Insurance Shopping

Insurance shopping is one of those dreaded chores, but by shopping around you have the peace of mind in knowing that you have the best rate(s) possible.  We have compiled a list of helpful hints to make this process a little bit easier.

General Tips

  • Credit Rating: ¬†Insurance companies do factor your credit score into your premiums, so be sure you are keeping on top of your bills and review your credit reports on a yearly basis.
  • Deductible: ¬†Your deductible will affect your premium, so think very carefully about how much “out-of-pocket” cash you can come up with in the event there is an accident or other covered situation.
  • Ask for discounts: ¬†Most insurers offer a variety of discounts, so be sure you ask if there are any additional discounts available. You may have to provide proof or a certificate but if it saves you money, it’s worth it. If there is a discount you are not currently eligible for, ask what you need to do to become eligible (ie: take a driving course, add an alarm, etc.)
  • Bundle!¬† If the insurance company you are talking to handles home, renter, life, auto, motorcycle, boat insurance, etc. ask them what kind of bundling discount you can expect if you keep all of your insurance with them. Plus you only have 1 payment to keep track of.

Auto Insurance

Liability Insurance is the minimum requirement in most states, but to effectively protect yourself and your vehicle, you will probably wind up with more. Military members and their families tend to have special circumstances which also need special attention, so finding an insurance carrier that is able to cover the wide variety of possibilities is crucial.

  • Is that car enough or too much?¬†We sure do love fully-loaded vehicles, but all those luxury extras could add up to a bigger insurance bill.
  • Most wanted:¬† Is that vehicle you are considering a “most wanted” for thieves? ¬†Vehicles on this list could cost more with insurance.
  • Special Military Rates? ¬†Yes, there are those companies that specialize in insuring vehicles for military members, but don’t forget to check with “non-military insurers”. ¬†Keep in mind that you may have to educate insurance agents that are not familiar with orders, deployments, PCS, TDY, etc.
  • New Car GAP: ¬†Many lenders require GAP insurance when purchasing a new vehicle, but many do not require it for used vehicles. GAP insurance covers the difference between what the vehicle is worth (value) and the balance of your loan (payoff). Once the value of your vehicle is higher than your payoff, remove this coverage from your policy.
  • Check those add-ons: Roadside assistance and rentals seem to be the most popular, but before you add those, be sure you don’t have those benefits through other sources.

 

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