By Margarette Burnette • Bankrate.com
If car insurance is taking a huge bite out of your budget, it may be time to look around for a provider that can offer good levels of coverage at lower rates. Here are four easy steps for finding low auto insurance rates and making the switch.
- Conduct online research. View the websites of different insurance providers and ask for auto insurance quotes. Collect information from multiple companies.
- Get recommendations from people you trust. Ask friends, relatives and co-workers if they’re happy with their car insurance companies. Find out if those insurers have good reputations among policyholders who have had to file claims.
- Compare apples to apples. An insurance company may quote low rates, but make sure those rates are for adequate levels of coverage. One way to determine how much insurance you should be getting is to look at your current auto policy. Do this by reviewing the policy declarations page. It describes the types of coverage, limits and policy term.When you contact companies to learn their auto insurance rates, make sure they give you quotes for the same level of coverage, or more, if necessary.
- Notify your old company in writing. If you find a provider that offers lower insurance rates, and you’re ready to change, make sure you cancel your old policy in writing. If you don’t,
Many homeowners spend a fair amount of time shopping rates for their mortgage and comparing lenders, but rarely do they put in nearly as much effort to finding the best rate on their homeowner’s insurance policy. The cost of homeowner’s insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars, depending on the type of coverage you purchase and from whom you purchase it. With the ability to shop online, it is easy to spend a few minutes shopping around and saving yourself some money.
First thing you want to do is get some quotes from different insurance carriers. This will give you a good baseline to start with. The easiest way to do that today is to shop around on the internet, but you can also pick up a phone book and start dialing. Once you have narrowed down some choices, based on the price, do some digging around about the insurance company itself. You want to make sure they provide good customer service and have an excellent reputation for settling claims. You can even call up the insurer directly and ask them about how they handle their claims. You will also want to investigate the companies’ financial ratings. Most people use an agency like Standard & Poor’s. You can obtain their ratings right online. You want to make sure the company is financially viable before you ask them to insure your home.
You can look at raising your deductible to save some money. Raising your deductible can save you a lot, but it is a bit of a gamble to raise it too much. Most people will never have the need to make a claim, so having a high deductible will save them a lot of money on premiums. However, if you ever do need to make a claim, a high deductible can wipe out your savings quickly.
Often times you can receive a discount by bundling insurance policies. Talk to the carrier that is currently handling your auto insurance. Often times they will give you a discount if you add additional insurance policies through them.
If you are in the process of moving, avoid flood zones. Your real estate agent should be able to tell you ahead of time if the home you are interested in is in a flood zone. Mortgage lenders will require that a home in a flood zone carry flood insurance. Flood insurance can be very expensive, often times ranking from $800 to $5000 per year.
Lastly, ask the insurance carriers what other discounts you might qualify for. For example, most companies give a discount if your family is smoke free because of the reduced risk of a house fire. Often times though these kind of discounts need to be inquired about.
Spending a few minutes to shop around can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your homeowner’s insurance policy.