One of my writers wrote a great post about how you should challenge every expense. I mean, that is the way you save the most money. Don’t just accept a charge, challenge it. You would be surprised how many times you can get a lower price. Her post was an extension of my early one about just freaking asking for a discount. The worst that can happen is you get a no. Ouch, someone said no to you. Suck it up and move on. If you have ever run a business or been in sales, then you understand you will hear more “no” than “yes.” It is a fact of life. If we all heard the word “yes,” then we would probably all be rich or just be over confident. Either or! As I read her post, I realized I didn’t even tell you about some good savings I just received by making one 20-minute phone call. Let me describe what happened and I hope you will find something you can do in order to lower some expenses.
Challenge Your Expenses When You Move
If any of you have moved (I am sure you have) recently, then you know you have to call your insurance company to change your address and have them give you a new quote on your new home. This is what happened to us recently. Most of my readers know my family moved to a new house in June after selling our old one fairly quick. As part of the procedure, I called my insurance company to get a new quote for homeowners insurance. Now, I was thinking about leaving the insurance company name out of this, but it really makes the story. I have been with Nationwide since I started driving. Since then, we have had our homeowners insurance and all cars insured through Nationwide. They have been responsive when we were in accidents and dealt with issues that arose. I enjoyed their customer service and their car insurance price was great.
We carry good car insurance policies which most companies could not beat. Trust me, I would check once a year with a handful of companies to get new quotes. No one could beat them. Well, that all changed when we moved. I called up my agent, gave them the rundown, and asked for a quote. Nothing out of the ordinary there. It took them a few days to get me the quote as they needed to get the records for the house. When they came back, our homeowners insurance policy was going to raise by nearly $300 per year. I wasn’t happy with that answer.
As we were talking with our lender one day, she recommended I call up the local dealer for Erie Insurance. Since I had nothing to lose, I got the number and called a few days later when I had some free time. I didn’t know much about Erie, but once I started asking around, I found many people I know and work with use them. They had great experiences with Erie and some even were with the same agent which I was planning on calling. I like hearing good things from people I know and trust. There is something about reading a review online, but it’s entirely different when you hear an opinion from someone you know and are confident don’t have any screws loose.
The Call That Saved Me $720
I gathered all of my documentation in order to speed up the process of getting a quote. I also collected my car insurance information to see if they could match it. Well my friends, in the matter of about 20 minutes, I had a quote in my inbox which reduced my car insurance by $10 per month for the exact same coverage. Even better, the agent gave me a quote which as $600 cheaper than Nationwide for the same coverage. Yes, that is a total of $720 per year that I would save over Nationwide.
Now, the savings sounded nice, but I wanted to go back to Nationwide to see if they would do anything about a competitor beating the pants off them. I know I would be made if I got my pants beaten off. I called up my Nationwide agent and told her the Erie price. Without missing a beat, she told me they couldn’t come down on the price. As I said, I had been with Nationwide for 14 years at this point. I gave my agent one last chance to reduce their price, but they wouldn’t budge. I said “Adios!” and signed up with Erie.
I Only Give So Many Chances
I gave Nationwide every opportunity to come down on price, but they refused. I used to love their customer service, but that shows me they don’t really have my best interest at heart. Yes, Nationwide is a good company, but they can be expensive. I found this especially to be true with their homeowners insurance rates. I called around some other companies recommended by my lender and all of them beat the pants off Nationwide. That tells me something.
Before the insurance saga was over, Nationwide told me they would be charging me an early termination fee for dropping my car insurance policy. That didn’t sit well with me (I hate fees). I was halfway through my 6-month period with them and they wanted to charge me the full fee. At first I fought the entire fee saying it was ridiculous. I told them they were the ones who didn’t want to negotiate with me on price, given every ample opportunity.
I said they forced me to leave due to poor pricing strategies. They weren’t having it. Then I switched to arguing about just charging me half the fee. Since I had already paid for half the period, then I shouldn’t be paying the full fee. This seemed to resonate a little more with them.
I wasn’t happy with the idea of a fee at all. After talking with my Nationwide agent, I went home and thought about it some more. It frustrated me, so I took action. I wrote a very detailed email to my agent explaining why I felt I shouldn’t be charged a fee. I also told them if they do charge me a fee, I will have to bother them everyday to get it resolved. Apparently that worked.
She called me the next day and said they are waiving the fee and would be refunding me the rest of my paid homeowners policy premium. Going from being charged a fee to no fee was great. That is how challenging fees works. You just put your best foot forward and if that doesn’t work, then tell them you will bug the hell out of them. Remember, I used to be a debt collector, so bothering people to get what I need is in my wheelhouse. I just don’t like to use it much, nor do I like being “that person.”
So there you have it my friends. With just a 20 minute phone call, I was able to save $720 per year or $60 per month over my previous insurance company. It wasn’t difficult do to and I am glad I took the time to get it done. If you are coming up on an insurance renewal, then go check around. It can’t hurt you to call another company for a quote. It takes a little time, but is your time worth $2,160 per hour ($720 x 3 for those wondering where I came up with the math)? I know I would love to earn that much per hour.
Alright, now it’s your turn. Let me hear your best savings from just one phone call.
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