In most cases, having insurance is a requirement rather than being optional. It’s difficult to shell out the cash for insurance premiums and something that you might never use. However, when you do have it and the unthinkable does happen to you, you’ll be relieved (hopefully) that you did have the insurance.
Insurance premiums should not break the bank, though. You should not have to choose between feeding your kids and buying insurance. You shouldn’t have to get the worst policy either - one that doesn’t fully cover you for what you need when you need it.
There are ways to get deals on many different kinds of insurance, and it’s all going to start with shopping around. Never go with the first company you come across. Here’s how to get the best deal on your insurance.
1. Multi-Policy Discount
Most insurance companies want you to use them for all of your insurance needs. Automobile, homeowners, renters, life insurance policies, or whatever you need... if you keep all of your policies with one company you could save anywhere from 5-20% on your policies.
You will need to compare the savings with multiple different companies to see if this is in fact the best option for you, especially since there’s such a wide range of possible discounts you can receive by having multiple insurance policies with one provider.
2. Higher Deductibles
The higher your deductible, the lower your insurance premiums. Of course, that also means you’ll be paying more out of pocket should you need to file a claim with your insurance company for whatever reason.
3. Know the Rates before You Buy
When shopping for a home or a car, knowing the potential cost of your insurance will help you in making the purchase. A sports car is going to cost significantly more to insure than a mini-van, for example.
Likewise, when it comes to purchasing a home, a new home might be cheaper to insure than an older home. You will also want to be aware of where you purchase your home. Is it near water or in a flood zone? You might find that you are going to pay much more to insure that home than you would a home that was not in a flood zone.
4. Ask about Other Discounts
Many insurance companies will offer you multiple different discounts for things that will help deter things like theft or burglary. You can also get discounts for being older, for both car and home insurance.
For car insurance, students can get good grades discounts, and you can even get discounts for driving your car less than 12000 miles a year. It makes sense; the less you use something, the less chance of it being damaged.
5. Have Good Credit
Yes, insurance companies will run your credit and base your premiums off of that. They find that those with poor credit are statistically more likely to file an insurance claim. Because of this, they will require you to pay higher insurance premiums. Some states don’t allow insurance companies to do this to people, but none the less it can never hurt to have a strong credit rating.
Saving money on your insurance is going to be all about shopping around, just like you would for any other big purchase you make in your life. This is important to protect those big purchases in your life, so don’t skimp. Find ways to get discounts, and don’t be afraid to switch companies if one will offer you better rates than another.
Are All Policies Necessary?
Insurance is a great way to protect yourself and the family. Not everything has to be insured, though. There are certain insurance policies that just might not be necessary. Before you get swindled into one of these types of policies, here’s what you should reconsider purchasing.
1. Accidental death and dismemberment insurance - This is something that can be covered by a term life insurance policy or a long-term disability policy. There’s probably little need to purchase a separate policy like this. If you still think you really need it, be sure to read all of the fine print and weigh the cost of the policy versus the benefits before you decide to buy.
2. Cell phone insurance - Purchasing a good case for your phone is really the best insurance you can buy to protect your phone. If you are still concerned, then you could always put the money you would have been spending on the monthly insurance policy into a savings account. If you somehow manage to find yourself in need of purchasing a new phone, you’ll have it in savings.
3. Children’s life insurance policies - It’s tempting to get life insurance for your child, but really the chances of a child dying are pretty slim and if it does happen you’ll probably be able to afford the cost of services.
A child isn’t going to have any bills to pay, so really a life insurance policy for a child is strictly for the cost of funeral. Oftentimes funeral homes will offer discounts for children’s funerals if you have a financial need.
4. Mortgage life insurance - Purchasing a separate insurance to pay off your mortgage in case you should die might not be the best idea. A term life insurance policy can cover that and other expenses as well, for a lower monthly cost to you. Look into a term life insurance policy instead of mortgage life insurance.
