Insurance gurus, I have a question.

I recently (last Saturday) changed my auto insurance policy, basically I dropped the soon to be ex and I am going to just have coverage for my pickup. The insurance company is the same but it is a different policy. I was quoted a price and paid half up front and will pay the rest in 4 monthly payments. Today I received an email from the insurance company stating they were going to adjust my rate, it is a 33% increase and it is based on a report from a company called Choice Point. I called the insurance company and the agent said that the report from Choice Point shows that I was in an accident on November 21, 2006 and that no fault was determined. The agent stated that because no fault was determined, they (both the insurance company and CP) consider me at fault for the accident. This is despite the fact the CP report shows no claims against my then insurance company. This accident was not a determining factor in any other insurance policies I have carried, basically because I was not at fault. Even the insurance company agent could not answer me why this was not a factor in my previous policy but is this time.

I contacted CP and all they said they can do is send me a copy of my report then I can challenge any entries. This accident is the only entry on my report. The person I talked to would not answer any questions I had about how they come up with their info. He couldn’t even answer me when I asked what documentation I needed to prove I was not at fault for the accident.

All I have at this time is a letter from Safeco Insurance accepting responsibility for their insured accident and offer a settlement amount. I also have a copy of the accident report I submitted to the state. I am going to get a copy of the officer’s accident report too, I had one but can’t find it. In the officer’s words on his report, I am an innocent victim of inattentive driving.

I have also done a little digging and found that the insurance company (Esurance) has a bad habit of raising rates shortly after policies are purchased and are very unresponsive to challenges to these rate increases.

My question for anyone that may have some knowledge of the insurance industry are:

  1. What is needed to challenge the entry on the Choice Point report?
  2. What info does Choice Point use in making their determinations?
  3. Esurance will only give me 2 days to cancel without a 25% premium penalty but CP will take up to 10 days to supply a copy of the report and then they have 30 days to reconsider the findings if I dispute them. Would it be worth cancelling and looking elsewhere or do all insurance companies use the CP report? I don’t want to cancel and buy elsewhere only to have the same thing happen.
  4. Who is really the best insurance company to buy from?

As a bump, I would point out that ChoicePoint is not without its critics. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ChoicePoint

They have also had a problem or two with their data being stolen/misused.

Drop them like a hot potato and notify your State’s insurance commissioner. It’s called bait and switch.

Agreed. I don’t know about WA, but in CA, insurance companies are required to give you back prorated refunds if you change policies part way through. That surcharge for canceling might not be legit.

They’ve got serious balls to unilaterally change a deal and then decide that you have to pay them a penalty if you don’t respond in two days.

Dump them and go with AAA. I’ve never had a problem with them, and they are pretty inexpensive where I live.

I can’t answer the OP but I can offer a word of unsolicited advice.

Go to another agent. Compare apples for apples and choose another company. Two things bother me about this. (1) The company that you’re insuring your investment with is either unresponsive or unwilling to listen to reason regarding the not-at-fault accident and (2) your agent isn’t being a very good advocate if s/he’s not willing to go to bat for you.

ChoicePoint likely got the information regarding your accident from the company that you were insured with at that time. Contact them as well to notify them that CP has incorrect or incomplete information regarding the accident and ask if they can assist you in rectifying it.

Lastly, good luck. I’ve been an insurance adjuster for almost 30 years and this is the kind of crap that give our industry the reputation it has.