Your Guide to Insurance Savings

family insuranceEveryone has to carry some form of insurance, whether it is homeowners insurance, renters insurance, auto insurance or private medical insurance. Being able to find ways to reduce the amount that you have to pay on your premiums is important. With less money leaving your family budget for insurance, you’ll have more money for savings and other needed expenses.

1. Raise your deductible

If your insurance deductible is less than $500, consider raising it to at least that amount. The higher your deductible, the lower your insurance rate. The deductible is the amount that you will pay first before the insurance company covers the rest, in the event that you have to use your insurance.

When you raise your insurance deductible, make sure that you first establish an emergency fund that can cover the cost of that deductible. Within a few months, you will save the difference in the monthly costs, but you still want to be prepared for the unexpected.

2. Combine insurance policies

Talk to your insurance agent to see if you can combine your home owners insurance with your auto insurance or include more than one car in your plan. Bundling your insurance with one company can save you money each month. These are called “package discounts.”

3. Qualify for premium discounts on your homeowners insurance

Find out what premium discounts you may currently qualify for and what changes you can make for even more discounts. For example, having working smoke detectors or installing security measures in your home will probably discount your homeowners insurance rate.

4. Compare insurance companies and polices

Insurance rates can vary by hundreds of dollars. At least once a year, take the time to review your insurance and compare your costs to those you might incur with other companies. Remember to look at quality as well as at price to get the best overall value for your money. You don’t want to wind up not being able to make a claim if an expensive emergency comes up.

5. Improve your credit score

Your credit score counts in how your homeowner’s insurance rate is calculated. In fact, it plays a large role. Get a free copy of your credit report (you are entitled to one free report per year) and improve your score by eliminating erroneous information and paying down your debt.

6. Make healthy lifestyle changes

The healthier you are, the lower your health insurance rate will be. Make smart lifestyle choices, such as not smoking, eating well, exercising and getting regular health checks. Also make sure that other factors that might influence your rate, such as your age, are correctly recorded with your insurance company. If this information is incorrect, you could be overpaying on your insurance.

7. Know what you need

Take the time to really evaluate your needs and your risks. Getting coverage that is completely unnecessary, such as buying flood insurance when your home is not in danger of flooding, will cost you money that you don’t need to spend. In fact, experts say that this is the most common mistake that most people make when buying insurance. Know the real value of your assets will also help you make the right insurance choices.

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