5. Short-term disability insurance - If you have enough money in your savings account to float you for 3-6 months, then having a short-term disability insurance policy is probably not a necessity for you. Use the money you would pay on a policy like that and add it to your savings account instead.
6. Extended warranties - In most cases the warranty that a manufacturer offers with the item you’re purchasing is more than enough, and you won’t need to buy an extended warranty plan. Putting the money you would spend on the extended warranty into savings and allowing it to accrue interest will be more than enough to cover you in the event something should go wrong and you need to pay for an item to be fixed.
As with anything, you’ll need to look at your individual circumstances to see if this is an expense that makes sense for you to make on any of these different types of policies. You likely are not going to need them, but you certainly wouldn’t want to say no if you get it for free.
If you’re unsure if your lifestyle might mean it makes sense for you to purchase any of these policies, then you might want to speak with a financial planner. He or she can help you determine if it’s something you can use your savings for, or whether these types of policies would be in your best interest.
Auto Insurance: What You Should Ask
When purchasing auto insurance, you are usually doing it because it’s required by your state in order to register a vehicle. It’s also great coverage to have in order to protect you, though.
Everyone makes mistakes, even you. Of course you always hope to be the one not at fault in an accident because then it’s on the other person’s insurance or the other person has to pay for your damages, but mistakes do happen.
In addition, you could end up in a no-fault situation like driving on icy roads or in a parking lot, and the insurance might assign 50/50 blame on both parties. In this case, you want to be sure that things are still covered for your own vehicle.
You purchase insurance as peace of mind. You hope you never have to use it, but if you do have to use it, you want to have enough to cover yourself. You are going to want to keep your premiums as low as possible, though, while also being sure that you’re completely covered. Here are questions you should ask yourself and your insurance company before purchasing a policy.
1. What is the difference between comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, and do I need it?
Comprehensive insurance covers you from things like acts of God (i.e. floods, a fallen tree, or hail) or theft. Collision covers the damage to your vehicle if you hit someone or someone hits you. This is strictly coverage to take care of your vehicle if it’s damaged.
If you have a loan on your vehicle or you are leasing it, then chances are you’re going to be required to have comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy. This is for the lienholder’s piece of mind, but at the same time it just makes good sense if you have a vehicle that’s valued at $20,000 or more.
As your car gets older and depreciates in value to something like $3000, it might not be necessary to have comprehensive and collision coverage on that vehicle. Your premium costs will just be too great over the course of 1-2 years to justify that expense.
If you’re unsure of the value of your car, you can check online with sites like Kelley Blue Book or NADA to help you determine if this is a necessary coverage for you.
2. How high should my deductible be?
A deductible is the money you have to pay out of pocket for the repair of your vehicle if you have comprehensive and collision coverage. The higher your deductible, the lower your insurance premiums will be.
While it’s tempting to go up to say $1000, you need to know if you’ll have that should you need to use your insurance. Typically a $500 deductible is common, but it can go even lower than that. The lower it goes, the higher your insurance premiums go, though. So you’ll need to determine where your sweet spot is.
This is also why it’s good to know the value of your car and if you need comprehensive and collision coverage. If your deductible is $1000 and your car is only worth $2000, then it’s not going to be worth it to have to pay out half of the car’s value to repair it. If your repairs are that high and your car is worth that little, your insurance company might call it totaled anyway.
3. What discounts are available to me?
Most insurance companies will automatically figure in discounts to your insurance such as safe driver, discounts for vehicle safety features, and multiple driver/car discounts. However, your insurance company might offer you others.
If you’re a student, then they could offer you a discount for being a good student and maintaining a B average. On the opposite side of the spectrum there might be mature driver discounts where if you’re over 55 and successfully complete an accident prevention course through your DMV, you can receive a discount.
