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.