Notes from a Rookie Firefighter...April 2, 2011
Yesterday a great friend said my mind never stops. And, she is definitely right. I'd like to share something with all of you that may help reduce some of your car insurance costs or other rates that have been raised and you didn't understand why.
Last year I sold my home in a short sale. Incredible medical expenses, loss of employment, reduction in hours and pay of my ex-husband's salary, and a horrible adjustable rate mortgage were the culprits. During the past year, I have gotten divorced, have a job, pay all my bills on time, opened two credit cards, but did have an $800 fender bender in November.
My car insurance company sent me a letter saying they were not going to renew my policy. I couldn't understand why...yes my son had an accident, but he's not an issue now, and so did my ex-husband. I decided to research further.
I noticed on my Facebook page ads that read something like, "AT&T employees get the best insurance rates." I clicked one of those ads, filled out a form thinking that since I work at AT&T (as a contractor) I would get a break. What I did get was about 50 emails and about 30 phone calls. None of the emails or calls mentioned AT&T.
I spoke to a handful of agents from the well-known companies and they said they couldn't help me. I then spoke to a fellow firefighter, who told me about a company called High Point. I googled them and saw they had a local office, and was referred to an agent. I was able to get car insurance, but at a premium of $4,000 a year. I was outraged! I was paying only $1,200 a year in 2010.
So, I decided to actually read my insurance policy. You know all those disclosure pages they send you that you typically ignore. I found out that my insurance rating was very different than it was previously. The company that does the research, Lexis/Nexis, provided a copy of my credit report which reflected the short sale and some credit cards that I decided to close. However, there really wasn't much in the credit report to speak of since I had closed almost all of my credit lines during the short sale process.
So, I asked my NEW insurance agent if there was anything I could do. I wrote a letter explaining the reason WHY I had defaulted on my mortgage. He spoke to his underwriters and then sent me a hardship form asking me to check the boxes of what hardships I've endured in the past. Divorce-check, loss of employment (me)-check, reduction of hours and pay (ex-husband)-check, children's medical bills-check, check and check.
I waited for about a week, and then got the good news that my policy was being reduced by $1,016.
The new insurance company is High Point. The companies that denied me were Geico, State Farm, Progressive, Electric Insurance, and I think Allstate.
I just wanted to pass this information on to anyone who wants to reduce some of their bills and/or insurance rates. There's no reason to let furloughs, pay reductions, and loss of overtime get the best of you. Try to fight it like I did.
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