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Another auto insurance commercial, "riding a bike to save money is too much work"

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Another auto insurance commercial, "riding a bike to save money is too much work"

Old 12-05-10, 10:51 PM
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dougmc
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Another auto insurance commercial, "riding a bike to save money is too much work"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTc_sHj7mAU

"We see that a lot these days -- people going out of their way to save money when they could just call State Farm" as the camera follows the guy on the bicycle as he rides by ...

On the bright side, at least this time it's a practical bike and the guy looks happy about the situation.
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Old 12-05-10, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTc_sHj7mAU

"We see that a lot these days -- people going out of their way to save money when they could just call State Farm" as the camera follows the guy on the bicycle as he rides by ...

On the bright side, at least this time it's a practical bike and the guy looks happy about the situation.
Also, the guy on the bike looks far more fit and trim than the lead guys in the commercial.
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Old 12-05-10, 11:29 PM
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Why is he riding between the pumps at a gas station?
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Old 12-05-10, 11:30 PM
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I do that all the time, and snicker at everyone's $100 fillups.
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Old 12-05-10, 11:33 PM
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Unless you sell your car, riding a bike is a hard way to save money. Most of the costs are the relatively fixed costs of ownership.
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Old 12-05-10, 11:37 PM
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It looks like a flimsy hybrid Wally-mart bike to me. No racks, too small, derailers, zero practicality and stupid styrofoam hat. He riding through the pumps to demonstrate saving money.
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Old 12-05-10, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Zizka View Post
Unless you sell your car, riding a bike is a hard way to save money. Most of the costs are the relatively fixed costs of ownership.
Well, assuming it's paid off you don't even need to sell it, just park it and stop buying insurance for it. Of course you can get yourself one sweet bike should you choose to sell it.
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Old 12-05-10, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
It looks like a flimsy hybrid Wally-mart bike to me. No racks, too small, derailers, zero practicality and stupid styrofoam hat. He riding through the pumps to demonstrate saving money.
Zero practicalilty? Okie dokie. Maybe he's got a trailer at home for big shopping trips and his Backpack seems to have pretty ample space for smaller item multi-stop shopping trips. What's wrong with derailers exactly? I'm curious what kind of bike it is. Its frame design is like a thinner-tubed Cannondale Killer V.

Only practicality problems I see are barend and brake lever orientation, but those are kinda personal.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 12-05-10 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 12-05-10, 11:43 PM
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Worst. Acting. Ever.
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Old 12-05-10, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Zizka View Post
Unless you sell your car, riding a bike is a hard way to save money. Most of the costs are the relatively fixed costs of ownership.
I still have my car and have full insurance for it. I rarely drive it though, so my insurance is discounted plus I save around $150+ bucks a month on gas alone.
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Old 12-05-10, 11:51 PM
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I see including a bicyclist into the commercial really as a compliment, goes to show that bicycling is cutting into a big enough portion of the insurance company's profit margin to warrant it's attention.
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Old 12-06-10, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
I see including a bicyclist into the commercial really as a compliment, goes to show that bicycling is cutting into a big enough portion of the insurance company's profit margin to warrant it's attention.
Uh-oh, could be an ominous warning about what's to come - bicycle insurance. I'm definitely leaving the country if it comes to that.
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Old 12-06-10, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bhop View Post
I still have my car and have full insurance for it. I rarely drive it though, so my insurance is discounted plus I save around $150+ bucks a month on gas alone.
I keep a car around that I never drive. It costs me $20 to insure it for the year (comprehensive only) and $1.50 per day to turn on the rest if I need to drive. With the multi-policy discount from my insurance company, they pay me to own the car. Ridiculous system.

I have had to turn the daily on lately to drive a disabled friend over the snow-covered Santiam pass in a 4wd rental car. Hopefully her treatments will allow her to live a semi-normal life again someday.
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Old 12-06-10, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Zizka View Post
Unless you sell your car, riding a bike is a hard way to save money. Most of the costs are the relatively fixed costs of ownership.
I've been on unemployed for the past five months and if I hadn't started riding my bike everywhere I'd be in a lot more debt than I am now. I haven't sold my car or canceled my insurance because I've had to make a 65 mile round trip twice a week.

Riding my bike everywhere else has allowed me to fill up my car half as much as I usually do, and I literally haven't had to put any money into my bike. I've had no flat tires, no drivetrain problems, and I'm certainly thankful that my bike doesn't have a radiator, distributor, or head gasket that can go out any second. I'm confident that using my bike as my main way of commuting has saved me (and will save me) a lot of money.
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Old 12-06-10, 06:12 AM
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Oh dear god no! A company putting out an ad aimed at making more money for themselves?!? What is this world coming to?
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Old 12-06-10, 08:57 AM
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Any attention is good attention. An ad that presupposes bike commuting is an effective way to save money. Priceless!
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Old 12-06-10, 10:17 AM
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I'm still waiting for the "save money" part to start (compared to transit passes, as I'm pretty sure that my bike habit is less costly than a second car would be).
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Old 12-06-10, 10:55 AM
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Survival of the fittest, hard at work. When gasoline hits 8 bucks a gallon those lazy wafflebutts are going to have a lot of catching up to do. Sure, it's work, commuting on the bike. But there's also peace and joy.
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Old 12-06-10, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jefferee View Post
I'm still waiting for the "save money" part to start (compared to transit passes, as I'm pretty sure that my bike habit is less costly than a second car would be).
Saving money, in the short term, is not really a good reason to ride a bike for transportation, in my experience (unless you give up your cars entirely). On the other hand, the health benefits alone probably end up being a major money saver, but the bulk of that savings might be a long way down the line.

