Two weeks ago I was checking our online banking account and the insurance company withdrew $550.00 from our account. We were on automatic payment and our bill has been $165- $174 each month. So, I called to see why that amount was taken out. I have not received any notice or bill for that amount. I rounded up all our recent bills and had received a bill for the six month premium amount with a note at the bottom not to pay this bill because we were on automatic payment. Nothing on there about the extra charges. The agent told me that there was some fees for the changes we made. Okay, when we added my son I asked for a quote. She just added him onto my husband's truck which is newer than our Camry. She did that because my daughter is listed on the Camry and they cannot have two teen drivers listed on one vehicle. (Remember, I had asked for a quote, not to be added, like the agent did.) So, I asked if she could move my daughter to the truck and put him on the Camry since she is 18 and cheaper to insure. Also, we had full coverage on the truck and liability only on the car. The agent switched them and told us the amount for coverage and it was really high, so we decided to take the truck to liability only.
So, when I called the agent with questions about the $550 deducted from our account she said part of it was for the normal monthly billing and then there were some fees for the switches we made. Stop it right there, fees? I was never told about any fees, never billed any fees. So, I asked how much the fees were. Are you ready? $315.00!!!!! I exclaimed loudly and said, "Oh my G, I cannot believe you are charging me $315 for fees that you never even told me about!" My son got onto me for using the Lord's name in vain. I argued. I asked why she didn't tell me there would be a fee for switching and she said it is because she didn't know the amount, but there were always fees. I told her with State Farm we never had any fees. I also told her that she needs to let people know there is a fee but she doesn't know the amount so that they know. She became snotty and told me she would go put a sticky note on her computer right then.
In the end, it seems as if there is nothing we can do. One problem is that we had the automatic bill payment and it is taken. My husband didn't want automatic billing and the words "See, this is why."came out of his mouth. If we were paying we would have received a bill, questioned it, refused to pay, changed insurance companies if needed. Now, there is little recourse. After paying this bill, and dropping to liability only on our truck the monthly bill was still $270 a month- $100 over what we paid for full coverage without him added. I called around.
When we bought the house a year ago we were with State Farm. I called to get insurance on the house and it was cheaper to change to Farmers for home and auto insurance. I didn't know that Farmers is not writing their own insurance but piecing together policies from other lesser known companies. They shop for your coverage. Well, they are writing my son with a high risk company just because he is a boy and 16. I called State Farm and got a quote. With all four of us drivers and liability only on the Camry and truck it is $145 a month- from $270 at Farmers. What originally was a better rate turned out to be so much higher and so much riskier.
What am I taking away?
- It really hurts and makes you feel violated to have money taken from you.
- Our Farmer's agent was not nice- she was really snotty.
- Check rated yearly with other companies, don't assume because it was the cheapest last year that you can't get a better rate.
- Have your kids take drivers ed for the discount. My son couldn't get the class last semester but is in it now and we will get a further discount at the end. He doesn't even have to drive since he has his license already.
- Tell your kids that they have to have all A's and B's for the discount and if they don't then they will pay their own insurance.
- Since the two cars only have liability coverage I tell them that if they wreck the car then they will not have it replaced. Nice bike, cool Nikes.
- If you have newer autos with high insurance it is worth it to buy an older car for a couple of thousand to put the teen driver on for insurance. It also gives your family another car.
- We are not doing auto bill paying again. All our other bills, except water, is on auto bill pay so I don't know what we are doing with them. But, we are changing insurance and will pay monthly or whatever.
- The anger at your insurance agent may make you think about using said car to run them over, but you have to let it go and just see what you can learn from the incident. Don't run them over, you will have even higher insurance if you do.
- Your kids are watching you and how you react. It is okay to stand for your rights, but don't use the Lord's name in vain, and don't call the agent names outloud. Not that I did.