Auto Insurance: Should I Switch?

Early last month, I updated our car information with Liberty Mutual, our current auto and home insurer. The policy won't expire till the end of next January, and we have been quite happy with their rates and services for the past three years. Therefore, we aren't actively seeking any replacement, though the premiums went up a little bit (less than $100) every time we renew our policy. Then this morning an email from Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance got my attention. Without reading the message, its subject "Costco members who switched saved on average $400" was enough to generate some interests. Actually, I have seen Ameriprise on Costco website before, but never gave it any serious consideration. This time I thought if I can really save several hundreds with them, it doesn't hurt to get a quote.

Following the link in the email, I went to Ameriprise and gave exactly the same coverage we currently have with Liberty Mutual:

  • Bodily Injury: $50K each person, and $100K each accident;
  • Property Damage: $50K each accident
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists: Same as above
  • Medical Expense Limit: $250K
  • Medical Expense Deductible: $1K
  • Collision Deductible: $1K; other damage deductible: $1K

If both cars get the comprehensive coverage, the six month premium from Ameriprise is $714, compared to $1516 for a full year with Liberty Mutual. If I drop the full coverage on the 2000 Honda Accord, the premium became $600. Though the online quote isn't very accurate (it said I can get more accurate estimate if I provide my social security number, but I didn't), the number still slightly favors Ameriprise. Besides, the above quote is for auto only, and what we paid Liberty Mutual is to insure both cars and home with them. So if I do switch, it's possible to save a couple of hundreds. On top of the savings on premium, another bonus with Ameriprise, as mentioned in the email, could be

As a Costco member, you can charge your insurance premiums to your American Express Costco Cash Rebate Credit Card or TrueEarnings Card and earn a rebate on all eligible purchases.

With my Executive membership, there could be an extra 3% (1% from TrueEarnings card and 2% from Executive Member rebate??) discount of the premium, making the switch more attractive. However, I have a couple of concerns about the switch. First, this will be my fourth auto insurance company since 2001 (I have switched from Amica to AAA to Liberty Mutual) if I make the switch; second, I probably have to give them my SSN to get a better estimate and they may check my credit history. It won't be a big deal if eventually I use them, but what if the saving is not good enough? A credit inquiry may only get me a quote.

I intent to give them a call to get quotes for both auto and home insurance and see if they can do it without checking my credit.

Finally, anybody has any experience with Ameriprise? I have never had any business with them before and have no idea how goog they are.

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3 Responses to “Auto Insurance: Should I Switch?”

  1. Isaac |  Nov 15, 2006 at 1:28 pm

    I love having Ameriprise Insurance on my cars. My wife and I switched when we became members at Costco and our rates have been extremely competitive ever since. Their customer service is excellent. We had to make a couple of changes and had no problems. Additionally I was in an accident 3 months after signing on with them, they took care of my needs until the responsible party’s insurance finally paid up and did so with great care and speed. I don’t own a home so I’m not sure about their homeowners policy department but I can definitely recommend their auto insurance.

  2. The Sun |  Nov 15, 2006 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks, Isaac. I am definitely encouraged by your comments on Ameriprise. I will give them a call this week to see what kind of rate I will get. With both auto and home insurance, the quote is likely to be a little lower than what I got online.

  3. ltr |  Apr 21, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Shop your rates around and bundle your auto and homeowners policies with the same insurance company. Best way to save money. Most people stay with the same insurance company their entire life. This can be costly unless your insurer gives big customer loyalty discounts.