THE ULTIMATE SECRET TO SAVING MONEY ON INSURANCE!
There are many things you can do to make sure you get the best rate possible when it comes to your insurance. Maybe more importantly, there are also things you should never do again. We mean it, literally stop doing all these things because they’ll drive your agent, and you crazy. We’re going to run through some Do’s and Don’ts about shopping for insurance to help you find the best coverage possible!
Do!- Ask your friends for referrals. It’s always great to work with someone who is a friend of a friend, or who knows someone you deal with. This holds true in almost every profession; you want someone who you can trust!
Don’t!- Compare your price against your friends. Seriously, it’s a waste of your time, and you’ll drive yourself, and your agent crazy. No two people will ever get the same rate from an insurance company, and nothing drives someone more crazy than hearing “but my friend only pays this much…” Stop it. Stop it now. Here is a short list of things that can affect differences in policy premiums…
- Marital Status
- Credit Score
- Driving Record
- Types of vehicles
- Any discounts
- Zip code
The list is virtually endless, and no two people are the same. So save yourself the headache!
Do!- Learn what each coverage does and what you’re paying for! What’s more important, higher liability limits or full coverage? Do you know what Full coverage means? Know your coverage DEEPER than just the numbers on the paper. Know the definitions, the clauses, the exclusions, provisions. It won’t take long to figure out what it all means, and you’ll save yourself time and money!
Don’t!- Call 10 different places and just say “I want a quote for full coverage.” Full coverage is a small piece of what an auto policy consists of, and you could misunderstand estimates based on the integrity of your agent. For example you walk into two agents offices and all you say is “I just need full coverage”… Agent A quotes you full coverage, minimum liability, with no endorsements, and is $50 per month, and Agent B quotes you full coverage, maximum liability, towing and roadside, and rental car coverage, and is $90 a month. If you didn’t take the time to understand the policy, you may think that Agent A is a better deal, but you’d be wrong! Think about the grocery store, would you rather buy a box of 100 plastic utensils for $4.99, or a box of 1,000 plastic utensils for $12.99? Insurance is no different, the better PRICE is not always the better or equal POLICY!
Do!- Think about your deductible! Your deductible is what payment YOU are responsible for in the event of an accident. For example, if you have some money saved in the bank, and are not somebody who would mind paying smaller accidents out of pocket, consider a higher deductible! It can help same you some money, and your insurance company is happy because statistics show you are less likely to file any claims! For example, if you accidently hit that curb and crack your bumper, and the damage is $600, you have two choices. If you had a $500 deductible, you could claim it, and the insurance company would pay $100 (not necessarily worth it for the potential premium increase) and you pay the first $500! On the flip side, if you had a $1,000 deductible, you’d pay the whole $600, and nobody would ever know anything! It’s all personal preference, and what you can afford. Let’s say you don’t have an extra $500 laying around, consider $100-$200 deductibles, but be ready for a higher monthly premium!
Don’t!- Increase deductibles JUST TO SAVE MONEY! This ties in pretty closely with what we just said, be mindful of your own financial situation. If you don’t have an extra $1,000 to pay for damage to your car, then don’t have a $1,000 deductible! Once the accident happens, there’s nothing your insurance company can do for you, and it might not be worth the $10 per month savings it’s giving you! Plus, if you finance or lease your car, most financial institutions REQUIRE $500 deductibles. THINK and ASK before you act!
Do!- Just ask! It never hurts to ask if any discounts available to you, especially when it comes to larger expenses like your car insurance. Your car insurance agent or company may have savings to offer that are not widely advertised.
Common discounts that can shed cost from your car insurance include:
- Good student discount
- Safe driver discount
- Defensive driving course discount
Ask your insurer if specific discounts are applicable to your situation.
On the whole, don’t be afraid to verify any potential rate reductions with your insurer before investing your time or money in an effort to get cheaper coverage. The results of these short-term money saving tricks will vary between insurance companies; make sure you know what initiatives will prove most successful for you personally.
Don’t!- Switch without talking. Many times customers will switch to another carrier without contacting their old agent. This is either out of shame, fear, anger, or many other reasons. Whatever it is, always contact them yourself. You never know if there are any discounts they can add on, or savings the other company is giving you that your current agent can you give you also! Always explore every avenue with a big expense like insurance!