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Discussion Starter #1
A local agent or a direct writer such as Geico, Esurance, Mercury, Response, et al....

I'm doing a little research and I'm wondering what people prefer. Would you rather have an agent to go to and take of your business in person or would you rather do everything via internet? I've heard the pros and cons of each but I'm wondering what others think? I wrote my own coverage so I'm pretty covered on the service base, but how do you feel about service when it comes to agent vs. direct writer?

I will say that a lot of the people I quote coming from Geico or other direct writers have minimum or low liability limits, saving them money. Which is fine, not everyone can afford or wants to pay for high limits or add ons. But the general trend goes the way of lower limits with direct writer customers. I've had a few agents lose a customer to Geico or others and then come back a year or two later because rates skyrocketed. But that happens with the companies that utilizes agents to sell their products, so....

So what do you prefer and why?
 

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I use Progressive for now. I was on USAA but Progressive was cheaper at the time. I will shop USAA again when my current policy is up...
 

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Grange Mutual w/ local agent. Periodically priced alternate sources and noone could match our coverage for less with all of the current discounts we have
(multi-car, multi policy, gold star, etc).

Also like the convenience of meeting with my agent in person if I have questions or need to make changes. Have only had a couple of small claims over the years and they were handled quickly and without an increase in rates.

I don't know if they are the best, but I have no complaints. Like they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 

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Anyone but GEICO, I left them a decade ago when I found out they were providing the local police with raqdar guns to get me tickets and higher insurance rates. They also went down the tubes when they left their lifetime market (government employees) behind after Buffet bought the company.
 

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I am with online Prgressive. My previous ins. was Horace Mann (house, auto). My agent also sold Progressive but couldn't come close to the online "pay in full" price. I have received excellent responses to any of my questions by calling the 1800 number for Prog. I've had a few claims and they were taken care of efficiently. They have been betty good to me.
 

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Esurance for the car (since 2000, saved me a bunch compared to the agent I had at the time), GEICO for the bike. Only had one claim and it was extremely painless, guy came to my home the next day, etc. Unfortunately GEICO currently has a very limited online service for motorcycle coverage (have to do policy changes through the mail), but it was the cheapest I could find. Biggest influence is price but convenience of the big direct writers is a close second.
 

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Our loft, auto, and my wifes wedding ring are with State Farm. My other house that I rent out is under Countrywide.

Both are local agents
 

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I have Allstate for my car. In 2005, I had $3000 body work fixed under comprehensive (wind blew my door open wider than it should have gone, bent frame and dent caused by SUV door) and major accident ($6300).

In both cases, I got a free rental car and everything covered, and my rates didn't go up (yet...knock on wood)

My experience with them has been good, although there are some horror stories out there...
 

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I've had Geico auto insurance for 5 years now with no issues whatsoever and good experiences with their customer service, but I have yet to file a claim of any kind, so I'm not sure how that is. I had Progressive for 3 years prior and they were good in terms of quick turnaround and getting claims processed, but were much more costly for me at the time.

As for homeowners, I just started with Travellers (through Geico).
 

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I'm with a State Farm agent. They've taken care of all of my claims in a timely and fair manner. Also, none of the other companies have been able to touch my rates. I called Geico once and they wanted about 2x what I was currently paying with SF.

I have full coverage on two cars and home policy through them.
 

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Allstate. Had them when I left home, and they were the only bigger carrier to have a stated value policy for collector cars without operational restrictions. The rate didn't drop when I went over 26, 27, 28...so I shopped around and went with 21st Century for ~10 years, I also got rid of my collector's cars. Didn't like how they adjudicated claims, so I recently went back to Allstate after shopping around again. USAA still won't come close (~25% more, no reason why), nor State Farm. Geico, Progressive won't come close, and Mercury's too new (still?) for me to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
mghunt said:
I'm with a State Farm agent. They've taken care of all of my claims in a timely and fair manner. Also, none of the other companies have been able to touch my rates. I called Geico once and they wanted about 2x what I was currently paying with SF.

I have full coverage on two cars and home policy through them.
Allstate and State Farm are kicking butt in my territory right now. Good for them, bad for me.
 
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