Shopping for Insurance for Your Home and Car
When your renewal comes in the mail most of us simply sign it and send it in. How do you know you are getting the best price possible? Shopping around is time consuming but can save you money if you are willing to work for it. There is nothing wrong with asking for discounts. Your agent should expect you to ask questions and if he/she is doing their job they'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. They are not your friend, at least not initially but friendly service should always go hand in hand with the most competitive rates. What trumps the loyalty card is a better rate from a new provider.
Bundling your polices
- If you have three different policies with three different companies you may be paying too much.
- Add up each individual policy’s you have and go shopping for a bundle rate.
- Ask each of your current providers to give you a quote that incorporates all of your other policies together.
- Once you have your bundled quotes you can then shop around to other providers to see if they can beat the bundle you were offered.
- Often combining your home and car insurance will cut your premiums by up to 15% because it’s cheaper for them to service two policies for one client.
- Since it’s been 5 years do I now qualify for a discount since I have had a good payment history on my mortgage?
- Are there any advantages to being a non-smoker?
- As I pay down my mortgage are there options to reduce some coverage and save money?
- Can I install additional safety equipment in my home to lower my rate?
- If I am over 50, does that make a difference in how much I pay?
- If I have a great credit rating will that bring down my risk factor?
- When you have a few quotes and see price differences try to go the extra mile and find out how they differ. Are their clauses missing from one policy compared to the other? If so try to only compare apples to apples in reading the fine print.
- Don’t simply look at the price when doing your research.
- Ask about the insurer’s record for claim service?
- What are the time lines they provide in the event you have to use your insurance policy?
- Know how long it will take to process the paperwork.
- Make sure your policy states that they will entirely replace your home and fully understand what is covered if it does not.
- Make sure everything is in writing, not simply a verbal agreement.
Be aware that frequent claims will affect your insurability. Try to cover claims under $1000 so you are not red flagged because some insurance companies won’t renew your policy if you have more than two claims in three years. If you ever need to file a claim it all comes down to the fine print you signed. Understand what is legally binding and where all the grey areas are that can be left open for interpretation. Being guilty of procrastination could be costing you money. Do your due diligence in gaining the best rate possible before you renew your insurance.
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