request for information about local independent insurance agents

Linette and I have gotten our home and auto insurance through Allstate for the past 6 years. We’ve never filed a claim, so we don’t know what they’re like to deal with in those instances, but they seem decent. And we like our agent well enough. Lately, however, we’ve been thinking that we should probably head out and start interviewing independent agents, who aren’t captive to any particular company’s products. Like everyone else these days, we’re whittling at the household budget wherever we can, and we’re thinking it’s likely that we can get the same quality from another insurer for a few dollars less through a broker/independent agent. Even as little as few dollars a month, after all, really does start to add up. Anyway, if you have an agent in southeast Michigan that you’d like to put in a good word for, let me know.

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11 Comments

  1. egpenet
    Posted March 20, 2007 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    This is always dicey … but I DO recommend Springer Agency in Chelsea for good service, and the insurance company they recommend for homes in historic neighborhoods, like ours, is Auto-Owners Insurance, in Lansing.

    No really good insurance is cheap, but depending on your credit rating, and whether you have them cover your vehicle(s) AND your home, you can get a good price. When Clementine starts driving, however, LOOK OUT!

  2. egpenet
    Posted March 20, 2007 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I forgot to mention that it was the experience with Springer and Auto-Owners AFTER our fire that sold me.

    A year before the fire, after our All State guy said we needed a porch railing, which we didn’t for our historic home, and I fired him, I got the recommendation from a friend for Springer. Mo’money, mo’coverage, mo’service … and a contract that is written in English! Woof! I was sold. Glad I did, too.

  3. mbcmichaelb
    Posted March 21, 2007 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    My girlfriend works from home for Hannigan Insurance Agency. They are based on Clinton Township, but we live in Ann Arbor. She is a licensed independent agent selling auto/home/health/life insurance through Citizen’s, Progressive, and others. If you would like to contact her you can email her at joanna at hanninganinsurance.com or fill out a quote request form online at

    https://www.hanniganinsurance.com/auto.php

    Thanks,

    Mike

  4. ypsidweller
    Posted March 21, 2007 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Getting a high deductible will lower costs. And don’t make claims for small stuff you can fix yourself. I’ve seen people call their homeowner insurance for a quarter-sized spot on the ceiling. Sure they’ll get someone to come fix the chimney flashing and patch the drywall for $700 but then your insurance goes up by almost the same amount. They get their money back. Elbow grease and your own time will save you thousands as a homeowner over the years.

    Some of the best reading you’ll ever find is your homeowners policy. Mine is like a book. What is interesting is that the house is not covered for nuclear or atomic radiation. But if the home is actually destroyed by the blast, it is covered. So I guess if that ever happens, its better to be really close..

  5. Dave
    Posted March 21, 2007 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    My last girlfriend, whom I am still good friends with, is an independent agent with the Blanchard Agency. She saved me a lot of money on car insurance when Allstate starting jacking me around after I made my one and only claim ever. I don’t have the number on me (I’m at work) but if you’d like to speak to her send me an email to remind me and I’ll get you more info. I can vouch for her as a good human being, despite her obvious imperfections that led to our relationship not working out.

  6. egpenet
    Posted March 21, 2007 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Ypsidweller … I’ll personally insure your home and contents against radiation contamination (not radon) for $100 … excluding any hanky-panky from Jack Bauer and his enemies.

  7. dr. teddy glass
    Posted March 21, 2007 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that Allstate is sold though brokers (if you wanted to stick with their coverage), but I may be wrong about taht.

  8. murph
    Posted March 21, 2007 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    We went through Ufer (http://www.uferinsurance.com/) for our home insurance (the policy is from Wolverine). We didn’t really shop around much – the price and service were quite good – though it may help when you can call up and say, “Hi, I’m (mother’s name) son, and I’m about to buy a house and need insurance.” I advise phone rather than digital interaction.

    When I was insuring a motorcycle a ways back, Ufer didn’t compare so well; we ended up going with Eagle Rock, out of Berkley, MI, for that. ( http://www.eriami.com/ )

  9. ol' e cross
    Posted March 22, 2007 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    We’ve always received a straight 25 percent discount on our AAA auto insurance through the group discount from our credit union. When we’ve compared rates, nobody’s been able to come close.

    And, the credit union actually paid dividends to members this year. We got 50 bucks, but my folks got a check for $1,500 (a bigger return since they have their mortgage through the the cu).

  10. brian r
    Posted March 22, 2007 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I used to have insurance from the Krumm Agency (the policy is from Meemic), but now I just pay this guy who hangs out at the gas station across the street a couple bucks a week to watch the house.

    So far it’s worked like a charm.

  11. oliva
    Posted March 22, 2007 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Ol’ E Cross. I really like the credit union, and it helps a lot to get in on the group insurance. Plus, you get more AAA discounts when multiple family members also have AAA. Plus the good maps . . . But big and corporate, yeah, true.

    Re. the credit union: UMCU once called me when an auto-deposit didn’t show up to make sure there wasn’t a problem. There was, so the nice woman waved a magic wand to make sure no checks bounced until the problem got fixed. Called to follow up, was so sweet. Plus, the UMCU sponsors many cool things, such as an annual evening of music at the UMMA (UM Black Musical Society). And on their web site they have the Member Mart, where people sell things, often for cheap, such as cars, furniture . . .

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