There are some forms of insurance you just can’t live without. Car insurance is mandatory in all states, homeowners insurance is required if you carry a mortgage, and any parent will tell you that medical insurance is crucial. With rising costs hitting all of these necessary protections, it pays to make the most of every dollar.
Since you have absolutely no choice about having car insurance, you may as well shop around to find the best deal. I know that there are many advertisements trying to entice you to change companies, but before you do that, compare what you are getting right now to what they are offering. Frequently companies “save” you money by providing lesser coverage; in my book that is no savings. Shop around and do it early, insurance companies will almost always match any legitimate offers you find.
The quickest and easiest way to drop those premiums is to raise your deductible. By increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 dollars, you can save 30% on your insurance premiums. Make sure to set aside the money needed if you do have an accident and need to produce the higher premium.
Ask about discounts. Teen drivers usually get a discount for good grades or certain types of driver’s education programs. If you don’t drive much, or your job is just a couple of miles from home, you may be able to get a low-mileage deduction. Also, consult your insurance agent when purchasing a new car so you know in advance which ones cost less to insure. Some companies offer lower deductibles for each year you go without having a claim, so make sure you ask that because it could save you money long term.
Just like auto insurance, increasing your deductible will decrease your premiums. Many companies will offer discounts to customers who purchase multiple policies with them, so bundle your car and homeowners insurance to save some money.
Only insure your home, not the land for replacement costs in case of disaster. This common mistake costs many people money. You won’t have to replace the land, just the building, so check your policy to make sure you are insuring only what you need.
Another thing to consider is staying with a company for the long haul since many offer loyalty discounts. Improving your home’s security and disaster resistance will generally garner you some deductions as well.
Many people simply can’t afford private medical insurance. Before you raise your hands in frustration and walk away, consider that a major medical bill will bankrupt your family, so even something is better than nothing. Many States now offer basic health insurance based upon income levels; call your state offices and ask if you can get insurance that way.
Again, raising your deductible will help if you have insurance but are struggling to pay for it. See what kinds of plans your company offers, and if you can get insurance through work. Compare the plans and make sure you are comparing apples to apples, even with the complicated wording of many policies. Also, take advantage of medical savings accounts that let you put aside money to pay for medical expenses, tax free.
Keeping on top of your insurance costs and options will save you money immediately and in the long run. The key is to comparison shop often so you always get the best discounts.
Taken from the free How to Save Money on Everything ebook, where tips are constantly being added. Get your copy by subscribing to the frugal newsletter.