J Wood Insurance Blog
This is about you and your behavior.
Why not learn how to save thousands of dollars by learning how to make yourself more attractive to insurance companies? This is not an article to help you save a couple dollars while you shop. This article will help you see savings over the long term. Honestly, you will be buying insurance for the rest of your life. Many customers already understand this when looking at their credit but overlook the idea when it comes to their insurance. I see people make these mistakes every day and hopefully after reading this article you will no longer be one of them. Insurance is a necessary expense, but that doesn't mean you have to overpay for it. As someone who works in the industry, and consistently saves on insurance year after year, I'm here to share my secrets with you.
Here are some of the most effective ways to save money on insurance over the long term without sacrificing coverage.
Shop regularly but do not move to new companies often.
It's important to shop for insurance regularly, but don't be too quick to jump ship to a new company every time you find a slightly better rate. Remember, insurance is a for-profit business, so if a company thinks you are going to stay awhile then they are more inclined to give you their most competitive rates. Insurance carriers place value on policyholders who have shown some longevity with a company, so it's worth staying put if you're already getting a good rate. However, it's still important to shop around to see how much you're paying compared to other companies. If you can save a large amount then it is a no brainer, if it is only a little bit then you should seriously consider showing a little loyalty.
Shop with a broker or independent agency.
Nobody knows the individual insurance companies as well as the agent who works with them and sells their products every day. A broker or independent agency can be your best friend when it comes to finding the right insurance company. These professionals know the industry and can help you find the best company for your specific situation. For example, if you're married with children who drive, you may fit better with Company X as opposed to Company Y, who is better with insurance for couples without children. Shopping with "Captive Agents" (agents who only sell one company like State Farm or Farmers) shouldn't be ignored, they can sometimes be competitive and some people will always fit with what they are good at, but BEWARE. If your rate goes up they have no option to help you save other than diluting your coverage or raising your deductible. We would love to help you. Get a quote here.
Carry higher coverages.
Carrying better liability coverage can actually lead to better rates. Insurance carriers place the least value on policyholders who always move because of price. Carrying higher coverages suggests that you care more about coverage than price, which can make you more attractive to insurance carriers. Carrying minimums can cost you long term, not to mention how poor your policy is if you do have a claim. Some companies even sell higher liability coverage for cheaper than buying a minimum coverage policy.
Avoid frivolous claims.
Insurance is not a maintenance program. It was built for major occurrences, not a blown tire or to get your car towed every time it breaks down, so don't make claims for small things like getting a tow. Prior claims, even small ones, can count against you (yes, even getting a tow or using your roadside assistance) and cost you thousands per year in higher costs. If you know you will need something like a warranty for your home or your automobile or AAA for towing, buy those separately and keep those little claims off your record.
Don't let your insurance lapse and Make Sure You Pay ON TIME
Insurance companies place value on policyholders who keep their policies over the whole term and carry continuous insurance. The longer the better and make sure your not constantly paying late or at the last minute. Think about it, it is an added cost to the insurance carrier to constantly have to chase you down for a payment and do not think they have not calculated that into their overall cost for each consumer. If you show a history of this, you will experience a higher rate than those who pay on time and many companies will not even work with you. If you're between cars, you can buy a non-owned operator-only policy to keep your continuous insurance while you look for a new car.
Protect your credit.
Your credit can seriously affect what companies will accept you and how competitive the rates they offer are. Many of the most affordable insurance companies will not even offer you a quote if you have poor credit, so you are fighting an uphill battle already. Insurance companies often do a soft pull of your credit (they all do it so don't let someone tell you they don't), so it's important to keep your credit score in good shape. If you don't have good credit or you are young and haven't established credit yet, think about finding a professional to help you build or repair your credit. It can save you a ton of money over the long term to do so.
Telematics is the use of technology to monitor driving behavior. Many insurance companies offer telematics programs that can provide discounts for safe driving. Telematics looks at how many miles you drive, what time of day you drive, hard breaking, fast acceleration, speeding, and phone use while driving. No one likes being tracked, but be honest with yourself. If you own a smartphone then you are already being tracked. Why not use it to your advantage to save money? Driving your best for a few months can make you more attractive to insurance carriers as it shows that you're a safe driver. Customers who utilize telematics often save as much as 35% compared to customers who refuse.
Avoid tickets and accidents.
This may seem obvious, but tickets and accidents, even if they're not your fault, can stay on your record for up to 5 years depending on the company. Safe driving and avoiding accidents and tickets can help keep your rates low.
Finally, have a relationship with your insurance agent.
Everyone should have an agent. Think about it. Would you go to court without a lawyer? Would you navigate selling your home without a realtor? And you pay for their services. An agent is available at no added cost. Why wouldn't you tap into a huge resource like an insurance agent? Someone who knows insurance and is always seeing what the current rates are. They can work with you over the long term to help you keep your rates down and find the best coverage for your needs. By working together, you can ensure that you have the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
By following these tips, you can save a bundle on your insurance year after year. Shop regularly, but do not move to new companies often. Shop with a broker or independent agency to find the best rates and coverages for your specific situation. If you can, carry higher coverages to show that you care more about coverage than price. Avoid frivolous claims and don't let your insurance lapse. Protect your credit, use telematics, and avoid tickets and accidents.
If you ever want a no obligation quote or just want some more advice about insurance in general, please feel free to reach out. We will do our best to help whether you work with us or not.
You can reach us here or request a quote here.