I think it's time for a new insurance agent

And she only has herself to blame.

When I moved here years ago she was the closest agent to my new house so I got all my insurance through her. Home, autos, jewelry. Straight forward and simple. We have no tickets or accidents and have never made a claim so it was simple for her. Collect our monthly premiums and pretty much never hear from us. And in return I expected the same, unless it’s really important I really don’t expect to here from you.
But suddenly I became a prospective consumer to her and I’d get messages left on my machine to “please call immediately about your policy” only to find out she wanted to pitch me life insurance or upsell me.
It finally got to the point where I had to tell her “STOP! If it’s not an emergency don’t call. I do not want any more soliciting from you!”
It slowed down but she would still call once a year to pitch something.

So the last straw came this past week. I buy a new car, sell my old one, and call her to switch over the insurance. And she couldn’t resist in trying to sell me something.
“Did you finance?”
“What kind of interest rate did you get?”
“Oooo, what if I could get you 4.69 for the same term?”
I quickly run the numbers and it comes to about $720 saved over 4 years and figure why not? $720 is $720.
“Okay, what do I have to do?”
“Nothing, I’ll take care of it and call you with the details.”
So a few days pass and she calls me back.
“Okay. It’s all set for your approval. You got the 4.69 rate.”
“Sounds good.”
“So your new monthly payment will be $605/mo…”
“Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. My old payment was $600/mo. How in the world did it go up?”
“Mmmm, I don’t know, what did you think it would be?”
“More like $585.”
“Well, let me see here, we have your premium, and we have the gap insurance…”
“The what?”
“The gap insurance”
“What’s that?”
“So you’re covered for the full amount on your vehicle.”
“??? Can I get it without that?”
“Well, no, I don’t like to do loans without it.”
“Well seeing I was doing this to, you know, SAVE money not spend more I’m going to have to take a pass at this time.”
“Oh, okay. Well keep us in mind if you ever nee…”

So I’ll be shopping for another agent tommorow.

I never hear from my (Minneapolis area) agent unless I call him first or there is some major issue, which is like ‘once every several years’. Has always given me top notch service when I have called him.

It’s Progressive, which I have for Auto and Renters.

Sounds like your agent viewed you as a potential cash machine.

Dumb. Someone whose job is to sell you stuff tries to <gasp> sell you stuff? Stop the presses!

And if there’s a gap to be covered, that means you have to take into account the deductibles and coverage amounts.

So, potentially she’s giving you a better deal than you currently have. Of course, don’t let that get in the way of your oversensitivity. You sound like one of those douchebags that gets pissed off at the cashier when the store is out of their brand of smokes or fabric softener or whatever.

And the best part is, I can see a future rant from you about “My car got wrecked and my insurance agent didn’t get me gap coverage, so now I’m out 2 grand!”

I’d consider gap insurance to be critical for the first year of payments. Unless you’ve made a very large down payment, you’re upside down the moment you drive the car off the lot. That said, my auto insurance company includes “new car replacement cost” automatically for the first year it’s covered. It sounds like she was selling it to you from the lender, when she should have (if necessary, if new car coverage isn’t already included) added it to your auto insurance.

No, no gap to be found here. $6K down should cover any gap I can think of.
And if someone is selling me a service and we’re past the point of sale then they turn from salesperson into serviceperson. Go drum up new business elsewhere.
I’m sure there a agents a plenty that will be happy to collect my monthly premiums and not have to lift a finger in return. I’ll find one of them.

Yeah, pretty much this. Make like Nancy Reagan and just say “NO!” It’s not that hard, really.

He did say No. To her. Three huzzahs for the free market!

She didn’t even let him know that he had the option to say “NO!”, she just set up the gap insurance without asking him if he wanted it, or if he was OK with it. Previously, she had been told not to try to upsell him on ANYTHING, but she’s persisted.

Now she’s done it again. And he’s had enough. And she can really only blame herself.

The OP needs to find another agent, and then he needs to call his ex-agent’s boss and tell that person “Your agent just cost your company <$X> in premiums, because she would not respect my wishes, and because she tried to sell me something that I didn’t want or need.”

I disagree. Being a glorified salesman myself (although in a completely different market), you should respect the way the prospect or client wants to interact with you. Whether that’s online, mail, phone, or never (except in emergencies). Whoever spends the money gets to decide (A Mark Cubanism in this month’s Inc. mag).

As for the gap insurance, I’ve never had it so I couldn’t say if it was a good deal or not - but just assuming it was wanted and ramming it through is an awful business practice. She’s now pissed off an existing client (remember, new ones take somewhere from 4-7 times as much effort to keep as existing ones) to the extent that Hampshire will likely be going elsewhere. She should have tried to find out if it was wanted, made the pitch, and go from there.

Huh? The OP can say no all the way up to the time he says yes by signing on the dotted line. Setting it up with gap insurance didn’t inflict some grievous injury on the OP.

Salesmen sell stuff. If you look for financing from an insurance agent, they will try to sell you insurance. If you go get coffee with an insurance agent, they will try to sell you insurance. If you want financing or coffee without the apparent horror that is someone trying to sell you insurance, then do both by means other than through an insurance agent.