You can get discounts if you refrain from drinking and smoking. There are discounts if you’re a professional and belong to an organization like the state bar, or medical board, or even a fraternity/sorority. There are discounts for owning a hybrid vehicle, taking a defensive driving course, or even maintaining low mileage on your car each year.
If you have multiple kinds of insurance policies with one company, such as life insurance or homeowners insurance, then you can also qualify for a discount.
4. Does my policy include uninsured or underinsured motorists?
Not all states require that you carry such coverages. If your state does require it, then your agent should know this and include it. If you are in a state that does not require it, though, you can still get it. It’s definitely a coverage you’ll probably want. If you’re in the accident and the other person doesn’t have enough coverage to cover it, or is uninsured, then you will want to be covered.
5. Will my insurer give me original parts for repairs?
Should you get into an accident, you want to make sure that your insurance will pay for original parts on your vehicle in order to repair it, otherwise it will decrease the value of your car.
6. Do I have rental reimbursement?
If your car needs to be repaired and it’s going to take days, then you will want to have a rental car. This is a separate coverage you can purchase on your policy. It can be beneficial to have, as repairs can take a long time.
Knowing what you’re covered for will save you a lot of headache if you get into an accident. Things might not go super-smoothly with insurance for various different reasons, but having adequate coverage will protect you and your financial interests as well.
Home Insurance: What You Should Ask
When you buy a home, you want to make sure it’s protected along with everything in it. Since it will probably be the most expensive thing you’ll ever purchase, it’s imperative that you have homeowners insurance. But how do you make sure you’re protected for everything that should happen to your home throughout the years you’ll own it?
You need to shop around and be sure to ask a lot of questions about what the policy has to offer, to make sure you get just what you need to keep your investment safe. Here are the questions you should ask your insurance agent about any potential home insurance policies you are going to purchase.
1. Will the policy cover the market value of the house or replacement value?
You want to know what should happen should the house be completely destroyed. If it pays market value, that means you get paid whatever the house would cost in the current economy prior to the loss. If you get replacement value, you will be paid whatever it costs to actually replace the house. Having the house rebuilt exactly as it was could be considerably more than the market value.
2. What are the limits, if any, that the policy will pay for items in the home?
Homeowners insurance will not only cover you for the house, but also what’s inside of the house in most cases. You will want to know if there’s any limit to how much it will pay. You might need to increase the limits if you have expensive items in your home such as jewelry and electronics.
3. Are there any events that the policy will not cover?
If you live in a flood zone or a place that gets earthquakes, then you might have to purchase separate insurance to cover you in case of flood or earthquake damage. However, if you can get a homeowners insurance policy that will cover such things, that might be the more ideal situation. The main thing is to know what's covered now, rather than after the tragic event happens.
4. What are the limits for slip and fall type accidents?
If someone comes to your home and gets injured, you want to know that your insurance will cover any medical expenses they might incur if they get injured while on your property. This way you don’t have to pay out of pocket.
5. What are the monthly premiums?
You will need to weigh all of your requirements that you need for protection with how much your monthly premiums are for the insurance. If you can’t afford the insurance and it lapses, then it’s going to do you no good.
6. What’s the deductible?
This is the amount of money you’ll have to pay for a repair on your home, and insurance will pay the balance. The higher the deductible, the lower your monthly premiums. However, it’s important that you keep your deductible affordable for you. If you need to use your insurance, you want to be sure you can afford that deductible.
7. Can you receive a discount for multi-policies?
Oftentimes, insurance companies will give you a discount if you insure other things with them. So if have your automobile insurance with the same company as your home insurance, then you can likely receive a discount on both policies. Make sure you ask about that.
Insuring your home and all of your belongings is going to save you a lot of headache in case of damage or theft. By asking these questions, you’ll be sure to know exactly what you’re protected against.
Life Insurance: What You Should Ask
Being a grown-up means you have to think about things like life insurance. No one wants to think about the fact that someday they will die, but it’s a fact of life so to speak. And you want to leave as little burden on your family as you possibly can in the event of your unexpected death.
