ve Learned About How Demographics, Credit Scores & Marital Status Affect Your Car Insurance Rates
California law requirers auto insurers in the state to offer minimum-coverage policies to drivers with clean driving records, regardless of factors like gender, employment, marital status, or education. But one consumer advocacy group claims that GEICO isn’t abiding by those rules and is allegedly misleading certain customers into thinking they’re getting the minimum coverage when they are in fact being offered several times more than the minimum. [More]
If it seems to you that Geico advertises during every program you watch on TV, you’re not wrong. The insurance company spent $935 million on ads last year, and there cannot possibly be anyone left in this country who doesn’t know how long it might take them to save 15% on car insurance. Can there? [More]
While we all have that one friend who is constantly littering our Facebook timelines with YouTube links to “Hilarius!” [sic] commercials, most of us hate advertisements. Even the ones that are funny or interesting the first time you see them will inevitably begin to grate after you see it for the 10th time in an hour. But some ads never even earn that initial chuckle, and instead go right to pushing that nerve that makes you want to body-slam your beloved 55″ TV. [More]
You might know the backstory behind some brand names — like that BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke (or Bavarian Motor Works) or that CVS started as Consumer Value Stores. Look at you, smartypants. But what about LEGO? Or ASICS? LG, anyone? [More]
Unless you’re like me and the sight of the GEICO pig on your TV has you instantly lunging for the mute button, you may have seen the ads where the porcine insurance shill blabs on about the convenience of having his insurance card on his smartphone. That’s nice and all, but it won’t currently fly in most states. [More]
All those ads trying to wheedle, cajole, convince and otherwise get drivers to switch car insurers add up to billions of dollars for insurance companies. But a new study says that even with all that financial heft, fewer drivers are deciding to take the plunge and go elsewhere. That sound you hear is money sliding down the drain. [More]
Driving safely and avoiding accidents isn’t just common sense — injuries hurt, car wrecks are bad — but also a way to make sure drivers keep their auto insurance premiums down. But according to figures released by a consumer group recently, insurance companies are in the habit of charging higher premium to safe, low- or moderate-income drivers than to richer people who were at fault for an accident. [More]
Statistically, married people are safer drivers than unmarried people, and car insurance premiums vary accordingly One of the things that Dan had to take care of after his wife died was taking her off the car insurance policy. While the GEICO employee he spoke to was very kind and helpful, his new premium caught him by surprise. Removing his wife from the policy didn’t cut it in half: it raised it by ten percent.
With the recent announcement that Apple has taken mercy on all TV watchers and finally put a bullet in the head of the “I’m a Mac” ad campaign, along with with McDonald’s’ decision to keep longtime front man Ronald McDonald, in spite of a push to have him put out to pasture, we want to know from you which TV ad character/spokesthing you think should be next in line for retirement.
What were the top ads on TV this year for you? For me, it’s got to be GEICO’s googly-eyes-on-a-pile-of-money bits. At first I didn’t like them but after the 20th viewing or so, I got it.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car failed reader Jimmy in every possible way, which is quite the accomplishment since he only wanted a full size car to drive around his visiting friends. GEICO, Jimmy’s insurance company, set him up with Enterprise after he lost a head-on collision with a deer. Enterprise managed to muck up nearly every step of the rental process, promising to deliver cars they didn’t have, delivering the wrong class of car, and upselling unnecessary insurance that they wrongly said GEICO would cover. Jimmy’s never going to use Enterprise again, and inside, you’ll see why…
Dan wrote in to let us know his $8,800 GEICO Mastercard now has a $500 line of credit. “It’s not you, it’s us,” is basically what GEICO told him in their letter on March 12th. They also say they’re doing this to every one of their Mastercard holders. Dan notes, “Interestingly enough, this new limit is less than the 6 month rate GEICO was charging me for my two cars, meaning that I couldn’t even use their preferred card to pay their premiums.” You can read their letter below.
After the contract was signed, mistakes made by a…
Jonathan writes:On January 1st, a friend of mine went to visit another friend in CT (I am from NJ), and unfortunately hit black ice, and proceeded into a guardrail.
AppleCare’s iPhone coverage is limited to hardware issues and technical support; if you drop your iPhone on the sidewalk, you may be out $600, unless you have insurance against accidental damage and theft.
This “LETTER TO OPTIMUS PRIME FROM HIS GEICO AUTO INSURANCE AGENT” from McSweeney’s strikes an all-to-familiar note. Poor Optimus.
Insurance companies are opening their own in-house repair shops to avoid haggling with your local mechanic. Local mechanics consistently complain that insurance companies are cheapskates that would rather save a buck than authorize the repairs needed to safely return a car to the road. By opening their own shops, insurers have found the corporate equivalent of sticking your finger in your ear while mouthing “I can’t hear you!”
Rather than putting the onus on customers to find a body shop, get an estimate and arrange a rental car, Progressive, Geico and others are setting up one-stop service centers to handle every aspect of the claim.
Progressive and Geico guarantee their repairs for life, though it’s difficult to trust someone who has a direct interest in keeping the repair bill low. Two customers interviewed by the Times found obvious defects in the insurance companies’ workmanship. Still, the customers left happy, not because their cars worked, but because they were treated well by smiling insurance company representatives. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER