Am I Paying Too Much Car Insurance?

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If you have been involved in a an SUV or car accident in the Tampa Bay area call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353.
Auto Insurance Policy with two hundred-dollar bills

If you have not shopped around for new auto insurance, then the answer is likely ‘yes’ you are paying too much for insurance. People quite often stay with the insurance carriers because they are either too busy/lazy to change companies or they are too loyal. In my opinion, loyalty is the worst reason to stay with an auto insurance carrier in Florida. Why? Go get three moving violations and see how fast they drop you after being with them for 20 years and no tickets. Trust me, shop around and if they have the best price, stay. Otherwise, change companies even if you have to do every year.

Consumer Reports’ latest car insurance survey of more than 90,000 CR members found that seven car insurance companies lost at least 20% of their customers over a recent five-year period. Those companies are:

  1. Farmers Insurance: 27% of customers lost;
  2. The Hartford: 27%;
  3. Liberty Mutual Insurance: 27%;
  4. Nationwide: 26%;
  5. Allstate: 23%;
  6. Progressive: 21%;
  7. Travelers: 20%;

Meanwhile, other insurance companies appear to generate more loyalty. For example, USAA lost just 2% of its customers over that five-year period. Amica (6%), State Farm (12%) and Geico (18%) also lost relatively low levels of customers.

Why Do Customers Leave Their Car Insurance Company?

Money is the biggest reason to leave an auto insurance carrier. According to the survey, 62% switched insurers because another company offered better rates or for rate hikes.

By contrast, less than 10% of customers cited nonfinancial reasons such as following recommendations of family and friends or having problems with an insurer’s honesty or level of courtesy.

But make sure you are comparing ‘apples-to-apples’ and not dropping certain valuable coverage just to save a buck. Insurance coverage like Uninsured Motorist is vital and should never be dropped.

How Often Should I Shop for New Car Insurance?

Try to shop for new auto insurance every year or two. If you don’t regularly shop for car insurance, you’re probably making a mistake. As Consumer Reports notes:

‘Among the 22 percent of Consumer Reports members who told us they’d switched insurers in the past five years, 62 percent said they’d found a better price. And 77 percent of those who switched said they were highly satisfied with their new carrier.’

When I was a newlywed and money was extremely tight as both my wife and I had just graduated from law school, I shopped every six months when it came up for renewal. Much to the frustration of my wife because she never really knew who our auto insurance carrier was, we saved anywhere from $80 to $200 per 6 months. Three years later, after no claims ever being filed, our insurance coverage was cheaper for two cars than it was for one car three years earlier. Twice the insurance carrier kept our business because I found a cheaper carrier and they wanted to keep my business so they cut their prices to beat the competition.

How Do I Shop for New Car Insurance?

You could call all of the insurance carriers or go online, but that is time-consuming. If you don’t have the time or knowledge, you might want to consider letting a third party like Gabi or The Zebra gather quotes from auto insurers for you. I, however, like having the same human take care of me and that will look out for me. I, therefore, like shopping with auto insurance brokers that will bundle my home with my car for even more savings. Brokers like AAA or Adrian Fernandez Insurance are local and will shop several companies at the same time and will streamline the car insurance shopping process.

How Much Auto Insurance Coverage Should I Buy?

You should buy as much as your household income in order to properly protect yourself and your family. I know that sounds like a lot and you are probably thinking this Tampa auto accident lawyer is trying to make you buy more insurance than you need. But that is not true. You buy auto insurance hoping you never need to use it. Frankly, the insurance companies are hoping you never need to use them either as they make more money never paying claims.

So, how much is enough? This is what I recommend:

  • Bodily Injury coverage – buy this equivalent to the household income. This protects you if you are at-fault for the accident. If a husband and wife make $75,000 per year together, buy a $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident coverage ideally or more. Are expenses too tight? Shop around but do not buy less $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident. You will be on the hook personally for anything above those limits and that would likely bankrupt you.
  • Underinsured Motorist coverage – again – equivalent to the household income. Chances are that if you are reading this article, you will not be at-fault in an accident but are likely to be the victim of an accident. The at-fault party may not have insurance or enough insurance and just like you cannot get blood out of a turnip, you cannot get money out of somebody who does not have money. For example, if you owed me $1 million, no matter how much I beat you, slap you, or throw you against the wall, you will never pay me $1 million. The same is true here.

Out of all of the insurance coverage, this is usually the cheapest to buy – dollar per dollar and it is the most important as it follows you wherever you and your family members go and will pay you for lost wages, medical bills, pain, and suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of consortium, etc.

  • Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage – mandatory coverage. This is the only coverage this mandatory.
  • Comprehensive and Collision – make these deductibles $1,000. Why? If it is less than $1,000 it is better to pay in cash and not file a claim. Trust me, your rates will go up if you do file a claim. Also, if you do not file a claim, then nobody sends a damage report to CarFax.com

Remember, insurance companies are in the ‘risk business’ and they never lose. Therefore, shop around and buy enough coverage hoping never to use it.

These are solely my opinions and I am sure there are people out there that will disagree, but they usually have an agenda. I don’t. I just hate seeing people waste money or not properly protect themselves.

If you have been injured in a Tampa car accident, call Tampa Injury Attorney Martin Hernandez at 813-229-5353.

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Martin J. Hernandez, Esq.
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Benjamin Blevins
Benjamin Blevins
17:19 21 Feb 20
This is the best auto accident lawyer in Tampa. I was involved in a car accident and did not know what to do, who to... call, who to see, find a doctor that could help me, or even what to say. I called Martin Hernandez and he sat down with me and explained everything from beginning to end. He quickly resolved me my case and got me the most amount of money possible. When people ask me who is the best lawyer in Tampa? I always Martin Hernandez is the best auto accident attorney in Tampa..read more
dylan harper
dylan harper
17:09 20 Feb 20
Martin was able to explain my case to me very well. I got good advice on what my particular options were and an honest... assessment of what I should expect going forward. When the world is falling around you its best to ask the smartest, hardest working person you can find what to do, and then do it.read more
Carmina Wilson
Carmina Wilson
16:39 19 Feb 20
I had an absolutely amazing experience with Martin’s firm. I had incurred personal injuries as a result of a bad auto... accident. His team not only treated me with respect, but they also made me feel like I was their only client. They handled my case with an astounding amount of expertise. Martin and his team is a lifesaver.read more
cedrick wilson
cedrick wilson
15:17 05 Feb 20
I was in an accident lately and he was suggested by a friend. He met with me in person and was very punctual. He was... very calm and determined throughout my entire situation. Overall, I was extremely satisfied and impressed with Martin in reaching very positive results. I would recommend him and his office to anyone for solid advice and bottom-line results. Thank you again!read more
Tamika Jones
Tamika Jones
22:29 06 Jan 20
My experience with Martin Hernandez has been stressful not on his part. Martin has been very patient with me when I... wanted to pull every strand of hair from my head. From day one he took time to explain the process of how this was going to be but he would be there to hold my hand all the way and he did just that. His paralegal Angela walked with and held both my hands as well during all of this. When I couldn't get ahold of Martin she would make sure he got everyone of my messages. I would use his services again and recommend him to anyone. Thanks so much for all you have done and I'm forever grateful.read more
Russell Craig
Russell Craig
20:51 19 Dec 19
Very pleased with how the case was handled. I hope to never be in this position again as it was a stupid mistake but... with the help of Martin Hernandez I didn’t even have to appear in court on my own. I highly recommend using him and his team, you wont be disappointed.read more
Nicholas Nagowski
Nicholas Nagowski
22:34 14 Nov 19
Worked with Martin in Tampa, Florida. He executed on everything he promised. A well run organization. He called me... back very quickly whenever I reached out, if not answering right away. Definitely would recommend Martin to my friends and family. Thanks again for everything.read more
Mark Lenox
Mark Lenox
16:55 14 Nov 19
I was arrested for my 2nd DUI and I've reached out to Mr. Hernandez explaining my situation. He made me feel safe... through out the whole process. He helped me and extremely happy with the result. Martin knows clearly what are the best steps to take that's why I highly recommend him to anyone.read more
Kimberly McLendon