It can be difficult to choose the right life insurance policy for you and your family’s needs. You are definitely going to want to shop around to find what’s best for you and your needs, for a price that you can afford. What should you be asking, though?
Here are the questions you should ask an agent about your potential life insurance purchase.
1. What are my needs?
If you just bought a house and have small children, then you want a policy which can help pay the mortgage and your children’s needs until they are 18. However, the older you get, the older your family gets, and the closer you get to paying off your mortgage - in which case you might have different things you’ll be focused on. You’ll have less financial burden at this point in your life, so you won’t have the need for such a large policy.
2. What are the different types of policies available?
One possibility is to get a group policy which is offered by your employer as part of your employee benefits. These policies tend to be term life insurance policies, which means it’s only good during a specified time (in this case probably the time in which you’re employed). Because this is part of a group, the cost can be less and will be deducted directly from your wages. If your employer offers this, then this could be a less expensive way to be covered.
Then there is an individual policy. In this case you or a family member will be the owner of the policy. This gives you more flexibility in changing the policy, or taking it with you should you change employers. You can also change a term policy into a permanent one with an individual policy.
3. What will happen at the end of a term life insurance policy?
You need to find out what happens if you outlive the terms of your term life insurance policy. In many cases, if you want to keep your term life insurance policy as you come to the end of your term, then the premiums will go up. You might also be able to get a new policy. If you’re healthy at the end of the term, then this could be the way to go.
You need to know if you can change the coverages. Say you purchase your term life policy when you’re young and just starting out with your family. Your term ends and your children are all grown and out of the house, and now you no longer have to pay a mortgage on your home. You’re probably going to want to change your coverages if this is the case. Try to find a policy that will allow you to upgrade to a permanent policy at the end of the term.
4. What am I going to pay?
Just like you shop around for the best price on a TV, you should shop around for life insurance. You will want to know things like what could cause the premiums to change (either up or down). What is the national average for life insurance premiums? You need to know how you can pay for your premiums - monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or yearly. You should also find out what happens if you miss paying a premium - when will the insurance lapse?
5. What do I get?
You will need to make sure you not only are clear on all of the inclusions, but also exclusions. You’ll want to know what might cause the policy to not pay out.
6. What things will affect my insurance premiums?
You should find out if you need to have a physical and how the results of that physical can affect your premium cost. Also, you’ll want to know how soon the coverages will go into effect after you apply.
Being sure you have the proper coverages to protect your family in case something should happen to you will give you peace of mind, knowing that your family will not be struggling to handle expenses. So it’s important that you do plenty of research on the policy, including how it gets paid out and for what.
Medical Insurance: What You Should Ask
With the addition of the Affordable Care Act, many people have been left with numerous questions about purchasing medical insurance for themselves and their family. You want to make sure you have the right coverage and that it is in fact affordable for you. Here are the questions you should be asking yourself and insurance providers before purchasing a medical insurance policy.
1. Does the plan cover my doctor?
Some doctors or hospitals don’t accept certain insurances. If you have a particular doctor for you and or your family members that you would like to continue seeing, then you’ll want to make sure that you can see all doctors and specialists you currently have on this plan.
2. Is it an indemnity plan or managed care?
The difference between the two is an important one. With an indemnity plan, you will pay for a certain percentage of all of your care. They are also known as fee-for-service plans. The advantage with this is that you will typically be allowed to choose your own doctors.
A managed care plan, which can be an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) or PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), means minimal out-of-pocket expense. With an HMO, you or your employer pay a monthly premium, but you can only see doctors in the plan. With a PPO, you or your employer get a discount for using doctors that are within the plan. You can see doctors outside of the system, but it will cost you.
3. Will I have a co-pay or a deductible on top of my monthly premium?
Many times you have to pay a co-pay, which can be as little as $10. However, it can go up from there every time you see the doctor or have to get a medication from the pharmacy.
