There are many factors that are used in determining the cost of your auto and homeowners insurance. A source of frustration for many is the belief that you have no control over these costs. While some factors that affect your insurance rates are not in your direct control, like the weather, others are. Here are some things within your control you can do to lower the costs of insurance.
Increase your deductible. Some companies may provide significant cost savings on your premium if you are willing to take a higher deductible.
- Homeowners policy deductibles. Some carriers offer separate deductibles for wind and hail, earthquake, and water back-up coverages that are higher than the standard policy deductible. These higher deductibles may result in discounts that result in a significant savings on your premium. Increasing your all-peril policy deductible is another option to consider.
- Auto policy deductibles. If you carry full coverage on your vehicle, you may be able to lower your premium by increasing your comprehensive and collision deductibles. You can also talk with your agent about full coverage vs. liability only coverage and which is right for your insurance needs.
Deductible credits may vary widely by company so be sure to check with your agent for available options. One word of caution…increasing your deductible will save money on your premium, but it will also make you responsible for paying more towards a covered loss. Something to consider when weighing your options.
Eliminate billing fees. Billing fees can be substantial but are easily overlooked. When reviewing your insurance costs, be sure to factor these fees into your analysis. Having a separate bill for each policy when you have multiple policies may result in significant fees. Many companies allow you to place all of your polices on one billing statement. In addition, companies will frequently waive fees if you are willing to pay your premium via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Using EFT is not just a cost saver, but also a time saver as the company will process your payments for you. This will also help ensure your payments are made on time and you are not assessed costly late fees. There is often a great deal of flexibility with EFT payment plans when it comes to frequency. Common choices are monthly, quarterly, and semi-annually.
Multi–policy discounts. It is usually much easier and economical to place all your policies with one carrier. Most carriers offer discounts for bundling coverages.
Take control of your insurance premium! Contact your agent and learn what discounts may be available to you.