Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The cost of a speeding ticket...

No, I didn't get a speeding ticket three days after I got the new car.

My insurance company of 22 years got greedy about the same time that I got a new car. They issued me a policy for $930, I agreed and paid in full and got a written policy for that amount. Then they called back and wanted $1124. I checked Geico.com, who wanted $425 less for identical coverage.

I actually called Liberty Mutual and told them about the Geico quote and gave them another chance to reconsider and just charge me the original $930 we all agreed to - in writing. After all, I'd insured my cars through them for the last 22 years. They took a while, thought about it, and responded with a counter-proposal of $1120. $4 less than before.

Then I called Geico. Turns out that after they checked the license, they found the speeding ticket I got while driving from STL to Rolla three years ago to see my best friend who was dying from cancer - she actually passed away about the same time as I was stopped in Eureka, MO, trying to explain why I was driving 125MPH by an amusement park which apparently they treat like a school zone.

Well - turns out that Geico checked, and that the quote went up because of the ticket. It went up $23.00/year. But it goes away after three years. So the cost of the speeding ticket is $64 for the ticket, and $23.00/year for the next 6 months, for a total of $75.50.

My analysis says that if I would have paid Eureka, MO the extra bribe money they wanted to reduce the charges to a bad muffler, it would have cost $200 more than it did just paying for the ticket. Unless someone has a bunch of tickets and is in danger of losing a license, it makes no sense to get the charges reduced by paying for a lawyer or paying extra and agreeing to a "lesser" charge.

So I'm done with doing business with Liberty Mutual and with the city of Eureka Missouri. I'll take an alternate route to St Louis.

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