You might have a certain deductible. This means you’ll pay out of pocket until you have paid your deductible in medical costs before insurance will cover the rest of your medical fees. If you and your family are not often sick and don’t have a lot of medications, then a co-pay might be a better option for you.
4. What does the plan cover?
When it comes to medical insurance, you would think all medical expenses should be covered. However, you might find that you need to get a separate policy for dental and vision or other specialty services. In addition, you’ll want to make sure routine exams are covered. Can you get vaccines? Pap smears? Mammograms? Any other preventative services with your policy?
5. What do I need to do to go to the hospital?
Some plans will require you to contact your doctor before going to the emergency room. This is good to know in advance so you don’t end up having to pay out of pocket for that ER visit.
6. What about pre-existing conditions?
The plan could be restrictive towards pre-existing conditions. They might not cover your care on that chronic condition for months, or ever for that matter. If you or someone in your family has a pre-existing condition, then you’ll need to make sure it will be covered.
7. What happens when I'm away from home?
Let’s face it, things happen when you’re on vacation. Sometimes you’ll become ill or injured and need to be seen by a doctor. You need to be sure that you’ll be covered even if you don’t see your primary care doctor in such a case.
8. What’s the insurance company’s history?
It’s not unheard of for insurance companies to go out of business, leaving your policy null and void. Sometimes if a deal is too good to be true there could be a reason. Perhaps you can only see a doctor during limited hours. Check the history of the insurance company and how long they’ve been in business before purchasing a policy.
9. What happens if I have disputes?
The company should have procedures in place for disputing claims or appealing should a claim be denied. You’ll want to be aware of the procedures they’ll follow, and what the average turn-around time is.
Being sure that you have adequate medical coverage can only be helpful to you. Even if you’re typically a well person, you never know what’s going to happen - and you don’t want to be stuck with astronomical medical bills.
Travel Insurance: What You Should Ask
When you plan a vacation, you might not think you need to get insurance for your trip. However, it’s a good idea for many reasons. Nothing is worse than going on a trip and losing your luggage, or getting sick or injured while on your trip. Or even getting sick beforehand and not being able to go.
You will want to not have to worry about the financial hassles of any of these things, and travel insurance might be the answer. However, you have to be careful and make sure you get a legitimate policy when you purchase travel insurance. To ensure you don’t give yourself even more headaches in the long run, here are the questions you should be asking before you buy your travel insurance.
1. Who underwrites the policy and regulates the company?
There is a lot of fraud happening in the travel insurance world, so it's helpful to ask who regulates the insurance company and what the license number is. This way you have some assurance that the company is on the up and up.
In addition, there are underwriters on travel insurance policies. The company you’re purchasing the insurance from isn’t actually providing the insurance, so for added security it’s good to check on the underwriter just to make sure they are also doing well. Check with A.M. Best to see what the underwriter’s rating is. If there is no rating, then you know there might be an issue.
2. What advantages are there to buying insurance early?
Often, buying insurance when you buy your trip or make the first payment on it is ideal. However, you likely want to avoid purchasing it directly from the airline or cruise line. These are often lacking in benefits. Shopping around is key. Check to make sure they cover things such as pre-existing conditions, terrorism, or airline or cruise line bankruptcy.
3. What if I have pre-existing medical conditions?
Not all policies will cover you if you have pre-existing medical conditions. There are waivers you can get, but if anything changes with your condition, for instance you have a heart condition and are put on a new medication just weeks before your trip and then have a heart attack while on your trip, without a waiver you will not be compensated.
If the insurance company won’t offer you a waiver, then you might be able to get a "cancel for any reason" addendum added to your policy.
4. What will it cost to add "cancel for any reason" to my policy?
There are often lots of little loopholes in travel insurance policies which they will not pay you for. Adding a "cancel for any reason" addendum to the policy covers you for any unexpected incidents. It could be costly to do, but it could be worth it to add if it’s offered. Shopping around is key.
