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GPS Mayhem and Allstate Commercial

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Advertising, Research Last Updated: 07/20/2011

As Allstate shows Mayhem can happen anywhere, even with your GPS.



Commercial opens with a man driving his car and “Mayhem” lying against the dashboard acting as the drivers GPS.

Mayhem: “You never update me so now; I just have to wing it. (talking to driver as GPS) No, I meant turn left up ahead. Recalculating! Turn right now!”

Driver makes a quick right turn into head on traffic and crashes into multiple cars. Mayhem laughs and is enjoying the fact that he caused an accident.

Mayhem: “And your 15 minute insurance may not pay for all this. So get Allstate. You can save money and be better protected from Mayhem, like me. Recalculating!”

Commercial closes with the Allstate logo.

Announcer: “Dollar for dollar no one protects you from mayhem like Allstate.”

Point of the Commercial

This commercial is directed specifically at GEICO clients or people thinking about switching to GEICO.

They are pointing out that “Mayhem” (an accident) can happen at any time and you never know how bad the results will be. By being with GEICO, you may have saved money because you didn’t purchase enough coverage. This is a problem now because you have this big accident and may not have enough coverage for all of the damages you just caused.

What They Want You to Do

As much as the commercial talks about a defunct GPS system, Allstate does not want you to update your GPS system. Though if you need to, it would be a good idea.

They want you to either call Allstate and get a quote for better insurance coverage if you are with GEICO or making the point that you need to stay with Allstate if you are thinking of switching to GEICO.

GEICO must be doing something right, because this is the second company that has directed their insurance commercials in the last 9 months directly at people that are insured with Geico or are thinking about switching to Geico.

My Opinion

The actor who plays Mayhem is what makes the commercial.

Allstate found a very creative way to represent the troubles people have with GPS telling people where to go at the last minute and how dangerous last minute directions can lead to accidents. They could have done it with a regular GPS, but it wouldn’t have been as funny.

I am not a fan of all the Mayhem commercials, but I do like this one. Thumbs Up.

Cheap Car Insurance: Not Always the Best Deal

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 07/15/2011

Paying less for cheap car insurance is sometimes not because you found a great deal, but more because you don’t have enough coverage.

A Rejected Insurance Claim

Cheap insurance may actually be a case of too little coverage, leading to denied insurance claims.

Finding cheap car insurance can make anyone happy. The less we have to pay out of pocket for something that we cannot touch the easier it is to make the payments on it.

But, getting cheap car insurance may not always be the best thing for you later down the road.

Not Enough Coverage

Even though you think that you have just got a good deal on cheap car insurance from your agent or insurance company, you may be wrong.

The actual situation may be that you just purchased a low amount of insurance coverage. If you purchased too low of an amount, you may not have enough to cover an accident. Which means you will have to pay what your insurance company didn’t out of your own pocket.

As an example, you purchased the minimum amount of insurance that your state requires just so that you can drive. Your liability limits on your policy could look something like this: 15/20/15.  This means that the most your insurance company will pay out to the other person if you cause an accident is $15,000 per person for medical bills, $20,000 total for all medical bills for the other party and $15,000 total for all property damage.

With the information that you know about how ridiculously high medical bills are do you think that this amount of insurance will cover all of the bills and other charges if the accident was serious? If you don’t have enough insurance to cover all the bills and you are at fault for the accident you are legally responsible for paying the rest.

Was the money you saved on the cheap car insurance worth what you are going to have to pay out of pocket?

Too High of a Deductible

The amount that you choose for your deductible on your comprehensive and collision coverage is the amount that you will be paying out of your pocket in the case of an accident.

For example, if you have a $1000 deductible and you are in an accident where the repairs to your vehicle end up costing $2500; you are responsible for paying the first $1000 and your insurance company will pay the remaining balance of $1500.  If you cannot pay the amount of your deductible you will have to work something out with the body shop or you will have to forego getting your vehicle repaired.

So many times people raise their deductible on their insurance policy just to get cheap car insurance.  They then find themselves with a damaged vehicle that cannot be fixed because they cannot afford to pay their deductible.