Kimberly McLendon
02:06 14 Nov 19
Martin Hernandez and his entire staff are extremely friendly,caring,knowledgeable, and treat you like apart of the... family. I hired Martin approximately 2 years ago. My case was a complicated one. But Martin Hernandez did an absolute amazing job. I was always kept current of what was going on with my case. Anytime I called, if Martin was unavailable his hard working staff got the answers I needed. I would recommend Martin Hernandez to everyone. He's dedicated to each case. If you're looking for a lawyer who doesn't just represent you,but welcomes you like family to his firm, Here's your answer. If I could give 50 stars I would. Thank you Martin& staff for all you did. Kimberly Mclendonread more
Chuck Hermanes
Chuck Hermanes
22:21 07 Nov 19
My medical bills had been piling up long before I decided to contact an attorney, and by that time the statute of... limitations was close to ending. My friend recommended Martin Hernandez who is very knowledgeable and who saved me in my situation. My medical bills are finally taken care of because of the work of Martin and his team. From the very beginning, I have no doubt that’s why he had so many great reviews from others. And I am 100% satisfied client who definitely recommend him to anyone.read more
Kymii Plur
Kymii Plur
14:49 01 Nov 19
Martin is the absolute sweetest most understanding lawyer I have ever met. He is very knowledgeable of every situation... and will get you the money that you are deserved. His staff is amazing I love everyone there I couldn't speak more highly of all of them. I would recommend Martin and his staff to my family and anyone who is in need of an attorney don't waste your time with others go see Martin he will take care of you !read more
Gabbie Bell
Gabbie Bell
09:32 26 Oct 19
Martin is very professional, marvelous , and meet all expectations far as handling my family law case.I strongly... suggest him to anyone who is in need of the best lawyer in Florida. Finest lawyer I've ever meet and i thank him for winning my case . He'll be hired by me anytime needed.read more
Johanna Gonzalez
Johanna Gonzalez
21:17 24 Oct 19
Great service. They took my case and guided me throughout the entire process with care and kindness. Thank you!
Parker Darlan
Parker Darlan
17:27 21 Oct 19
Martin and his office were very quick to respond to our inquiry and very professional. Extremely helpful and willing to... listen to the issue and address it in a timely manner. I would certainly use him in the future.read more
Stetson Madison
Stetson Madison
21:02 27 Sep 19
He has been very helpful as my attorney and made himself available whenever I needed. There has been multiple times I... wanted to just take a deal to get it over with but he has continued to work for me to get me in the best situation possible. He is very easy to work with and passionate about helping. He is not just a great lawyer but also a great human being!read more
Louie Serg
Louie Serg
15:51 13 Sep 19
My needs were met and the firm was invested in my case and me as a person. They were easily accessible, return phone... calls and emails promptly. Aggressive, when it was require and got the job done. Martin and his staff all produced the quality of an attorney and firm that anyone would want to hire.read more
Ted Esposito
Ted Esposito
16:49 07 Sep 19
I was involved in a car accident and the first person I called was Martin. He was very understanding and made it very... easy to get the insurance claims process underway. After a year of physical therapy, my case was settled and closed. Thank you so very much!read more
Arica Schmied
Arica Schmied
18:04 20 Aug 19
Amazing attorney!! Martin Hernandez and his firm are the best you'll find. I have known Martin for years and he has... helped my sister and friends in their car accident cases. I can't say enough good things. He is very knowledgeable, kind, and will treat you like family!read more
Noah Chase
Noah Chase
08:48 19 Aug 19
Mr. Hernandez is clearly very experienced - based on my interactions with him. I look for an attorney based on... integrity and experience. I found the integrity that I was looking for with Mr. Hernandez. I would recommend his services to anyone.read more
Fabian Prentice
Fabian Prentice
18:49 13 Aug 19
Martin is an amazing attorney and was able to get all 3 charges off my record. I knew I could count on him from the... moment I retained him as my attorney. He was quick to answer any questions I had and was very reliable. My case lasted over a year and he was always keeping contact with me the whole time. I would highly recommend him if you need a criminal defense attorney.read more
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