Get Green in 2015: How to save money on your auto or homeowners insurance policy
PCI offers 5 tips to save on your insurance
Did you make a New Year’s resolution? If not, then we’ve got one for you. PCI suggests a simple resolution that could potentially save you money, while only taking a few minutes of your time.
Many consumers get their auto or homeowners insurance bills, pay them and move on with their daily lives. But do you really know what goes into that insurance policy of yours? If the answer is yes, you can stop reading, give yourself a pat on the back and get back to pursuing those other resolutions you may have made.
If the answer is “no” or “kinda,” now may be the time to review just what it is you are paying for. Consumer Reports suggest that many customers shop for home insurance once, secure the policy and then never take the time to re-examine their options. Similarly, 4 out of 10 consumers stick with the same auto insurer for more than two decades according to Consumer Reports.
Whether it is a natural catastrophes, fender bender or home fire insurers are ready to assist in the recovery process by paying claims and helping their policyholders move forward. Making sure you have the right amount of coverage is key to protecting your investments. Asking the right questions could save you thousands if the unthinkable happens.
PCI has developed five simple steps that you can take to help save money, and to make sure you have the coverage that makes sense for you and your family, without breaking the bank.
Step 1: Shop Around – It’s important to shop around, take your time and really get to know each company because often they will post discount information online as well as their financial rating depending on the state. You shouldn’t base your decision on just price, ask about customer service, read reviews, check out their financial ratings, it’s important to do your homework. Each state has an insurance department which could provide sources for company information. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners website is a great place to start.
Step 2: Ask about Discounts – Talk with your insurer or agent about special offers or discounts on your auto and homeowners insurance. Check to see if you qualify for a good driver discount. You may save some money by driving fewer miles than the average customer. If you have an older vehicle, you might consider dropping collision or comprehensive coverage. Having a smoke detector, dead bolt locks, fire sprinklers, or an alarm could save you money on your homeowner’s policy. Another way to create savings may be to bundle your home and auto policies with the same company. Talk to your agent, you might be surprised how much money you can save.
Step 3: Think – Consider increasing the deductible on your homeowners insurance policy. If you increase your deductible now, you could save more in the end.
Step 4: Look Around – Do you live in a flood zone? Are earthquakes happening near your home? Think about adding additional coverage if you live in areas that could flood or your home could be destroyed in an earthquake. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), since 1978, the NFIP has paid more than $48.1 billion for flood insurance claims and related costs. Only a few inches of water can costs thousands of dollars in damage. PCI is urging residents to protect your property by purchasing flood insurance. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or call 800-427-4661.
Step 5: Review – Make sure you have the right amount of coverage. Don’t be afraid to shop around and get multiple quotes so you can compare coverage needs for both your auto and your home.
It’s never a bad idea to cut costs, so go through your policy and make sure you have the coverage you actually need. PCI recommends you review your policy at least once a year, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your insurer is there to help you get through difficult and trying times, so make sure you’re ready.
Public Affairs Director, Southeast Region