D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jan 19, 2021

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Often when an insurer contacts a policyholder, it’s bad news such as a notice of non-renewal, or at best, just your current bill. Case in point, a friend recently got her renewal notice from State Farm, which had held her car insurance policy for over a decade.

Nothing had changed from her perspective: she was still driving the same car, had gone the entire policy term without any moving violations, crashes or claims on her policy. Yet they informed her her premium was more than doubling every six months.

Likewise, I just got my motorcycle policy renewal from my insurer. And like my friend, I’ve had a year with no moving violations, no crashes or collisions, and no claims, not in an automobile nor on a motorcycle.

Unlike hers, my renewal notice announced that my premiums were being lowered, by more than 10 percent, without any actions on my part. Well, no actions other than keeping my driving record clean for the 26th year in a row.

So why did her rates go up while mine were lowered?

In part, it’s due to the different operating environments of the states we call home. Her insurer told her their hands were tied in regards to her premium since they were basing her premiums on “state regulations.”

However, when she got quotes from other insurers operating in her state through this site, she quickly found a policy that wasn’t simply cheaper than her policy renewal, but one that was in fact cheaper than her original one, pre-renewal increase.

This despite both insurers operating under the same set of regulations and laws, and despite both policies having the exact same coverage amounts.

It just happened to be with the same company that holds my motorcycle policy, and in the end, I think we both ended up as happy customers of the same insurer, even if we got to that point in very different ways.

Have you ever gotten a notice of a huge increase from your insurer without a reason? Did you do as my friend did, and get quotes from other insurers, or did you simply pay the higher premiums?