No, I didn't sign up for a get rich quick scheme, but I did make a lot of money very quickly.

Last week I was on vacation from work and decided to shop for insurance, to further chip away our fixed monthly expenses. With my husband working, and my baby napping, I spent about three hours total over the course of two days on this endeavor.

I have been a loyal Allstate customer for 8 years, and loved our agent, so I hadn't really shopped around much. However, I had a small accident last fall that doubled our car insurance, so the rates were starting to become a bigger focus. I wasn't sure I could get a better deal because of the accident, but I thought I would give it a try.

I spoke with local agents for State Farm and Nationwide. They were both very friendly and helpful, and had much lower rates than I was paying now. I was honest with them that I was shopping around from the get-go, so I didn't feel guilty when I let them know I was able to get an even better price.

I also went online to get a quote from Progressive, but after entering all my data, I got an error on their site, and was directed to a local agent. Their rates were not as competitive as State Farm and Nationwide, and they wanted to charge me an application fee! No thanks.

My last stop was to to see what he said about insurance. There I found that the consumer reports top rated insurer is a company called Amica. However, Clark's site also said that "They will only take you if you have no tickets or accidents." I was bummed.

Later that day I spoke with a friend about my insurance shopping. She is with Amica and loves them (Thanks for the tip, S.W.!). She said she had had accidents in the past, and Amica took her, so I decided to give it a shot.

I had never heard of Amica before this, since they don't advertise. However, they have the following ratings from J.D. Power and Associates:

  • Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among National Auto Insurers, Eight Years in a Row.
  • Highest in Customer satisfaction Among National Homeowners Insurers, Six Years in a Row.
They took me! I was able to get much more car insurance liability coverage ($250/$500/$100 instead of $100/$300/$50), added uninsured/under-insured coverage, the same homeowners insurance coverage, a new $1 million umbrella policy for $1,100 less per year than I had been paying with Allstate.

I also learned an important lesson: loyalty doesn't pay with insurance -- you need to shop around regularly.

So, that's how I made $366/hour in three hours for my family to spend on other things. We got better coverage for less cash out the door. Time well spent, if I do say so myself.


  1. Cate Colburn-Smith // July 17, 2008 at 8:31 AM  

    Hi Martha! Love your blog! It was nice catching up with you this morning. Thanks for your continued support of The Milk Memos, and your tireless efforts to make a difference for working moms! Best, Cate