University of Farmers Insurance – Sticky Map

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Advertising, Research Last Updated: 07/20/2011

Farmers Insurance uses its University of Farmers students as human thumbtacks to show that they are progressing east.


Commercial opens on the outside of the University of Farmers campus.

Screen changes to people in a classroom in blue jumpsuits and blue helmets jumping up and down. We find out that the people that are jumping up and down are agents and they are going through an exercise.

The instructor is sitting on a ladder and asks what the purpose of the exercise is.

Screen changes to a full shot of the classroom where we see 3 of the agents stuck on a United States map and three more jumping on two large trampolines.

The instructors question is answered by one of the agents with, “Expansion, Sir. Farmers is heading east.”

Agents continue to bounce on the trampolines and then throw themselves on the map where they are sticking from west to east.

In response to the instructor’s questions, the jumping agents explain that Farmers has the rest of the country covered already and that people should care because Farmers has the “sharpest agents out there” that can save people “hundreds”.

Commercial ends with Farmers logo and “Now in Pennsylvania” on the screen under the logo.

Point of the Commercial

Farmers is announcing that they are going to start writing in more states in the eastern part of the United States. I would be surprised if they don’t continue to recycle this commercial for each of the new states that they start writing in and just have a different “Now in …….” on the last screen of the commercial for each state.

What They Want You to Do

For those that already live in states that write Farmers, they are emphasizing that a Farmers agent could save you money on your car insurance (Yawn).

For those that live in states that Farmers is now starting to write in, they are letting you know that there is a new player in town. They want you to call and get a quote from one of their new agents in your state. New company means that you have never called this insurance company for an insurance quote before and they could be cheaper than your current insurance company.

My Opinion

The commercial got its point across, but it’s nothing memorable. I feel that the commercial is leaning to the dumb side and not in a good way. Thumbs Down.

Insurance Company: A Brief History and Definition

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Definitions Last Updated: 07/15/2011

Like all businesses, the insurance company started out small with one product and grew into the multiple product corporations that we know today.

Files of Insurance Company Products

Insurance companies sell many different types of insurance.

Insurance companies are now everywhere and unless a person has been living under a rock, they have been a part of all of our lives at one point or another.

But, if someone ever asked you what an insurance company actually is what would you say?

Most people would only be able to answer that it is a company that sells insurance. But, the history and exactly what these companies sell can’t accurately be explained in one simple sentence.

Insurance Company History

The concept of insurance has been around since 3000 B.C. and was started to protect goods while being transported from the seller to the buyer over the seas.

The Chinese were the first to come up with the idea of insurance and it was passed on over the centuries from one culture to another. Today we still have this type of insurance along with home, auto, life, burial and health insurance. Out of all the insurance policies that are available today, the auto policy is the one that is the most frequently sold.

In 1897, the very first of these auto policies was sold in Dayton, Ohio by Travelers Insurance Company. At this time when the automobile was first being introduced, liability insurance was not mandatory to have like it is today. It was a purchase that was made by smart vehicle owners to protect themselves and their vehicle if an accident were to happen.

It wasn’t until 1927, when Massachusetts became the first state to make carrying insurance mandatory for motorists. Over the years, many states followed suit and now it is mandatory to carry the minimum of at least liability insurance on your vehicle to be allowed to drive in all states.

What do Insurance Companies Sell?

Insurance companies sell financial protection for you in the case that the item you purchased an insurance policy on becomes damaged or causes damages.

In the case of auto insurance; insurance companies sell you liability insurance so that you don’t have to worry about paying for the damages or medical bills to a person that you hit with your car out of your own pocket. Comprehensive and collision coverage are available so that you don’t have to pay to get your vehicle fixed.

Other products car insurance companies sell to protect you financially:

  • Towing/ Road Side Assistance
  • Rental Car Coverage
  • Personal Injury Protection
  • Medical Payments
  • Bodily Injury Liability
  • Property Damage Liability
  • Comprehensive Coverage
  • Collision Coverage
  • GAP Coverage

As you can see an insurance company has more to it than just “a company that sells insurance.”

