Kiplinger.com recently had a great article about how to minimize your insurance costs and since insurance is one of the things that people commonly pay too much for, I figured it was worthy of a post this week. Let me also preface this by saying it is easy to get excited about saving money on your insurance when you aren’t filing a claim. I have had to be careful not to get too carried away “saving money” by getting cheaper insurance that when the time comes that I would have to use it, I would be kicking myself. But, if you carefully look at what you are paying for, you can make educated decisions about what is and isn’t worth your money.
1. Increasing your deductible
This is a great reason to create an emergency fund. When you have $3000 sitting in a rainy-day fund, you don’t really need a $100 deductible, you can now increase it to $500 or $1000, because you have money sitting there to cover it. By doing this you can reduce your premiums by 15% or more – and as I mentioned in an article about making money from your emergency fund, you can then add that savings back to the emergency fund, and increase the deductible even more – thus feeding the money-saving machine.
2. Scale back on your coverage
This is one that you should pay attention to what you are cutting out and make sure that it really is worth the savings. Kiplinger’s says, “ If your car is five years old or older, you may be paying more in premiums than you could possibly get back in claims. Consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage, which could reduce your premium by 25% to 40%. A good rule of thumb: If your car is worth less than ten times the cost of the annual coverage, drop it.”
And if you need to see how much your car is worth, you can check it out at KBB.org.
3. Shop around!
I didn’t believe this one until I tried it. I thought I had about the best car insurance rates in town and yet I saved over $500 in a year by shopping around. You can read how I saved $330 switching to Geico and then another $200 switching again.
4. Get discounts
Call your insurance company to see what discounts are available…
- Discounts for having multiple policies with the same insurer
- Good Driver discount
- Low-mileage or Carpooling discounts
- Driver’s education discount
- Good Grades (for teens)
5. Boost your credit score
According to the article, “Insurers have found a strong correlation between credit scores and insurance claims — people with low scores are a lot more likely to file insurance claims than people with high scores — and in most states your credit score can make a big difference in your auto- and homeowners-insurance rates.”
Check out these tips for increasing your credit score.