Nov 25, 2014

Shopping for Insurance

These days health insurance is quite the topic and one I don't touch with a 10 foot pole.  But, home and auto insurance are just as important too and often get overlooked aside from the million and one commercials you see about how you can save tons of money through discounts.  While that may be true, you might be skimping on coverage.  The point of insurance isn't too save a ton of money paying for it. It's too make sure you're covered during an auto accident or when something happens to your home.

Now is a good time to start shopping for home and auto insurance.  By the time the beginning of the year rolls around, your bank account will start feeling the positive impact if you're lucky enough to find the right amount coverage for less. Repeat these words as you're shopping: the right amount of coverage. Here are some things to keep in mind as you're doing your shopping.

1. Consider an independent agency - An independent agency more than likely does business with a handful of insurance companies. They will basically do the shopping for you. They plug your info into a program and it shoots out prices for multiple companies and multiple coverage scenarios. The big name companies with fun and overplayed commercials are great, but don't forget the little hometown insurance agency.

2. Be honest - Do you think what your insurance agent doesn't know who hurt them? Well, you're right. But it will hurt you because the insurance company will find out. Be honest and tell all of your "secrets" during your shopping and initial meetings.  I've had customers fail to tell me about a speeding ticket or a claim on their home, I submit their policy, and then it gets cancelled due to not complying with underwriting standards after the company does their checking around. If you're honest upfront about your claims history (home and auto), you give your agent the chance to go to bat for you and get your policy approved.

3.  Update with your Upgrades - Have you recently put on a new roof? Make sure you tell your insurance agent! Larger upgrades and updates to homes more often than not will lower your insurance premium. New roof/heating and air/wiring and plumbing makes a house "safer" and a safer house means less premium. Same goes for security systems!

4.  Payment Method - If your driving record is less than stellar or your homeowners insurance just won't budge, you can still save money! Consider paying your full premium at one time, especially if you send a check in every month. Sending a check for the full policy premium will waive all of the service charges, which could easily be $5 a pop. Auto payment plans can have the same effect.

5. Saving money isn't always the best way to go - When you're shopping for insurance make sure you have enough coverage! Consider the unlikely scenarios: you're driving through town on a slick day, you rear end a Porsche, cause it to spin out of control, hitting another vehicle and then a telephone pole.  State minimum coverage probably wouldn't even cover the cost of the totaled Porsche. Sure, that person driving the Porsche can probably afford a new one, but you probably can't buy one or pay to repair the other car and the damage to the other property.

Those are my tips for shopping for insurance.  Hopefully you find them helpful!


  1. This is a great post. Full of information I wished I had when I got divorced and was looking for insurance. Now I have my husband who knows a lot more about it then I do. I find insurance extremely confusing.

  2. Coming from someone who works collections for a large insurance company....people I talk to that had minimum limits had NO IDEA how bad that could affect them in an accident! EEKS! "Sorry about that sir, but you now owe us $100k. Cash or check?"

  3. These are great tips! I haven't switched insurance companies over the last 3 years because surprisingly, no one can beat the rates we have! But... I guess you just never know! :)