I've saved a lot of money on gas from riding for most short trips, but I also spend more money on bike stuff, bike maintenance/repairs, bike clothes, and so on. I was also able to cut back my car insurance to a cheaper tier because I drive fewer miles now, and that saved me a couple of hundred dollars a year. But again, the costs savings are probably close to a wash.
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Old 12-06-10, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
Uh-oh, could be an ominous warning about what's to come - bicycle insurance. I'm definitely leaving the country if it comes to that.
Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I keep a car around that I never drive. It costs me $20 to insure it for the year.
I rode some organized rides that required liability insurance. I think it cost me something like $10 for $1,000,000 of coverage. Goes to show what type of risk actuaries consider a moving bicycle has.

A parked car has more risk of causing damage.

Never fails to amaze me how some people don't compute that their premiums aren't a reflection of the risk they pose to others.

I think it's also true that some insurance companies have some policies that lower premiums if the policy holder keeps physically fit. Ride a bike. Lower your risk.

Last edited by closetbiker; 12-06-10 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 12-06-10, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
I rode some organized rides that required liability insurance. I think it cost me something like $10 for $1,000,000 of coverage.
... for a single day.

Your automobile insurance is likely far less than $10/day. Even if you got a million dollar limit, it would likely cost way less than $10/day -- but few people have a million dollar limit (unless they get an umbrella policy).

Most claims are far less than $1m, so going from $50k to $1m limits doesn't increase the premium by a factor of 20 -- the actual increase depends on the actuarial tables.

Goes to show what type of risk actuaries consider a moving bicycle has.
No, what this really shows is that 1) if you get insurance for one day, they gouge you (though there is a cost to handle the paperwork, of course, and they don't have the opportunity to deny coverage to those who are most likely to need it), and 2) the organizers want a $1 million dollar limit because they really don't want to be sued, and 2) cycling is somehow an "extreme" activity that requires so much more insurance and driving and 3) most people won't balk at $10, no matter how little they get for it.

I also fly R/C planes. I'm a member of the AMA which provides something like $2.5m of insurance and only costs about $60/year. A model airplane is far less dangerous than a car, but if somebody is hurt by it, they're going to sue for a bunch more money than they would if they were hit by a car, just because everybody drives a car but only a few "extreme" people fly these planes. But without this insurance, you can't fly at most organized club fields (to be fair, most are chartered by the AMA, so that makes sense), and indeed, some cities won't even let you fly in their parks without it, no matter how small your plane is. (And it's not just any insurance that they require -- it's THIS insurance. And yet this insurance is secondary -- it only pays after any other insurance policies have paid.)

Never fails to amaze me how some people don't compute that their premiums aren't a reflection of the risk they pose to others.
That is way oversimplified.

For a long term (six months to years, not a day) policy where you can shop around and get the best rate, where the insurer can do some investigations into you, your premiums are indeed based on an average expected claim size you might make times the odds of you making this claim, plus a certain amount for profit and overhead and such. If it's a liability policy, then yes, it IS based on the risk you pose to others -- or more precisely, how much they'll likely have to pay, plus overhead, plus a profit.

But for a short term policy (a single day) it's really as much as they think they can charge. At $10, you're not likely to complain too much, and since it's required you can't even shop around for better rates. But they don't get to do any research on how likely you are to cause a claim (they'd probably lose money if Lucas Brunelle were to get one of these policies) and so they make it cost high enough to cover all possibilities.

For my AMA policy, being secondary insurance, they really don't expect to pay out often. There's only a handful of payouts each year for their 170k or so members, but when they do happen, they're often large, even though the injuries are usually smaller than can happen in a serious car accident. And of course, not all that $60/year goes to the insurance -- it also goes to the organization itself.

Last edited by dougmc; 12-06-10 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 12-06-10, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Zizka View Post
Unless you sell your car, riding a bike is a hard way to save money. Most of the costs are the relatively fixed costs of ownership.
I have a car - I paid it off less than a year ago. I don't ride it much, thanks to a pair of bikes to cover all the conditions we see in Seattle. This means my car insurance has a lower premium, thanks to the few miles I drive and the fewer opportunities to wreck. It also means I'm buying less gasoline - obviously. A lot more time is passing between scheduled maintenance, my tires and brakes are good for a few years, and the car is depreciating very slowly.

My girlfriend wants to go to the rainforest for the holidays. It's too far to bike with the time we have away from work, and the car is an ideal way to get there. But having - and heavily using - the bikes means the car is more of a cheap luxury (now that it's paid off) than a money sucking work horse.
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Old 12-06-10, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
... for a single day...
What I remember was that the coverage was for a year. We had a series of rides and each rider renewed their policy annually.
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Old 12-06-10, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
What I remember was that the coverage was for a year. We had a series of rides and each rider renewed their policy annually.
Ahh. Then that would make most of what I posted inapplicable

Actually, $10 for $1m of cycling liability insurance sounds like a really good deal. I wonder if it's secondary insurance like the AMA policy I mentioned -- at that price, I'll bet it is.
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Old 12-06-10, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bhop View Post
I still have my car and have full insurance for it. I rarely drive it though, so my insurance is discounted plus I save around $150+ bucks a month on gas alone.
Drive to work, and with the time you save work more. If your goal is to have as much money as possible, you will probably come out ahead by driving.
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