Car Insurance question

I need new car insurance. Unfortunately, I’ve had some bad luck and had two accidents in the past year. Previously, I’ve had none. One was a skid on snow into a guardrail and the other way a minor (for the other guy) one on a freeway that was never reported or recorded by the police. If I tell the new company that I’ve had none, is there any way for them to find out?

Insurance companies share information, so the accident that was reported will be available to any company you apply to. If there’s no record of the second accident, how could they find out about it? Providing false information can void any insurance contract, or cause them to decline your application.

Both were claimed w/ the currect company, so I guess I’m stuck.

Is your current company dropping you? If not, now is not the time to leave them.

If you are getting dumped, there’s not a lot you can do except make calls and get quotes. Some companies may not count minor (under $1,000) claims, others may forgive one accident in order to keep your premium low enough to attract your business.

You might consider the services of an insurance broker–they write for several companies and may be able to put you into a relatively comfortable “purgatory” policy while your record clears back up. But yeah, don’t lie on an app, it could bite you at the worst possible moment.

Along with what Inigo said, if you have other policies (home owners, etc) you could move all of them to one insurer. When I had an accident and was unhappy with my insurers actions, I moved auto, home owners, business, etc all to one insurer and saved some money.

Yeah. Sometimes the lure of getting all the household business will persuade an insurer to take care of you.

I may have posted this before but: we had 2 homeowners’ claims in the early part of the decade: one was for 3,000ish (our chimney blew off in a windstorm :eek: ) and the other was for a few hundred dollars (replacing items stolen when Typo’s car was broken into at work). This was over the course of 18 months. Over a year later, we needed to get coverage because we were moving to a new house. Our insurer - who had renewed our homeowners’ policy once already since those incidents - very nearly chose not to cover us for the new house :eek: :eek: :eek: . I called around and found that we were pretty much lepers in the insurance business - nobody would be likely to touch us. We were looking at having to go through a high-risk pool, which would have covered the house but zero contents, and fairly stripped-down coverage at that. Fortunately, the existing insurer, after putting our case before the underwriting committee, decided we’d been profitable enough over the previous 2 decades for auto and 1 decade for homeowners’, that they graciously continued to cover us.

Can some insiders comment on this? I’m under the impression that Homeowner’s cover is a relatively unprofitable line of business companies write mainly to attract customers for their other coverages.

I don’t see how this is true. I pay over $1000 a year for my homeowners and will probably never file a claim. After all, most people’s houses never burn down or suffer some other calamity. On the other hand, my car insurance is over $1200 per year (for two cars and three drivers – including a teenager). I would think that the odds of a car accident of some sort would be much greater than a house catastrophe. In my own experience, I’ve made two auto claims in the past ten years, yet have made no homeowners claims (knocking furiously on wood!!!).

Check your home insurance, you (probably) don’t get a discount for not claiming. I worked for a bank for many years and home insurance was their biggest earner, per employee, by a country mile. The most annoying thing for me was people bragging about never claiming on their home insurance - that’s what it’s there for!!!

By not claiming you’re, effectively, subsidising other peoples’ claims. The most common was accidental damage, mostly carpets and soft furnishings. If you’ve ever stained a carpet or sofa, or scratched a table you could’ve got a new one…

My parents haven’t claimed in 20-odd years and that bugs me too

But house insurance policies have deductibles, too. I can’t imagine that a scratched table would exceed a normal deductible. Yeah, there are lots of low deductible policies out there, but the difference between a $250 and a $5000 deductible seems extreme. Good time to see/change my deductibles across the board. Paid off car, and have enough savings to cover large deductibles. Just for the sake of completeness, another good reason not to finance cars – banks always want unreasonably low deductibles.

Ahh, Google tells me a ‘deductible’ is the same as in the UK; an ‘excess’.

Normally the excess for home insurance in the UK is about £50-£100 on accidental damage (IME), which is (probably) reflected in the average price for contents insurance - around £250 - £300 per annum for a medium-sized (3 bed) house. Now if a home-owner doesn’t claim for ten years, they’ve paid (inflation taken into account) >£2,500 for no return. To me that doesn’t make financial sense. IMO if you’re paying for this you should claim a certain amount, even if you don’t think the claim is fully ‘worthwhile’. The insurance is there to pay out if an item is ‘messed-up’. Are all your carpets as good as new, really? They can’t be, and you’re paying for their replacement, sort of.

Does anyone spill strong coffee or red wine or paint on their suite or carpet to get a new one, and does the insurance company pay up, without question, because the total, historical, insurance payments outweigh the cost of the furniture?

They understand your future payments will be higher than your claims - if they’re not, then you will always have difficulties…

My previous company paid for a family to spend the winter in the Bahamas because it was cheaper than putting them in a nearby hotel (UK, winter) - it’s about the bottom line only.

I used to work for Allstate Insurance in Colorado, so that’s where I’m getting my info.

If you wanted us to write a homeowners’ policy, and you had EVER filed a claim against a homeowners’ policy in the past, we would not write you. The prevailing thought was that if you had made a claim in the past, you were more likely to make another in the future, which made you high risk. Period. It never got near Underwriting. In some cases, that prevented people from closing escrow, as the bank will not let you have a mortgage unless the collateral is covered.

Based on that experience, I will never make a claim on my homeowners, unless the house burns to the fucking ground. I also have a very high deductible. I would never make a claim for something small like a broken window, a stolen stereo, or a blown-down grapestake fence. My insurance is to replace the house if it suddenly becomes not there anymore.

YMMV from state to state and company to company.

IIRC - and this is a fuzzy memory from 5 years ago - there was one major insurer (Allstate or State Farm?) that quit writing homeowners’ policies in my state (Virginia), EXCEPT for customers who also had automotive insurance with them.

The chance of an insurer losing money on my particular house is fairly low, I hope - barring it burning to the ground. In my whole geographic area, in fact - we don’t tend to have many hurricanes up here for example. But I think it had something to do with low rates in general in Virginia, or the regulatory environment, that made the companies feel the state was unprofitable for homeowners’ insurance.