5. Does the policy require me to pay for things up front and get reimbursed?
Most travel insurance policies require you to file after you have already shelled out money to get reimbursed for it. If this is the case, then you’ll probably want to know what the turnaround time to get reimbursed will be - especially if money is tight.
6. Are all of my travel providers covered?
When you go on a trip, there are multiple different companies that are involved. You will have the airline, possibly a cruise line, rental car, hotel, and tour companies. You will need to find out which companies are covered by your travel insurance to know what should happen if any of those companies that you already paid for goes out of business prior to your trip.
7. When does the policy begin and end?
Not all insurance is created equal. Some might only cover you while you’re actually traveling to and from your destination, while others might cover you for the whole time - even after you reach your final destination. You will want to be covered for as much of your trip as possible.
8. Where is that, in writing?
If you’re told something is covered, make sure you see it in writing. Have the insurance agent point it out to you or write it in if it’s not there. If it’s not in writing, then it never happened.
Being sure that you have an enjoyable trip is the most important thing. You don’t want to have to be concerned about what happens if something goes wrong. Plan everything in advance and shop around for the right travel insurance. Hopefully you won’t have to use it, but if you do at least you’ll know what you’re covered for and that you are covered.
Can You Get Discounts on Insurance?
Home insurance and automobile insurance might be must-haves, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to have the appropriate coverages. There are things you can do to get discounts on your homeowners insurance and automobile insurance. Here are some helpful tips to save money on your insurance premiums.
Tips on Discounts for Homeowners Insurance
* Security - You get discounts if you have a security system installed in your home. A gated community tends to have lower insurance rates and lower rates of crime. Something as simple as dead bolt locks might even give you a discount on your homeowners insurance.
* Fire safety - Equipping your home with smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are great steps to lowering your insurance rates. Going a step further with fire sprinkler systems, fire escapes, fire extinguishers, and heat detectors will help lower your insurance premiums.
* Maintenance - Making updates to the wiring of your home, having a high rated roof that is hail resistant, updating your pipes, having hand rails along staircases, or a gate around your pool, are all things that can get you a discount on your homeowners insurance.
* No claims in ten years - If you haven’t filed a claim in the last ten years, you could be eligible for a discount to your insurance. Talk with your provider about any other policy discounts that you might be eligible for that you may not have thought of in the past.
Tips on Discounts for Auto Insurance
* Safe driver - If you’ve had no at-fault accidents or traffic violations, then you should be able to get discounts on your car insurance.
* Safety features - If your car is equipped with certain safety features, then you could be eligible for discounts on your insurance. Ask your agent if they offer discounts for things like air bags, anti-lock brakes, and automatic seat belts.
* Anti-theft device - If your car comes equipped with an anti-theft device, then you get discounts for that. You can also install your own alarm system or a vehicle recovery transceiver.
* Good student discounts - Most insurance companies will offer discounts for students who maintain a certain grade level in school. Since most insurances will charge young drivers more until they are 25, maintaining a certain GPA can be a great way to get discounts on your insurance for drivers who are 25 and younger.
* Don’t let your insurance lapse - If you’re thinking about finding a new insurance provider, then do it early. Don’t wait until your insurance lapses. Aside from the fact that you can’t drive your car if it’s uninsured, you can be eligible for a discount for maintaining insurance constantly when you switch to another company.
The biggest key to getting the best rates on your car insurance is shopping around. Be sure to ask each insurance company what kind of discounts they offer to their customers, so you can be sure you’re getting the best rates and the most discounts possible that are available to you.
Home Business: What Insurance Should I Get?
There are lots of things to take into consideration when you start a business from your home. Insurance might be one of the last things on your mind, but it’s something important that you should be considering.
