Dave Ramsey has utmost street cred with me. After all, he’s responsible in great part for providing my wife and me with the motivation, tools and tactics to live a debt-free lifestyle.
One my favorite pastimes is listening to the money dilemmas presented by callers to Ramsey’s radio show. I love spouting off the advice I would give them before Dave replies, then listening to hear how close our answers are. More often than not, we’re in almost total agreement with how we respond to the caller.
I’m nowhere near as smart as Dave Ramsey, yet I have benefited so greatly from the principles of his Financial Peace University that I have no reason to not trust him. So, when I got an email from Ramsey headquarters that virtually guaranteed I could save money on insurance by checking with one of his endorsed local providers (ELPs), I decided to give it a try.
I’ve been with the same insurance company for nearly thirty years. Dave might regard me as being a little dense, but I like to think of myself as loyal. Each time I have reached out to other insurers for quotes, they’ve only reinforced that I’m with the right company. Now that my wife and I have two teenagers behind the wheel, our premiums have really begun to skyrocket.
Something’s got to give. I’ve even considered dropping to the state minimum coverage only. Before making any big moves, though, I decided to reach out to an insurance ELP in the Phoenix area.
What’s an Endorsed Local Provider?
Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) have earned Dave Ramsey’s endorsement through their track record of success and commitment to fantastic customer service. While ELPs do pay a fee, they have earned Dave’s recommendation by consistently providing excellent customer service. Dave’s team carefully vets each ELP in their program and holds them accountable through coaching from the Ramsey team.
Below is a summary of my experience with a Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider:
Step 1: I went to DaveRamsey.com and entered my contact information. I received a message that I would be contacted within 24 hours. I was also provided contact info for an insurance broker in the area, in case I wanted to reach out to them first. I chose to wait.
Step 2: I was contacted by phone about 6 hours later. The timing was bad for me, so we scheduled a chat for the following day. When we talked the next day, the rep asked about my situation and ran me through the usual litany of questions. He said he would either call or email me the next day with quotes for coverage.
Step 3: After checking my email for nearly a week, I finally heard back from the broker on day 6. It’s never good when they preface the outcome with “unfortunately”.
Result: We got turned down. 😦 I pictured the Seinfeld soup Nazi chiding, “No insurance for you!”
How an insurance broker works
An insurance broker is a specialist in insurance and risk management who acts on behalf of and provides advice in the interests of their clients. They have access to many different insurance policies and, because they deal with a range of insurance companies directly, sometimes brokers have access to policies that are not directly available to the public.
I pictured the Seinfeld soup Nazi chiding, “No insurance for you!”
The companies the ELP broker checked with did not consider us eligible due to the history of frequent claims. I contested, then he clarified that it appeared as though we had quite a few claims for windshield repairs and towing.
My fruitless response:
Uh, hello!? It’s Arizona. Rock chips are unavoidable on our highways, especially on that stretch of the Loop 101 that was under construction for about 15 of the last 30 months. I’m sure our budget-minded chip repairs outnumber wasteful windshield replacements by about 3 to 1. Don’t we get points for that?
Even our agent told us not to worry. He said that’s why we pay extra for the glass coverage and we shouldn’t hesitate to use it. For the record, we’ve never needed a tow. Those roadside assistance calls were for jump starts and/or battery replacements. Did I mention it’s Arizona? Batteries last about as long as dandelions. Again, that’s why we pay extra for that coverage.
Summary of my experience with a Dave Ramsey endorsed local provider:
- It took me six days to find out the endorsed local provider was not able to save us money. No big deal since we were busy with family in town for Thanksgiving for much of this time.
- The process wasn’t exactly quick or smooth. I have received quicker results from other companies by requesting a quote online. Again, not a big deal to me.
- It cost me nothing but my time to find out Dave’s ELP can’t save us money at this time. However, it felt good being reaffirmed once again that we’re insured by a pretty good company
- I would definitely be willing try another ELP for other services in the future.
Looks like I’ll be calling Jake for a discount triple-check this week.
Perhaps the biggest turn off for me was that the agent who called me represented himself as being with the Dave Ramsey insurance team. I’m aware enough of business structures and why he felt the need to make the association with Dave Ramsey; however, the legalist in me wanted to ask, “why don’t you use real name of the company you work for?” Again, not a big deal. But, it did raise my level of suspicion in this age of identity theft and phishing schemes.
Oh well, I gave it the old college try. Looks like I’ll be calling Jake for a discount triple-check this week.
State minimum for car insurance is not compatible with FIRE. One accident with a $50,000 SUV or one sue happy other driver/passenger and they will have your a good chunk of your savings.
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