Car Insurance Quotes: Starting at Square One

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Research Last Updated: 07/24/2011

Getting car insurance quotes is the first step to purchase a policy, regardless if it is for a brand new driver or someone looking for a better company.

Files of Car Insurance Quotes

Car insurance quotes from multiple companies will help you find the best premium.

The reasons for needing car insurance quotes are as different as the drivers that need the insurance. It may be because you are getting terrible customer service at your current insurance agency or it could be because it is time to start shopping around for better insurance rates. No matter the reason, here are some tips on how to begin that search for new car insurance quotes.

Where to Get Car Insurance Quotes

There are three main avenues to go down to get the car insurance quotes that you need.

One, find an independent, insurance agent in your area. A local agent will be able to give you quotes for the handful of insurance companies that they write for. This will give you an idea of the prices that you will be looking at and will give you a chance to compare a number of companies all at once.

Two, contact an insurance company directly. You can contact an insurance company directly for car insurance quotes either by phone or through their internet site.

By purchasing your insurance from the insurance company directly, you usually are going to see a lower price than if you got the same quote from an agent. This is because the quote you are getting directly from the insurance company is not going to include the commission that is paid to the agent for selling you the policy. At the same time though, you are not going to have an insurance agent there to help you if you have any problems with the insurance company.

Progressive and Geico are good places to start to get direct insurance quotes.

Three, use a quote aggregator like the available here on Car Insurance Guidebook. It is the easiest of the three ways to get a car insurance quote. You simply answer the questions that are presented to you and enter your information as directed. Once the system has all of the information that it needs, it will present you with quotes of multiple insurance companies to compare.

How to Start Getting Car Insurance Quotes

To get started, have the declarations page from your current or most current insurance policy in front of you. You will need the limits and coverages from this page so that you can get quotes on the same insurance coverage. This will allow you to know for certain if you are really getting a better price or if you are getting a lower price because the quote is for less coverage.

Also have your driver’s license, VIN number for your vehicle and also your social security number handy before you start your quest for car insurance quotes.

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Car Insurance Guidebook Unravels the Car Insurance Mystery

Unless you work in the car insurance industry, the topic is probably a mystery to you. The words deductible, comprehensive, collision, liability, premium, loss of use and bodily injury are all gibberish when they reach your ears.

Unfortunately, insurance is something that you are required to have by law if you want to drive. Because of how confusing it is many people go around in almost an insurance daze while they get car insurance quotes from the auto insurance companies that they have heard of. In reality, they are completely lost as to what they are actually buying.

Instead of looking at what each insurance company offers in the terms of protection for both themselves and their car, they are instead looking for cheap car insurance. Finding the cheapest car insurance coverage makes having to buy the required product all that much less painful, but misses the whole point of having insurance.

Learning about insurance through your insurance agent or websites like Car Insurance Guidebook will give you the upper hand when you looking for car insurance. You can take your knowledge and not only find the best price for insurance, you can use it to find really great insurance to protect you and your assets. Then you aren’t stuck settling for just average car insurance that can hurt you financially if you ever need it because there isn’t enough protection.

For example, when looking for insurance the car insurance rates are just the first of many factors that need to be taken into account when you are shopping around for car insurance. You also need to take into account the type of vehicle that you are driving. Many people don’t know this.

Are you driving around a vehicle that is a new sedan and can be protected under any blanket insurance policy? Or do you have an old car that you fixed up that needs special protection and could be better covered under classic car insurance?

Don’t just assume that when you compare car insurance that it will be a one-size-fits-all policy. This is where the insurance knowledge will come in handy; you will know what you need to protect yourself and your vehicle.

You will understand what your insurance agent is talking about when they use insurance terms and you will actually be able to make an informed decision. This is much better for you instead of the “nod and smile” approach people take in their insurance agent’s office.

Also just like your life changes your insurance needs will change. This year you may just need to learn about the best deductible to have. Next year you may need to educate yourself on car insurance for young drivers. As the years pass, motorcycle insurance may be something you will need to know.

Many wise people say that you never stop learning, so take their advice and educate yourself on the insurance that you spend a lot of money on and can’t get away with not having.