I’m not an expert on how to save on insurance costs, so I brought in someone to help from an expert in the subject.
Tips on how to save on insurance costs
In our society it’s almost imperative that you have enough insurance to protect yourself in case of emergency. Home, auto, and health–these are all areas that require a great deal of cash to relieve the pain or fix outright if something happens–not to mention having adequate life insurance to look after your loved ones. That doesn’t even take flood, tornado, or any other type of specialized insurance into account. No wonder people complain about being ‘insurance poor.’ The bright side is your mind can rest relatively easy if you have enough insurance–on the other hand all those policies have to be paid for, in full and on time or the coverage will probably be null and void. Here are some ways to save on insurance costs and maintain the insurance you need.
Look for the Best Deal
By doing a little homework, you can undoubtedly find a company or an agent that will save you more money than anyone else. Ask your friends and neighbors who they do business with, and whether or not they are satisfied with the service provided. If they’ve had occasion to file a claim find out if they received payments in a timely manner. Contact different companies in person or on the phone and get rate quotes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If they want your business, they’ll spend whatever time it takes to satisfy you, in detail if necessary. A company that won’t take the time probably won’t be overly swift in paying a claim.
Taking out multiple policies with the same company will lower your costs. If you make your company a one-stop-shopping center for your home, auto, health and life insurance, or any combination that company offers, they will probably make it worth your while. According to some estimates, you could save as much as 15% on overall costs. You have the added advantage of working with one agent or company. This can benefit you over a period of time because insurance companies frequently reward longtime customers.
It’s a well known fact that increasing your deductible can save you a lot of money. If you choose to go this route, you should consider all of the advantages and disadvantages or a higher deductible.
Advantages of a High Deductible
- The amount you save on monthly or annual premiums can be substantial.
- Basically you’re gambling that nothing is going to happen. If a significant emergency takes place the bulk of your costs will still be covered.
- If you put money aside in a dedicated savings account you can collect interest until you have to use it to cover any deductibles that may arise.
- You should make sure you have enough cash readily available to handle the deductible in case something does happen. That’s not always easy to do.
- If you have a series of small claims a large deductible will mean a lot of out-of-pocket expense.
Ask your agent if they offer group rates, and find out what groups are eligible for the savings, if any. Often an insurance company will offer special rates for civic groups or other types of organizations, such as AARP or AAA. In some cases, joining a group or organization like these can benefit you. Find out the requirements and determine whether or not the group suits you so you can take advantage of the group rates.
Maintain a Good Credit Rating
Having a good credit rating will often encourage an insurance company to give you a price break. It’s to your advantage to maintain a good credit rating by paying your bills on time and in full. The company will certainly take notice. If you do happen to fall behind, they will be more likely to work with you until you catch up.
Don’t Over Insure
Go over your policies whenever they come due for renewal. Check them with your agent, over the phone or in person, to determine if any changes have taken place–if any holes or lapses in coverage have arisen. Make sure you’ll remain adequately protected and that you aren’t being charged for something you no longer have, and ensure you’re not overpaying for the coverage you retain.
Author bio: Bailey Harris writes about insurance and other topics for the Homeowners Insurance Blog.