How I Saved Money On My Car Insurance

When choosing to go down this financial savvy lifestyle, if you will, I started looking at where I could cut costs.  Of course that first started with shopping, the occasional pedicure, and drinks out.  Then I started to dive deeper into what bills I could potentially shrink down.

For whatever reason I was always instilled that State Farm is the best agency to go with when it comes to insurance.   Dad always stressed not to just go with the cheapest option because when you really need them, you might get screwed.   So naturally, I was always with State Farm and when moving to New Orleans that included my car insurance and our now needed renters insurance. (Former homeowners, turned renters!)

When I first switched over my car insurance from Ohio to Louisiana with State Farm I was simply STICKER SHOCKED! I could not believe how much it cost to insure one car.  I don’t have a bad driving record (one speeding ticket 8+ years ago), and my insurance went up from $90/month to $190/month. For lack of better words, WTF!  I was informed due to high crime rates and flooding in New Orleans, it is one of the most expensive states to have car insurance.  I immediately became grateful my husband’s car is a company car, where the car, gas, insurance, and repairs are completely covered by his employer. #blessup

The Moment I Realized It Was Time For a Change

But in the end I accepted it for what it was.  I knew moving here our bills would shift.  I accepted that as part of our new surroundings of living in the most magnificent city of New Orleans! It wasn’t until the monthly bill of $240 came in one month that I officially made a call to inquire about the hike! I was informed it was the city requirements and there wasn’t much I could do…

Other than contact a new insurance provider, I thought! I asked around about who others used and decided I would contact Progressive as my new provider. The gentleman I spoke to should receive an award in customer service.  Honestly he was so helpful.  I wanted to make sure my new insurance plan would include all the same coverage as my State Farm policy, yet still reduce monthly costs.  He went above and beyond to explain insurance like no one had ever done before.  And he got me a policy that was the same coverage I was previously carrying at $149/month! That’s almost $100 savings! I was beyond ecstatic.

All I had to do was agree to drive around with this Snapshot feature in my car so they could track every single move I made for the next 6 months….(insert sarcasm!)

Snapshot Experience

But honestly I wasn’t worried, I eagerly signed up knowing I was a decent driver, and truly only drove to and from work, the gym, and grocery! The day came I had to insert my Snapshot device for them to know too much about me.  What I quickly learned is that I brake too abruptly for Progressives liking.  The Snapshot device triple beeps at you when you’ve done something that is going to count against you.  The three beeps were frustrating to say the least.  There were times, I will admit, I wasn’t being my best self on the road and deserved those three beeps.  Other times, were completely out of my control!  I can’t help it when someone pulls out in front of me on the highway, or a lost driver slams on their brakes because they are about to miss their turn.

I’m sure Progressive takes instances out of your control into consideration when calculating your progress, but the day my rating fell from an A rating to a B+ was discouraging.  It kept telling me I was still “On my ways to savings!” and to “Keep up the good work!” But honestly I was just ready for this baby to be out of my car.  I had no idea I agreed to 6 months of Snapshot before they would tell me I could remove the device.  I thought surely they only needed 1 month of information to know my driving skills were above average!

What I’ve Learned

What this device also taught me was to run all yellow lights. Obviously this isn’t good information because pre snapshot device me would always stop, but nope not with this puppy in there beeping away at me! I was determined NOT to have more “hard brakes” on my records than one needed.  The bad part about this is, well, New Orleans has A LOT of light cameras. Sneaky little bastards.  Not even kidding, one week before my 6 month relationship with Snapshot ended, I received a ticket in the mail for “Disregard of a Red Light” costing me $135.  Instant despair.  I couldn’t believe it.  I remembered exactly where it happened, and I remembered thinking “nope, not stopping, not having Snapshot triple beep me, nope.” And the cameras GOT ME! The nerve.

My New Rates

But effective today, my results have concluded. September 1, 2018 I was able to remove that device penalty free to find my rates INCREASED!!!! How could they? This surely isn’t correct! A final grade of B+ still couldn’t get me a discount I thought…..So I immediately contacted Progressive again.  Yet another fine gentleman assisted.

He assured me my rates were up to $155, from the original $149, due to our “watercraft policy” no longer being active to receive the multiple policy discount.  Also another discount that I originally received for initially electronically signing the first documents was only eligible one time.  Sigh.

But in the end, he advised me I did in fact save $115/year for my success as a good driver! That would be excellent news if it wasn’t for aforementioned $135 dollar ticket.  So when all said an done, I’m at a loss of $20, but a peace of mind that I am in fact a decent driver! It was bound to happen eventually I get a camera ticket from the City of New Orleans, it’s just ironic the way it went down.

The Breakdown

So what all does Snapshot record you ask?

  • Fast Accelerations (increases in speed of 9 mph per second or greater)
  • Hard Brakes (decreases in speed 7 mph per second or greater)
  • Miles Driven
  • Duration (How long you’re on the road)
  • Late Weekend Drives (If you’re driving between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m. tisk tisk, or should I say beep, beep, beep!)

Was it anxiety producing at times? Yes. Was it worth it? I guess it was!  But I knew going into it I was a safe driver. I do have more insight into braking so that is information that is useful.  But if you already know you are quick to brake hard or travel during late hours, I personally wouldn’t move forward with it.  The hard brakes are no joke and will get you every single time.

I am posting my results below for a better picture of what all is going on with Snapshot:

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See, not so bad! And still didn’t officially lower my bill. Mehhh.   But it’s better that it only went up $6, rather than more for if I was rated a poor driver.  Hopefully this recap of my statistics can help YOU decide if Snapshot is the right feature for you to try!

And also motivates you to look at different areas of your life where prices can be cut.  If it’s not the car insurance, can you slash prices in your cable bill?  Or how about your gym membership?  This is an opportunity to look at all areas of your life to see what you can manage to decrease in hopes to create a higher savings rate!

I’d also love to know what your experience has been like with a device such as Snapshot?  Did you reap the benefits or did it end up costing you more?  Comment below and I’ll be sure to get back in touch with you!