Like the mortgage and utility bills, insurance premiums on homes and cars are often considered to be fixed expenses in the family budget. In fact, many people just automatically make the premium payments each month without even stopping to wonder if their coverage is correct or whether they are missing any opportunities to reduce the overall cost. If you are guilty of putting your insurance premiums on autopilot, now is a great time to learn some important points about home and auto insurance that can help you improve your coverage and help to lower your overall cost.
Pay attention to details
To ensure that premiums for both auto and home insurance are as low as possible it is important to pay attention to details that can add or subtract from the cost of your premium. For auto insurance, take time to do the following.
- Choose the vehicle carefully, looking for those that are highly rated for safety and avoiding those that carry a higher risk of theft.
- Consider using alternate transportation several times a week, if available, to reduce the amount of annual miles driven and lessen your risk of being involved in an accident.
- Consider taking a defensive- or safe-driving course to lessen the risk of being involved in an accident.
- Consider opting for a higher deductible or carrying only liability insurance on older cars that are not financed.
Bundle policies together
Although many people know that using the same insurance company for multiple vehicles can give them a discount on the premium, they may not realize that many companies give even higher discounts when their products are also used for other types of commonly purchased insurance. These include policies for homes, rental property, renter's insurance, life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, and boat, motorcycle, or RV insurance.
In addition, insurance companies often give discounts for changes that make their process more efficient, such as paying premiums in full on an annual, semi-annual, or quarterly basis instead of monthly, choosing paperless billing, and using electronic funds transfer to pay the bill.
Check often for premium discounts and rate adjustments
Staying in touch with your insurance agent on a periodic basis—at least once or twice a year—is a good way to ensure that you remember to update your policy to reflect changes in your life that can affect your coverage as well as your rate. These changes might include life changes, such as divorce, death, remarriage, and retirement.
In addition, your agent will want to know when your home has undergone renovations or system updates that could increase the value of the home or when potential liability issues occur, such as having certain types of pets or livestock on the property. By alerting your insurance company of these changes, you can be certain that your remain adequately insured at the best possible premium rates.
Check out the rates you might get from a number of different companies, such as Keyes Insurance Services Inc, to see which company will give you the best deal.