How to Cut Your Insurance Bills


With the cost of living so high, everyone seems to have the same goal when it comes to insurance: Get the best possible coverage at the lowest possible price. Here are some general suggestions for lowering your insurance costs, followed by some specific examples for particular industries:

  • Choose a smart, experienced agent
    • He or she will be familiar with a wide variety of insurance agencies and plans and will be able to suggest the best policy for your age, health and income level.
    • Here are some general suggestions for lowering your insurance costs, followed by some specific examples for particular industriesAccording to Bankrate.com, you can save up to 20 percent off your insurance costs by asking the right questions and being persistent. There’s a lot of competition to get your business, so you may be able to get insurance breaks, especially on home and car.
  • Don’t buy more coverage than you need
    • In other words, don’t be unnecessarily overinsured. For example, avoid buying more casualty coverage than your home is worth. If your house is worth $300,000, don’t buy $500,000 worth of insurance.
  • Get all the insurance discounts for which you qualify
    • There are many discounts you might not even know about. If you’re a good student, for example, you can usually get a discount on auto insurance. The same holds true if you’re a member of AAA. Check around and do some research on what might be offered for your age, status or affiliations. A reliable agent will be able to help you out as well.
  • Bundle your policies whenever possible
    • Many insurance agents will give you a discount if you have multiple policies with them. For instance, many companies will offer you a discount if you purchase both your homeowners and auto insurance through them.

Life Insurance

If you buy your life insurance when you’re younger and healthier, you’ll pay lower premiums. Since your chances of dying are less when you’re young, insurance companies will charge you less.

Of course, the single best way to get a discount on life insurance is to make healthier lifestyle choices. For example, if you quit smoking, you’ll get a sizeable discount. You may need to go for a physical exam before the discount is approved.

Disability

The same basic rules for getting a discount on life insurance apply to getting a discount on disability coverage. Making healthy lifestyle decisions is always the best way to go. You can also check with your employer to see if group disability rates are being offered.

Health Insurance

All 50 states now comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as “Obamacare”), but each state has the option of having its own regulations and offerings. Do some comparison shopping on your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace (available at HealthCare.gov) to see which plan provides the best, most affordable coverage for you.

In choosing a plan, you can select how much of a deductible you want to pay and how high a premium you can afford. The higher the deductible you pay, the lower the premium, so you may need to try out different options before deciding. A lot depends on how often you think you’ll be utilizing your insurance. If you’re young and healthy, you can probably go with a high deductible. If you’re an older adult with multiple health issues, you probably want to go with a lower-deductible plan.

Homeowners

Bankrate.com lists five basic ways to get discounts on homeowners insurance:

  1. Buy a house built to higher building codes.
  2. Be a member of a professional organization that offers discounts.
  3. Be 55 years of age or older and get up to 10 percent off.
  4. Add safety upgrades, such as deadbolt locks or smoke detectors, saving you up to five percent.
  5. Be a long-term client of the insurance agency and get an additional 5 percent off.

Auto

Did you know that the cost of insurance varies a lot based on what kind of car you buy? It makes sense to take this into consideration when purchasing a vehicle. A fancy sports car will obviously have higher insurance premiums than the standard four-door sedan. The likelihood of theft is one of the reasons. Keep this insurance-cost differential in mind as you select your car and plan your long-range budget.

There truly are countless ways to save money on your insurance bills. Do some research and talk with your agents today.

 

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