Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Top 5 Marketing Tricks Auto Insurance Companies Use to Hook You.

Can anyone read this thing? There are no numbers!

As I said in an earlier post, nothing is free in the insurance world. In addition, insurance companies tell you plenty of things that their market research has shown that you want to hear – but may not necessarily reflect the truth.

1. Offering you a “No Cancellation” guarantee. They don’t have to cancel your insurance to make you go away. If you have a series of accidents they won’t cancel you – but how long will you want to pay the higher and higher premiums they are giving you to make you go away?

2. Accident Forgiveness is not as simple as it sounds. They will forgive the “property damage” part of your accident if you have a fender bender – but if someone claims bodily injury, then that part of the claim will not be forgiven. Insurance companies generally don’t immediately surcharge you for an accident anyway, and if you are a good driver otherwise, you may never see an increase if you have one accident during your tenure with your insurance company.

They might not forgive this one, no matter what

3. We will waive your deductible for windshield chips! I’ve addressed this one once before, and that advice is still true. THERE IS NO FREE CAR REPAIR. Pay the $25 to fix the chip yourself and reap the benefits of lower premiums in the long run.

4. Name your own price.. I don’t even want to address this one, as it’s so ridiculous. You can always name your own price; just decide what kind of coverage you want. Want to pay nothing at all for insurance? Don’t have it! Want to pay less for your insurance? Don’t fall for crazy lies, instead call an independent agent.

5. “Guaranteed low price”. This is almost as patently ridiculous as “Name Your Price”. Maybe if you put this guarantee under your pillow at night, the “guarantee fairy” might come and leave you a quarter. No one can guarantee a low price, or any percentage of savings, or anything solid like that when it comes to insurance. Insurance pricing is not flexible, as it is based on statistics and facts. It can’t be discounted at a whim; coverage can be removed, but you can’t just lower the price to match someone else’s price. Insurance is not a TV.

Guy puts a fancy guarantee on a box 'cause he wants you to feel all warm and toasty inside

So to sum this all up in a few words, DON’T FALL FOR MARKETING LIES. Marketing people will tell you anything that focus groups have told them you want to hear. Instead, be an informed consumer and seek out the truth. Most people want to save money on insurance, sure – but don’t let your desire trump your reason. The ads where they tell you all of these lies cost big money – and how do you think they make it?

That is you on the left, paying for State Farm's commercials

5 Things to Do When Renting an Apartment in Dallas.

There is no water here. This picture is deceiving.

So you’re moving to Dallas, are you? Welcome! If you are moving here from out of the state or just from some other city in Texas, then you are in for a treat. Dallas is an exciting town, just full of opportunity, nights over 90 degrees, and fancy apartment living! Since you are headed here, and you are sharing a moment with me and my blog, I thought I’d give you a list of things you should do when moving into an apartment. These apply whether you are moving here for the first time, or if you are just moving across town. Since we are local folks, we thought we would help you find your way onto the welcome wagon with these tips.

1. Find an apartment locator who knows the area and can get you the perfect place at a great price. Don’t just go to some online place. Instead, try a local business like EZ Apartment Source. They will listen to your needs and help you find THE apartment. Most other “locators” simply ask you to write them down as a referral when you find your own place.

2. If you’re going to use movers, make sure they are dependable. The best moving companies are found by referral, but if you don’t know anyone that has moved recently, feel free to ask the company for references. We know the guys over at IMS Relocation and can recommend them.

3. Most apartment complexes require renters insurance now – but don’t use the companies they recommend! The insurance companies that the complexes recommend generally have only one option, and it is double the price of what an independent agent can find you. Those companies pay the complex for your business – and they charge you extra so they can afford to pay.

4. Be sure to do the apartment walk through and fill out the checklist – it only takes a few minutes and can save hundreds when you move out. If you don’t turn in the inspection, the complex is never going to believe that you aren’t responsible for the bloodstain in the carpet.

Great party!

5. Just like you want an independent agent to shop for your insurance, you should use someone to help you save money on your energy. Even though Dallas is in the oil belt, electricity surely is pricey here. As such, you should use a service like Save On Energy to help you shop for the best rates.

I hope these have been worthwhile tips that will make your transition easier. Why try to do everything yourself? Take advantage of some of the resources I’ve given you here and let the pros work for you. It leaves much more time to party by the pool at your new complex – completely stress free.

I don’t think this ends well for the guy in the white suit.