Most of my last week and this weekend were spent doing appliance and insurance research. I have a semblance of a page with our appliance options up here. Infuriatingly enough, Lowe's and Sears both seem to "lose" items on a fairly regular basis, then get them back a few hours or days later. Any broken links existed when I put this thing together on Sunday, and may not be broken next time someone looks. In consideration of that I included the pertinent info in the link names.
We've narrowed down insurance to three: Amica, by word-of-mouth from tyee; my sister and her SO; and her hopefully-someday-to-be-in-laws. Their prices are slightly higher, but they apparently send out refunds each year. One thing we may not be able to do, however, is to switch our auto insurance over. It doesn't need to be done but it does give a nice discount on both policies if we can. I'm waiting to hear back from Amica.
The second is State Farm, which currently carries our car/renter's insurance. The rate they're quoting for homeowner's insurance is in the middle of the three companies, and their auto insurance has the best rates. Mom used to have State Farm and when my sister's 40-gallon fish-tank came apart at the seams she was very happy with the way they settled. She since switched since rates started going up drastically.
The third is Traveler's, whom we never would have heard of if they weren't the underwriters for Centex's affiliated insurance agency. Their home insurance rates were much much lower, but every time I check car insurance the rates are different; and all but one have been about as much higher than State Farm's as to cancel out the house insurance difference.
Consumer Reports had done a rating/report on house insurance, but unfortunately they appear to have taken it down. Amica was the best, which is what swayed tyee to try it. I turned instead to epinions, in which all of them had good and bad points. One which jumped out at me after talking to Mom is how a person complained his/her rates kept going up drastically after s/he had made a claim -- not just once, but repeatedly, even after the claim was several years old. Traveler's was pretty good, but had very few comments.
I guess the thing to do is wait around until various people get back to me. Once I have rate quotes I can trust from the companies I'll make an insurance page much like the appliance one. Between now and then if anyone has any recommendations based on personal experience for/against any of the three aforementioned companies, please let me know.
Unrelated note: Car insurance is so high in NM (about $400/year more than in NC) because NM has the highest rate of drunk driving-related accidents. I can't describe how much it warms my heart to hear that.
In gaming news, we managed to liberate a village of Elves from the bad guys. Unfortunately our Dwarf was really nailed hard and spent the last session comatose. Meanwhile we interrogated some captured guards, caused one to self-destruct when he started saying things we weren't supposed to know, and all-in-all found out that we're basically doomed. We have at most one day to try to figure out how to survive the assault from the guards' very pissed-off and even more powerful cohorts.
Currently the only options seem to be fight, hide, run, or surrender or some combination of the above. Maybe some of the other players can come up with another option completely. Ah well, it's been fun playing, and hopefully the GM has had enough fun that he'll figure out a way to keep our characters alive so he can torment them some more. I can't wait until the next game, either way.