June 10, 2020
Insurance coverage is a powerful tool when consumers face devastating losses. Being smart about how you buy and use insurance can help you get the most for your money. The following tips can help.
1. Think twice before filing small claims. Submitting claims that exceed the deductible by only a few hundred dollars may increase your premiums down the road and ultimately cost more than the repair would have cost out of pocket.
2. Buy the right amount of coverage. Be sure you coverage is adequate, but not excessive. Insurance policy limits should be revisited every year. You may need to update your homeowners coverage whenever you make major purchases or remodel your home. On the other hand, some of your personal belongings may decrease in value over time, requiring less coverage. It's a good idea to update your home inventory annually and check for possible savings. With auto insurance, consider dropping collision or comprehensive coverage on older cars if their decreased value makes the coverage no longer cost-effective.
3. Increase the deductible. Raising the deductible by a few hundred dollars can result in a significant decrease in your premium. Deductibles often start at $250. By raising the deductible to $1,000, you may save nearly 25% on homeowners premiums and 40% on collision and comprehensive coverage for your car.*
4. Look for safety discounts. You may be able to lower your homeowners premium if your home has safety features such as dead-bolt locks, smoke detectors, an alarm system, storm shutters or fire retardant roofing material. You may qualify for discounts on auto insurance if your car has features that reduce the risk of injuries or theft, such as air bags, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights and anti-theft devices.
5. Buy your home and auto policies from the same insurer. Some companies offer a discount for multiple policies.
6. Maintain a good credit rating. A poor credit score may raise the cost of insurance, while a high score may result in cost savings.
7. Don't smoke. Cigarettes are the leading cause of residential fire death across the country and property losses total millions of dollars each year.** Because of this, insurers often charge lower premiums to smoke-free households.
8. Be loyal. Some companies reduce premiums for long-time policyholders.
9. Ask about discounts. Many insurance companies offer discounts, but the types of discounts vary. An insurance agent can help you find the ones that apply in your situation – and even suggest steps you might take to qualify for further reductions.
10. Turn to a trusted partner. The experienced insurance agents at MidCountry Insurance can help you get the insurance coverage you need without paying more than you have to. Rely on their expert knowledge to help guide you to insurance coverage that fits your family's situation and provides peace of mind when the unexpected occurs.
* Source: Insurance Information Institute, www.iii.org.
**Source: Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes, www.firesafecigarettes.org.
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