Adventures in Saving on Insurance

I really do actually do all the stuff I talk about.  Every couple of years we look at our expenses and think about how we can get those down.  I always check insurance policies on a regular basis but with the whole hip surgeries fiasco, I hadn’t paid attention in recent years.  I have to admit this is one of my least favorite things to do. Getting a new insurance policy is a pain in the neck but I look at it this way…I basically just got paid about $400 an hour to do it.  Before you jump out of your skin and say “WHAT?”, let me explain.  Between doing research, applications, getting everything needed to insurers, I probably spent about 3 hours of my time and for that, I saved a whopping $1200 between the new policy for our car insurance and homeowners insurance.

First I went to Lending Tree.  I know you are wondering…”aren’t they for loans?”.   Well, yes they are but you can also put in one set of information and get insurance quotes. Gather your existing policies and go here: https://www.lendingtree.com/insurance/  You just fill out all the information and within a short amount of time companies will be contacting you to let you know what they can do for you.

The real work now starts.  You have to then contact the ones you want, compare rates and make sure the coverage is adequate for your situation. My knowledge about insurance is basic.  I have had some good insurance agents through the years who have told me what I need for coverage etc.  If you are not sure what types of coverage you might need you can read up on the subject first.

We were about to renew our auto insurance so this came at a good time. We ended up going with Safeco for our car insurance having switched from Liberty Mutual whom we had been with for years.  When you get into an insurance policy you would think that your insurer would do what they can to keep you as a customer but that is not how it works.  In general, they will not redo your policy at a lower rate.  So, in the end, we switched to Safeco, our payment went from $132 to $81.  We were thrilled.

The homeowner policy was a bit of a different situation,  it had already been paid out through the escrow on our mortgage.  That meant taking extra steps to call the mortgage company to see how this would work.  There was a pretty big lapse in time between me doing the research on the two policies and for the homeowner policy, I called a local agent.  She took all my information and she started on a quote.  A great many phone calls went back and forth and we finally got a quote.  I called my existing agent through Farm Family and told him that we would be switching policies and he asked for an opportunity to re-quote the policy.  He worked to also get our home and car insurance together which gave us a further discount.  This meant that we canceled the new car insurance we had purchased just a month before. Don’t be afraid to make changes, you can always cancel a policy.

You remember I had to call my mortgage company.   It is required for our loan that all insurance goes through the escrow for our particular mortgage. If I had changed insurers the new policy would have been paid from escrow, we would have gotten a refund from the other policy and had to pay that back into escrow.  If we had not our payment would have significantly increased.  In the end, we stayed with the same insurer just a new policy so this was not necessary.  One of the reasons that they were able to give me a better price was because they had over valued our home for replacement cost. It was totally my fault for not noticing this much sooner.  Always carefully read your declaration pages. This area of the policy gives you the details for how they came about that replacement cost and had I paid attention I could have saved money much earlier on. Always read what you are sent and question it.  There is no harm in asking questions.

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In the end, we saved $800 for the year on the home insurance a whopping $1200 for the year between the two policies.

You may have to pay at least some to either policy to start it, a deposit and then monthly payments.  It is best to ask all sorts of questions about how this will work as well.  With a little bit of hard work and some back and forth we managed to make a big difference in our budget.

We are anxiously awaiting our refund check from our insurance company.  Since the policy was already paid by our mortgage we are getting a big check.  We are going to use that for our next adventure in savings;  cable, the internet, and phone services.  We are in the middle of figuring it all out. There are so many options here so we are doing a great deal of research first and then it will be trial and error.  I hope to save another $100 a month!  Wish me luck!

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