There’s rarely a good time to pay a bill, but paying insurance premiums must be at the bottom of most people’s list of bills they enjoy paying. Yet insurance bills can be quite expensive and can add up, oftentimes costing thousands of dollars each year. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to save money on insurance, no matter which type of insurance you need to save the most on.
The best thing that you can do to save money is to ask for advice from a trusted independent insurance agent. Not only can they quote your insurance with multiple companies, oftentimes saving you hundreds of dollars just by switching, but they’ll be able to find extra ways that you can save money on insurance.
How to Save Money on Car Insurance
Saving money on car insurance is perhaps the easiest type of insurance to save money on, mainly because there are more discounts on car insurance than there are on any other type of insurance. Some of the best ways to save on car insurance may take some time if you don’t currently have a good driving record, but there are still options available to you in the short term.
- Bundle your insurance. Having the same insurer for both your car and your home or renters insurance will often result in a discount on both policies. Even if the discount only applies to your car insurance, this is still a great option to lower your car insurance payment. By using an independent insurance agent, you’ll be able to quickly compare multiple companies to find the lowest option for both policies.
- Take a defensive driving course. Nearly every insurance company offers a defensive driving discount. While you may consider this to be an option only for high-risk drivers, anyone can take an online class. Learning about safe driving habits while lowering your insurance is a win-win situation.
- Take advantage of low mileage. If you drive less than 8,000 miles in a year on any of your insured vehicles, you’re eligible to receive a low mileage discount with most insurers. This discount is often surprisingly big and it can significantly reduce your premiums, but will need to be verified each year in order to keep it.
- Work towards a safe driver discount. Among the largest car insurance discounts is the safe driver discount. This can typically range between 15% and 35% and often requires no accidents or violations in the last 3 to 5 years. If you don’t currently qualify for it, it’s worth the savings to mindfully obey the law and practice safe driving habits in order to qualify in a few years.
- Consider paying your policy in full. If you have the means, paying for your 6 or 12 month policy in full can save you hundreds of dollars. Not every insurance company offers a pay-in-full discount, but the ones that do typically range about 20%. Saving money ahead of time to pay for your insurance premiums not only saves you money, but also reduces your monthly bills.
- Sign up for easy discounts. Nearly every insurance company offers paperless discounts, which is easy to sign up for. You could also consider signing up for a telematics program, which is when the insurance company bases your discount for how well you drive. Ask your independent insurance agent about the company-specific discounts that your insurer has and how you can take advantage of them.
- Use an independent insurance agent. Buying your insurance through an independent insurance agent allows you to get expert advice on your policy, both for coverage options and for saving money. An independent agent can also quote your insurance from multiple insurance companies, many of which only offer insurance through these agents. Simply put, the best way to save money on car insurance is to use an independent insurance agent.
Car insurance rates do fluctuate quite frequently, which means you may need to have your insurance agent compare different companies every couple of years or so. Or if you make changes to your policy, such as having a teenage driver or buying a brand new vehicle, you’ll probably want your agent to make sure you’re with the most competitive company.
How to Save Money on Business Insurance
Business or commercial insurance rates are based almost entirely on your specific business profile. The insurance company will still have its own rates for your industry, but the insurance company has the ability to put credit on your business insurance policy to lower your premium, but only if it thinks your business meets certain criteria.
- Raise your deductibles. Raising your deductibles is perhaps one of the easiest ways to save on business insurance. While carrying a high deductible may seem risky, consider at what point you would actually turn in a property claim to your insurance. If you would pay to fix things at any amount under $2,000 or even $5,000 or more, then you can raise your deductible to that amount.
- Bundle your insurance. Most insurance companies offer a discount if you place your entire commercial insurance package with them. In addition to saving money, you’ll also remove potential disputes over claims, such as when your general liability insurer thinks your commercial auto insurer should pay a claim and vice versa.
- Consider a BOP. If you have a small business, consider buying a business owners policy, or BOP. These are a type of packaged commercial insurance programs specifically for small businesses, and generally enjoy more competitive pricing than separating your insurance policies.
- Don’t file small claims. While you can’t foresee big claims, try not to use your insurance to pay for small claims. Pay those out of pocket and your claims history will improve in a few years, which will help lower your insurance premiums.
