HOW TO MAXIMIZE INSURANCE COVERAGE AND MINIMIZE INSURANCE PREMIUMS
In insurance, I rarely meet someone who truly enjoys paying their insurance premiums. Upon speaking to prospective clients, their goals are often to have the most coverage for the least amount of money and too often, that means very little coverage for an average premium. I have seen situations, where clients were unaware their deductibles had changed or that their liability limits were near or at state minimums. This article is to provide some insight into maximizing your coverage while minimizing your premiums. The following tips will help you get your best policy, they are:
- Keep your driving record clean. Know what is on your driving record because you may be surcharged for driving events you didn’t know were on your Motor Vehicle Report (MVR). I just had a client who was charged and rated for driving on a suspended license, and the MVR was incorrect. Make sure you agree with what the insurance agent is showing on your driving record.
- Have your insurance looked at if not annually, every 3 to 5 years. This is just to see that your premiums are within a sampling of companies. Call an independent agent that has access to 8- 10 companies to run the quotes. This is a free service, use it.
- Take higher deductibles. Most companies now offer $0 deductible on glass coverage in conjunction with the comprehensive deductible. Take the $500 or $1000 comprehensive with the $0 glass deductible. 80% of your comprehensive claims are glass related. Take the higher deductible on collision and your homeowners. If you can take a $5000 deductible on the home, sometimes the discount is significant, check it out.
- Carry and keep high liability levels. Some insurance companies discount rates if your liability levels have been 250,000/500,000 on your previous auto policy. Also time with a carrier can provide a discount, having a long insurance history can provide a good discount.
- On the homeowners, if you have a new roof, make sure your agent knows. One company that writes here in Ohio provides up to a 40% discount off the base rate for a roof less than 3 years old.
- Pair auto and home policies together. Again this can make hundreds of dollars difference in premium. Also insuring rentals and other vehicles all add to the discounts.
- Make sure your student drivers have a 3.0 GPA or higher, again this can be up to a 40% discount on the student’s car.
- Claims count, however some companies treat acts of nature claims differently. Again, with the claims on your homeowners you are best served shopping it insurance quotes at renewal.
- Each company has a variety of discounts from your profession and education to whether you belong to AAA or have a security system. Currently, many companies are offering plug-in devices to monitor driving and these also provide discounts.
These are a few thoughts on getting the best value and coverage to meet your insurance needs. Talk to your agent when your renewal comes in the mail and find out if it is the best policy for you. Finally, don’t be afraid to shop it if you think there might be something better. An independent insurance agent can look at several companies and give you the best offer they have. I always tell my clients, everyone fits well with an insurance company at some point in time, we must find the right company for you.