Finding ways to save money can make a real difference in your household budget. Some things, like car and homeowners’ insurance, you simply can’t afford to do without. In addition to being a legal requirement, insurance is also the most effective way of protecting your investments against damage, theft or loss. Fortunately, there are a few tricks that can help you save big bucks on your premiums, giving your budget a little bit of breathing room as the economy rebounds. Take advantage of these ten tips, and you may find that you’re saving more than you ever thought possible on these essential policies.
- Increase Your Deductibles
One quick way to make a dent in your monthly premium payments is to opt for a higher deductible. In the event of a claim, you will be forced to pay more out of pocket. Should you never have to file a claim, however, you’ll be saving quite a bit of money while retaining the coverage you need. Just be sure that, should you have to file a claim, you don’t choose a deductible amount that would be financially devastating. Stay within realistic boundaries, and you may see that upping your deductible saves you quite a bit of money each month.
- Look for Bundling Discounts – Choosing the best car insurance deal from one company and the cheapest policy to cover the cost of rebuilding your home and replacing your possessions from another may seem like a frugal move. In reality, bundling your policies and keeping them all under one roof may be less expensive. Discuss your bundling options with your insurance agencies to determine whether or not you’re actually losing money by working with several providers.
- Invest in a Home Security System – Most homeowners’ insurance providers will give you a considerable premium discount if you invest in measures that will actively prevent loss. Because a home security system often includes fire alarms and other protective measures, it will probably make your insurance policy less expensive. Just be sure that the cost of installing and maintaining a system doesn’t cancel out your savings through the insurance company.
- Skip Unnecessary Coverage – While it’s important to have sufficient coverage, having too much coverage can be little more than an unnecessary expense. Don’t make the mistake of insuring the property your home is built upon, or springing for high-end coverage on an older vehicle. Keep your coverage reasonable, and you’ll reap the benefits in the form of cheaper premiums.
- Inquire About Low Mileage Discounts – If you carpool to work or use mass transit, you probably qualify for low mileage discounts on your auto insurance. Be advised that you will be expected to show proof of your usage on a regular basis, though, so you’ll need to stay within the restrictions to take advantage of those savings.
- Review Coverage Annually – With every passing year, costs and values change. That’s why it’s important to take stock of your coverage each year, to ensure that you have only the coverage you need.
- Check Your Credit Report – You know that your credit score affects the interest rate on a loan or mortgage, but what you may not realize is that it also has a bearing on your insurance premiums. Make sure that you’re keeping tabs on your credit report, disputing inaccuracies and keeping the score as high as possible.
- Upgrade Disaster Resistance Features – Because disaster resistance features reduce the amount of damage your home or vehicle would take in the event of a disaster, they also reduce your claims risk. Many insurance companies will pass those savings on to you in the form of lower premiums if you take appropriate measures to protect your property.
- Practice Customer Loyalty – Maintaining coverage through one company for an extended period of time is a great way to save money, especially if you’ve never filed a claim. Your insurance company wants to retain your business, and many will do so by extending discounts to longtime policyholders.
- Do Some Shopping – It’s certainly easier to set up a policy with the first company you find, but it won’t save you any money. Take the time to shop around and compare rates. The difference in premiums between companies can be significant, and you may not realize that you’re overspending if you never bother to do the requisite legwork.