I think it’s unreasonable to get all pissy just because a salesman tries to sell you something. It’s like being mad at a dog for humping your leg–that’s just what they do.

No, it IS rude. This extra cost should have been brought up from the beginning. And he didn’t so much get pissy as decide to go to a new salesperson - which I would have done, too. That’s our right, in a capitalistic society.

Having settled a few total loss claims I’ll pipe in as someone who’s drunk the GAP insurance Flavr-Ade. Never talked to anyone who had it but ended up not needing it that was pissed off that they had it. Talked to plenty of people who needed it but didn’t have it and were PISSED that nobody even told them about it. When Daewoo went tits up the value of their cars plummeted. The market value of a 2 year old car was now all of a sudden $3-4,000 for a car that cost $20k new. Saturn and a few others have just folded and I’m seeing similar, if not as dramatic, drops in value. Insurance addresses “unlikely but very possible” risks, GAP is a form of insurance.

Now I will cede Hampshire his point–it was wrong to assume you wanted it. Risk tolerance is very personal and, having also spent some time in the sales office, I completely agree that her approach was not acceptable. She should at least have offered what was sold–just the loan–and then explained the GAP option, why it’s a good idea and then let you pick. I can tell you, she stood to make very little, like maybe $10, on the GAP policy. She was doing it for your own good. But that kind of agent pisses me off. The ones who impose their own risk tolerance on their customers inevitably piss them off by overselling, and they also miss other opportunities just because they don’t think something is important.

On the other hand… I’ve seen agents have to eat shit sandwiches because someone was driving around with minimum liability limits, had a nasty wreck and then played the “How can I possibly not have enough insurance to cover the damage I done? MY AGENT NEVER TOLD ME! WHAT AM I PAYING HIM FOR???” card.

Hampshire, I think you have a good agent but her customer service/sales skills suck. She does risk management for a living, you do not. She see’s all kinds of claims, accidents and financially devastating situations that you don’t because of where she is and what she does. How about you do what you do and spread your expertise around for the benefit of all, and let her do the same? She would be negligent if she DIDN’T bring your attention to holes in your insurance. Would you respect a chimney sweep who didn’t bring your attention to the burn marks on your cedar shingles and attempt to sell you something that could keep your house from burning down? How about a doctor who doesn’t tell you to lose 50 pounds because he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings? Or the cop who doesn’t question the guy jacking off in his car next to the playground because, well that would embarass the masterbateur?

And another thing–what’s all this talk about Gap insurance? Their clothes are quite inexpensive–can’t you just buy another pair of jeans if they break? :confused:

See, I’m having the opposite problem. I keep asking my insurance agent to review my policies and tell me what I need to do to improve my coverages and maybe up them from the cheapest available to the smartest coverage - and he keeps blowing me off. Guess I don’t spend enough . . . .

Wow, imagine that. An insurance salesman attempting to… sell you insurance. An insurance that is, from the sane perspective of anyone who doesn’t put 25% down payment on a wasting asset, relatively useful and certainly not premium onerous.
You also strike me as someone who can’t fucking negotiate his way out of a paper bag. Her response to “can i get it without the gap insurance” isn’t “absolutely not” it’s “i don’t like to”. Your response to that? It’s not “well if you want my business you’ll offer it without the insurance” it’s “bla bla bla (insert snarky, passive aggressive bullshit here)… I’ll pass”

      • trout * * *

I know some people love to negotiate every dime they spend but I prefer not to have to play stupid games. Give me your best offer up front and I’ll take it or leave it.

again, unless she knew that you were a financial dimwit who pays 25% down on a wasting asset, she was giving you the best offer up front, given the low cost of the additional insurance and the protection it provides.

christ, it would’ve taken all of 5 seconds of “stupid game playing” (which, incidentally, indicates your utter lack of negotiation sophistication when you describe this particular exchange as game playing) to say “drop the insurance and send me the quote”. this isn’t really a negotiation at all anyway, and certainly not one that only “people [who] love to negotiate every dime they spend” would engage in.

I have USAA and absolutely love them. They never try to sell me stuff and when I switched my auto insurance from State Farm, I got more coverage for less money. Plus when my house was broken into the claim process was a breeze. The representative even suggested that they pay for things that I never would have thought of (window replacement and the locksmith) and I had my money the next day.

There are tons of insurance agents out there, so why not find one that’s a good fit.

It’s a business transaction, the agent’s feelings and perceptions really shouldn’t enter into it. Why feel the need to justify the decision? If the OP doesn’t like the agent for any reason, switch. All the stuff she does is probably handed down from central office, so switch companies.

If, after the 10th agent, the OP finds that none of them are sufficiently passive, he can go to one of those 100% on line outfits. All they do is send junk emails.

I am very happy with my current agent. I switched from State Farm - who was the worst combination of trying to sell me stuff I hate plus ignoring my actual requests. I haven’t gotten anything from my current company, but I still get phone calls and mail from State Farm either asking me to come back or trying to sell me something and being amazed to hear that I am no longer a customer.