By Brian Acton, Policygenius If reducing your expenses is a priority, you should take a hard look at your home and auto insurance policies. There’s a good chance you’re overpaying for insurance. Lowering your insurance premium is a relatively pain-free process. Here are six ways to save on home and auto insurance.
1. Comparison shopping
Don’t choose an insurance carrier because you like their commercials or you already hold a policy with them. Comparison shopping will help you find the right insurance for the best price. While it takes time to compare policies, insurance brokers like Policygenius make it easy to plug in a few details about your needs and compare options. “Looking at a single carrier for all your needs would be the same as going to the same restaurant for all your meals. Sure, they can feed you, and probably even have a few dishes they do particularly well, but if you don’t look at your alternatives, you can’t truly appreciate how they compare,” said Fabio Faschi, property and casualty team lead at Policygenius.
Most insurance carriers offer many types of insurance, including home, auto, renters and more. Bundling your home and auto insurance with the same carrier can save you 20% to 30% off your premiums. It’s also more convenient and can help you access policies that would be unavailable otherwise. Bundling doesn’t always save you money, said Faschi, but it’s a good idea to consider your home and auto insurance needs at the same time. “You shouldn’t assume bundling is always going to be your best option on the modern insurance market, but you should always make sure to shop your home and auto simultaneously because a skilled brokerage can find you a much better fit addressing both assets at once.” Want to know the pros and cons of bundling? Check out this guide.
3. Re-shopping your old policies
It’s easy to set and forget your insurance, but your policies can quickly become outdated, overpriced or inadequate to meet your needs. It pays to reassess your existing insurance on a consistent basis. “Nobody ever realizes their policy is outdated until I show them exactly how much they’ve been overpaying on their current coverage. Insurance rates almost always increase from year to year as a built-in protection for the client,” said Faschi. “However, it is fairly common that this default annual increase gets out of hand after a few years and begins to hurt the client more than help them. That is why it is so essential to reassess your rates and coverage as often as possible.”
4. Raising your deductible
In the event of a claim, your deductible is the amount of money you pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in to cover the rest. You can choose to raise your deductible for a lower premium, but you’ll pay more out of pocket if you end up using your insurance. Make sure you can afford the higher deductible before you go this route. (When deciding what your car insurance deductible should be, follow these rules.)
5. Looking for discounts
Home and auto insurers often offer discounts for customers that meet certain criteria. You can check with your insurance carrier to see what discounts you qualify for. Common discounts include: Affiliation discounts: Employers, trade associations and other member-based groups sometimes offer discounted policies through partnered insurance companies. You can ask your insurance carrier for a list of available group discounts. Good driver discounts: Some auto insurers lower your premium if you go a certain amount of time without an accident or moving violation. First-time homebuyers: Many home insurers offer discounts to new homeowners.
6. Paying your premium annually
Paying your insurance premium annually helps the insurance carrier have money on hand and lower administrative costs. In exchange, your carrier may offer a discounted rate for annual, rather than monthly, payments. Paying on an annual basis can help you save anywhere from 2% to 8% off your premium.
This article originally appeared on Policygenius.