Don’t pay more than you have to, friends.
After working so hard to get there, making major purchases can be really exciting. And just like your first home or new car should suit your lifestyle and budget, your insurance ought to be a good fit too. After all, it’s what’s going to help if you ever need to repair or replace these big-ticket items.
Getting into the nitty-gritty of your home and car insurance might be hard to get excited about, but once you’ve done it, you can live your life knowing you have the important things taken care of.
Also, if you’re not on top of what insurance you have, you might be perilously undercovered or even paying too much. To straighten it out, Narcity spoke to Chris Grysczyk, a belairdirect's senior analyst (underwriting personal lines) and insurance expert, and here are his top tips for getting the right coverage at the best price.
Be Honest About Your Situation From The Start
When considering an insurance plan, Grysczyk recommends thinking hard about factors like your budget and what's important to you.
"When it comes to insurance, there is no one size fits all solution,” he told Narcity.
Knowing your own situation and what works for you is the most important, and sometimes not having enough can leave blind spots.
Working closely with your agent can help you determine the best policy for you. Having accurate information to give to your provider is key.
Drive Safely & Maintain A Clean Driving Record
Not only do you protect other people by driving safely, but you can also save money on your insurance premium at the same time.
Usage-based insurance programs like belaidirect’s automerit reward you for being safe behind the wheel when you opt-in to have your driving habits reviewed.
If you choose to not use automerit, a clean driving record could help your rate stay low when the time comes to renew your policy.
Ask About Possible Discounts
Sometimes, all it takes to snag a discount is just to ask if there's anything available.
“Sometimes all it takes to improve your premium is asking to verify the information we have on file is correct. New programs are put in place from time to time, so don’t be shy!" Grysczyk told Narcity.
Things like being a student, putting winter tires on your car or setting up a home security system are the sorts of things that might cause your rates to go down.
Look For Opportunities To Bundle Policies
According to Grysczyk, bundling your policies together is one of the most effective ways to cut costs on insurance rates.
“Keeping your insurance together with one insurer is both convenient and can lead to savings,” he said.For example, combining your home and car insurance is an easy way to get started. If you’re with belairdirect, you can bundle additional cars into your policy.
Review Your Information Every Time Your Policy Renews
If there’s one thing certain in this world, it’s change. Think back to this time last year. Are you driving less? Did you buy some nice new furniture? Did you install security cameras?
As insurance is a very personal matter, different factors can have different levels of influence, even year to year.
“It is more important than ever that existing policy holders keep their information up to date,” Grysczyk told Narcity.
“Even minor changes in information can make a difference.”
Increase Deductibles To Reduce Premiums
A simple and immediate way to slash your insurance is to opt for a higher deductible, aka the amount you need to pay before insurance kicks in when a claim goes through.
“The upside of this is lower premiums, while the downside is you may be out of pocket for more in the event of a claim,” explained Grysczyk.
“Careful consideration needs to be given to how much risk you are willing to take.”
This is a really personal choice, and you’ll have to decide what’s right for you.
Take Advantage Of Self-Serve Tools
Chances are, your insurance provider has a convenient app where you can view your policy, make changes and even submit claims.
According to Grysczyk, making full use of these online tools can really pay off.
In some circumstances, getting a quote and buying your policy online can lead to some savings versus by calling an agent.
Just like shopping around for a car or home, taking the time to figure out your insurance can save you big bucks in the long run.
More importantly, a good policy can keep you protected when things happen.
Whether your next step is signing up for a new policy, bundling your current ones, or asking about possible discounts, you’ve got the power to tackle your insurance situation head-on.
This content is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, investment, legal, tax or accounting advice.