April 30, 2017

Top 10 Ways To Save On Your Auto, Homeowners Insurance

For many people saving money is one of their new year’s resolutions. Reviewing policies may be one way to lower costs. The Insurance Institute of Michigan (IIM) offers 10 ways to help reduce what policyholders pay for auto and homeowners insurance. Hundreds of companies offer auto and/or homeowners insurance coverage in Michigan. This competitive environment results in considerable savings for customers. Here are top 10 ways to save:

1. Get IIM’s free kit to help comparison shop. By shopping around, you may be able to save hundreds on your policies. To assist insurance buyers, the Insurance Institute of Michigan has developed a free packet of information with tips to save on insurance and it is available visiting IIM’s website at www.iiminfo.org or calling 517-371-2880. The “Shopping Around Kit” provides general information about auto and home insurance coverages, tips for saving money, quote comparison forms and a listing of telephone numbers and websites of IIM member companies that offer personal lines insurance in Michigan.

2. Choose higher deductibles. Deductibles represent the amount of money you agree to pay before your insurance policy provides coverage. By increasing deductibles, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comp-rehensive coverage cost by 15 percent to 30 percent. The same is true for home insurance deductibles.

3. Drop collision and comprehensive coverage on older cars. It may not be cost-effective to continue insuring cars worth less than 10 times the amount pay for coverage. Auto dealers and banks can tell you the value of a car, or you can look it up online at Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) or NADA (www.nada.com).

4. Join a group. Many companies offer discounts to policyholders for belonging to certain professional, alumni or service groups. It is important to ask since discounts vary by company.

5. Buy your home and auto policies from the same insurer. Most companies that sell homeowners insurance also sell auto insurance policies. Some insurance companies will reduce your premium by 5 percent to 15 percent if you buy two or more insurance policies from them.

6. Reduce your daily driving. The more you drive, the more likely you are to be involved in a crash – and the more you pay for insurance. Some insurance companies offer discounts for driving fewer than a certain number of miles.

7. Be safe. Install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home. Always wear your safety belt. Insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who play it safe. Make sure to ask since discounts vary by company.

8. Choose the right car. Before buying a car, compare insurance premiums. Characteristics such as vehicle size, weight and body type play a role in determining premiums. Vehicle loss information is available online from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety/Highway Loss Data Institute at www.iihs.org/research/hidi/composite_intro.html.

9. Keep tabs on your credit. Many insurance companies provide a discount based on certain credit characteristics. To improve your credit-based insurance score, pay bills on time, keep balances reasonable on credit cards and only apply for and open new accounts as needed.

10. Eliminate duplicate coverages. If you belong to an auto club that provides towing services or the auto manufacturer provides it, make sure you aren’t paying for the same coverage in your auto insurance policy.
 

Shop & Save Tips

There are ways you can control the cost of what you pay for auto and home insurance.  Here are some helpful hints:
Auto insurance tips
Homeowners insurance tips
 
Automobile insurance tips

  • Select your car with insurance in mind. 
    Cost, repairability and performance characteristics are determining factors in the premium you pay.
  • Coordinate Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. 
    If you have other accident and health insurance that covers injuries sustained in an auto accident, consider coordinating your policies.
  • Choose higher deductibles on Collision and Comprehensive coverages
    For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage cost by 15 to 30 percent. Going to a $1,000 deductible can save you 40 percent or more. Before choosing a higher deductible, be sure you have enough money set aside to pay it if you have a claim.
  • Coordinate Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage
    Many companies offer discounts to policyholders for such things as insuring two or more vehicles with the same company, low mileage, safety belt use, air bags and anti-theft devices.
  • Consider dropping collision coverage for older vehicles.
    If your car is worth less than 10 times the premium, purchasing the coverage may not be cost effective. Auto dealers and banks can tell you the worth of cars. Or you can look it up online at Kelley’s Blue Book (
    www.kbb.com).
  • Always shop for the best combination of coverage, price and service.

Homeowners insurance tips

  • Take advantage of discounts offered by your insurance company.
    Discounts may be offered for installing smoke detectors and dead-bolt locks, insuring both your home and auto with the same company, maintaining good credit and living in a nonsmoking household.
  • Raise your deductible.
    Covering small losses could mean a substantial reduction in your homeowners insurance premium.  Higher deductibles could produce a savings of 15 to 25 percent.
  • Always shop for the best combination of coverage, price and service.

 

Copyright 2010 by Insurance Institute of Michigan