Thursday, January 26, 2006

Quick! Lick the handle! Final Chapter

We now have a brand new truck. Well, it's mostly new. It's a 2004 with less than 15K miles on it. That's new enough for us.

We are also the owners of one outrageous monthly car insurance payment. US$609.00! That was too damn high for me; so, the second we got home from the dealer, I went on-line to Progressive. They're always bragging how they can either give you or get you the best deal for insurance. Yeah, we'll see. Hell, I was willing to try anything. Geo wanted me to check out Geico. I figured if Progressive crapped out, then I'll try the little lizard.

I logged on to Progressive and typed our generic info (i.e, year make model accidents blah blah blah). After a few minutes of "you're information is processing", we got back a monthly payment of US$427.00 a month. Well that looked a little better. I told Geo and he said, "Make it happen." So, I proceeded to type in our personal info as well as the specific car and truck info. It asked if I wanted to approve everything via e-signature. Whatever. I just wanted to reduce our numbers. That's when the next screen blew my hopes right out of the water.

"We're sorry. The rate previously quoted has been adjusted in accordance with the information you have provided. Please note the new monthly premium."

Holy fuck!! It went from US$427 to US$616! WTF?! WTF?! WTF?! I couldn't believe this was happening. I told Geo and he just shook his head. What could he say. I just clicked that little X in the upper right to get rid of that screen. Take it for granted, we did not sign with Progressive.

Would it shock you if I said Geo and I got no sleep that night? And it wasn't the good kind either. We tossed and turned all night because of the insurance. By nine in the morning, I couldn't take it.

It didn't help matters that a med tech was coming to the house in half an hour to take info from Geo for life insurance through his work (he purchased a double policy which needs a medical exam). And the guy showed up early. Aces.

The guy came and left in 30 minutes. Talk about no personality. This guy had zero. I wasn't sorry to see him leave.

On a whim, I got back on-line and tried Geico. I typed in the same info I typed for Progressive. No hope was building from me at this point. "Let's see how much they're gonna rook us?" I pushed the little [ENTER] button and almost fell out of my chair. US$271.20 a month? I instinctively looked at the back of my computer to make sure it was plugged in? Yep. Don't ask why I did that, I just did. I looked at the screen again. That was the number alright.

"Hey, hon?" I said, "could you give me the phone?"

"Why? What's up"

I showed Geo the screen. He stared at it like a hunter staring at a twelve pointer with a target on it's ass that said "Aim here". He was as dumfounded as I.

"I'm calling to make sure that's right."

He concurred. "Good idea."

I talked to the nicest rep. She was as sweet as can be for a Sunday morning. I gave her my VIN for the Saturn and Geo's truck VIN. I heard her keyboard clickity-click inthe background. Then I heard the infamous "Hmmmmm."

"It ... looks ... like ... the premium is going to be affected annnnnnd ... it's because of the car, not the truck."


"Really?", I thought

"Okaaaay. What are we looking at now?", I said in my most disheartened voice.

"Ohhh, it's not that bad. It only went up US$6.00 a month. Your monthly premium will be US$247.10."

I thought I was gonna cry. I kept saying stupid things like "Are you sure?" and "You do have that we live in Philly, right?" The Geico rep was affirmative in that our new monthly premium was going to be over $360.00 less a month than with Safe "Rip Off" Auto. I practically called her a goddess.

I did the quick math in my head. We had a debit for $488 and a debit for $247 but now a credit of $343 (I can't use $609 because I never had to factor that in our income and bill structure). Oooooo, the truck now cost was about an extra $388 a month. Then I remembered we have a $203 monthly payment we've been paying on the Saturn for the extended warranty. That payment term was one year. The year was up in February. That was another credit of $203 in the mix. Hence, our final additional cost per month for the truck plus a new and better insurance policy was going to be $185.

Boo-ya!!! High fives for the Maidink family!

Do you think we'll have this much good fortune when we go house hunting this Spring?

We shall see!


Francesca said...

Congratulations!!!! That's really fantastic news!!! I'm really happy for you guys... ;)

Merci said...

Congrats on the new truck. Rest up, spring will be here before you know it!

Maidink said...

Fran - Thank you!!

Merci - Thank you. Geo wants to hit Lowes and get some flowers for the front lawn and Weed and Feed this spring. It'll be nice to do it now that we have the means of hauling the stuff.

CrankyProf said...

There's a four-bedroom, two-bath Victorian across the street for 140,000

Spikey1 said...

140,000??? Shit, you would freak if you know what my house is worth!
Oh, and congrats. vroom vroom, or is that zoom zoom?

Whinger said...

I see no reason why the fortune won't extend all around - new house, Dinks' lungs, all of it. :)


ScandinavienNova said...

I never stop to get amazed by how much money you americans pay each month in just different insurens payments.. I am really happy for you getting a better deal for sure! When it comes to car insurance I think we pay the same as you do now, but your medical anddental insurance is unbelieveble.. What is a normal income per year in the states, I mean if you are not having this super educations.

PissedOffPencil said...

Congratulations to the good deal! After reading ScandinavianNova's comment I had to do some calculations about Swedish car insurance. I have three semi-functional cars and one functional = 2 Fords, 1 Nissan and a Volkswagen bus. One of the Fords has only a garage insurance at about $30/year. The other Ford and the Nissan have a yearly insurance fee at about $790 together and the VW has a yearly fee of $400. Reading about your monthly fees makes me realize how fortunate I am living in a country with fairly low crime rate...

Maidink said...

CP - I'll check it out. Thanks!

Spike - freak good or freak bad? You live in a mansion or hovel?

.... WELL??

Whinger - I pray so. I feel if we move out of the city, it'll give all of us better breathing space - literally and figuratively.

ScanNova - Geo and I are lucky on the cost of med insurance. Where Geo works (a steelmill) it's free and I pay $140 a month at my company (I work in accounting at a medical company). Both of our plans are for family. Now, I know without a job backing you, a cheap family plan goes for about $1,500 a month. And that's bare bones.

Income varies from region to region and then state to state. It's hard to pinpoint an average. We have a national minimum wage of $5.15 per hour. Some states have a higher beginning wage (never lower).
Try this website for more info: US Census Press Release August 2005

There is an alarmingly huge income gap beteween the rich and poor here. I know it's not as bad as some countries; however, it's growing at a rapid rate.

POP - Yeah, but how much is a beer? ;) I have to joke 'cause if not, I'd cry after reading those rates.

Belinda said...

Smart, smart you. First for the purchase of "new enough" instead of "starts depreciating precipitously as we drive it off the lot" new, and then for the insurance shopping. Bella freaking loves that gecko.

Alex and I both drive Chevy trucks, and they both work. Hard. Good vehicles. He's in the Silverado, I'm in the Tahoe. Gas-guzzling sons of guns, but good solid hard-working rides.