If you figure you can just rely on your homeowners insurance policy, then you might be unpleasantly surprised that it won’t cover all of your business equipment. And if you are going to be having clients or business partners in your home, then you might need liability insurance. You also might want to have lost income insurance so you’re protected if you are unable to work for whatever reason.
If you run a business from your home, then you basically have three choices for insuring your home business. What you choose will depend on the type of business you have and the insurance company you buy it from.
1. Homeowners Policy Endorsement
It’s possible you might be able to simply add an endorsement to your already existing homeowners insurance policy. You might be able to increase your limits to include the cost of value of your business equipment such as computers. You also will want to double check to make sure your liability coverage is enough to protect you if clients or delivery people for your business come to your property and get injured.
If you don’t get a lot of visitors for your home business, then this will probably be a good option for you to explore. Be honest with your insurance provider and see if they will offer you something like this.
2. In-Home Business Policy
These types of policies will allow you to have higher coverages for business equipment than a homeowners policy endorsement might allow. The bonus with these is it’s possible that they could also reimburse you for the loss of important papers, accounts receivable, and perhaps even any off-site business property.
If your home is damaged by fire or natural disaster, it’s possible the policy will pay for lost income while your business was interrupted. If you have employees in your home business, then some policies might allow for coverages for them as well.
3. Business Owners Policy
The final type of policy that you might consider purchasing was created specifically with the small business in mind. The policy will cover both business equipment and property, loss of
income, and provides you with liability insurance. This is a great option if your business operates in more than one place. If you have employees, you’ll need to get separate coverages for workers compensation and health or disability insurance.
When you work for someone else, he or she is responsible for providing the insurance. When you work for yourself, though, you get control over a lot of different things, and this will include protecting yourself and your equipment so you can successfully run your business and continue providing for your family.
Make sure you shop around to find the right policy for your particular circumstances. And don’t forget, insurance is a business expense if it’s purchased for your business.
Switching Insurance: How and When You Should
Deciding to switch your insurance company is never an easy decision. Knowing when and how to do it can be difficult - or even knowing whether you should do it at all.
If it’s going to mean a better deal and money saved, then switching might seem like a no-brainer. However, you want to make sure you do it right and that you don’t have any time where the insurance is lapsed.
You also want to make sure that you are still getting the full coverage that you actually need to keep your and your finances protected. Here is what you should do to make the transition as smooth and painless as possible.
When and How to Switch Your Insurance
* What are you getting? You want your new policy to give you exactly what your old policy did, if not more. There’s no point in jumping the gun for a lower rate if the coverages are not equal to what you were receiving from your previous insurance company.
Review and match all of the features your old policy and new policy have to offer. Check the deductible, coverages, and limits on the old and new policy to make sure you’re getting the same things.
* Don’t let there be any gap in coverage. Make sure that the new policy begins on the same day as the old policy ends so there is no lapse in coverage. It’s always possible that even one day without coverage could cause you problems should you actually need to use your insurance in that one day. And if you ever choose to switch insurance again and the new insurer checks on the track record of your insurance and sees the gap, then you could end up paying higher premiums.
* Are you due a refund? If you paid for your other policy in advance rather than monthly, then you’ll need to make sure that you get a refund on any unused portion of the insurance. That’s also why it’s important to be sure to cancel your old policy on the day the new one starts up. This way you’re not paying for two policies at once, and you will get the full amount you should be refunded.
* Don’t forget to notify your leasing company, mortgage company, or lienholder of the change in policy. Your new insurance company should be able to provide your lienholder with the proper binding paperwork that they’ll need to check the coverages, and make sure you have the proper liabilities based on your agreement.
If you’re tired of paying those insurance premiums, then be prepared to shop around to find the best deal for you and your needs. You probably will be required to have insurance so you can’t totally avoid the cost, but you can explore your options and make sure that you are getting the best price available to you for the coverages that you need.
Even if you’ve been with your insurance company for a long time, if you can get the same insurance for cheaper, then there’s no reason to stay with a company that’s charging you more.