- Implement safety procedures. Protecting your business with fire alarms, security systems, safety training, etc. can demonstrate to your insurer that you value security and safety, making them more likely to reduce your rates.
- Work toward credit. Insurance companies usually have different types of credit they can use, including credit for experienced business owners or safe locations. Speak with your independent insurance agent about how you can gain the maximum amount of credit that your company is willing to give. Insurers can typically give anywhere from 5% to 50% off on commercial policies, making this a worthwhile angle to pursue.
- Use an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents can take the confusion out of commercial insurance. They’ll get to know your business and match it with the best insurance company for you, and will work with you to get the lowest possible insurance premiums.
Many insurance companies have programs for specific business industries that come with competitive pricing, so you can also speak with your independent insurance agent about if your business qualifies for any special programs that may have discounted premiums.
How to Save Money on Workers' Compensation Insurance
A large part of workers’ compensation rates is the industry that your business is in. Roofing contractors will pay much higher workers’ comp rates than an attorney’s office, for example. Outside of switching industries, there’s still some things you can do to lower your workers’ compensation rates.
- Raise your deductible. Raising your workers’ compensation deductible not only saves money on your premium, but it also reduces the likelihood of filing small claims. Small claims can have an outsized impact on your workers’ compensation premiums by affecting your experience modifier.
- Improve your mod. Your experience modifier, or mod for short, is how your business’ workers' compensation claims numbers stack up against the industry average. If you have a higher than average number of claims, your mod will be higher and you’ll pay more premiums.
- Implement safety procedures. Having written safety procedures and safety training for your employees serves a dual purpose: it increases your employees safety awareness and reduces their likelihood of getting hurt at work. It also demonstrates to your insurer that you take safety seriously, which may result in a better workers’ compensation rate.
- Consider group insurance. Many states offer workers’ comp insurance through various groups and associations. Check your industry to see if there’s a workers' compensation program and you may be able to save extra money.
Working with an independent insurance agent will also open up access to insurance companies that solely offer workers’ compensation. While bundling insurance is often the cheapest route to go, sometimes these specialty insurance companies have very competitive rates and you may be able to save money by switching to a workers’ comp-only insurance company.
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How to Save Money on House Insurance
Homeowners insurance rates are partially determined by the age and construction quality of your house. If you live in an older home, making sure your roof, heating, electrical, and plumbing systems are properly updated can help reduce a claim and may also lower your premiums. Additional ways to save on your homeowners insurance include:
- Bundle your home and auto. Watch out for companies that only offer a bundling discount on your auto insurance and find companies that will lower both your home and your car insurance.
- Raise your deductible. If you had a tree branch fall on your roof, would you pay $2,000 to fix it out of pocket or would you turn it into insurance? Find your threshold that you’ll pay out of pocket and raise your deductible to that amount. Just because $1,000 is the standard homeowners deductible, doesn’t mean you have to keep it there.
- Install safety devices. Insurance companies will often give discounts for safety features such as security systems, back-up generators, sump pump back-ups, or sometimes even just smoke alarms. While these systems do cost money, the discount amount often offsets the cost of these safety devices while lowering the chance that you’ll have a claim.
- Sign up for easy discounts. Going paperless is one of the easiest discounts you can receive, but you may also find discounts if you’re a first-time home buyer, a member of an association, or even quoting your insurance well in advance of your effective date.
- Use an independent insurance agent. Review your insurance coverage with an independent insurance agent to see if you have the right type of policy and coverage. While you don’t want to be underinsured, you also don’t want to be overinsured and overpaying. Your independent insurance agent can also get quotes from multiple companies, finding you the best deal for your home insurance.
Rates normally don’t fluctuate as much with homeowners insurance as they do with car insurance, but it still pays to have an independent insurance agent review your options and coverage once in a while. If you’re located in a small town or rural setting, having your agent look at companies that are comfortable with country houses could also save you a lot of money on your home insurance.
How to Save Money on Any Insurance
Trusting all of your insurance with a local independent insurance agent allows you to routinely get quotes from multiple companies, without having to go through the hassle of quoting online yourself. Their professional advice and attention to the details of your policies will ensure that you have the proper insurance coverage at the lowest price. Speak with a trusted independent insurance agent today about how you can save money on all of your insurance policies.