- Personal Finance»
Insurance Coverage: What should it provide? Quotes? Policy? Current Company or a new company?
Home and Auto Insurance Tips
First, a disclosure: I am not an expert on insurance, of any kind; however, I have had some experiences that I will share with you.
When shopping for home and car insurance, always get a quote from several reputable firms before making your final decision. And, to make sure you are comparing the exact same coverage, scan your current policy declaration pages (if you already have insurance) and provide these to the companies you are asking to quote.
If you are planning to change your coverage limits, deductibles or anything else, presently on your declaration pages, be sure to note this in your cover letter to the quoting companies
Be sure you ask for discounts (if applicable) for the following: safe driver, low annual mileage, over sixty, AAA or AARP discounts, multiple cars and coverage for both your residence and your vehicle(s).
Besides the discount for combining home and auto coverage, you could save money if (God forbid) you have a fire or other damage to your house that damages your vehicle, too. IF you have your house and vehicle with two separate companies, then you will have to file two claims and pay two deductibles!
Before filing a claim with your insurance company, consider the fallout of making the claim. IF you have more than two or three claims in a year, your insurance could be canceled and you will only be able to acquire a high risk policy (like with Lloyd's of London) at 3 to 4 times the "normal" rate. Also, remember what your deductible is . . . sometimes it is higher than the loss or damage. In this case, do NOT file a claim! That could possibly affect your rating! And, this rating becomes part of your history, which is given to any insurance company you have asked to handle a quote for you. It takes three years (or longer) for the claims to drop off your rating, so it's best to be proactive in taking preventative measures to prevent having this on your insurance history.
Last, but definitely not least, establish a rapport with an honest and reliable insurance broker! It is better to pay a few dollars more for excellent service! That does not mean using a broker will cost you more! However, even if it does, it will probably cost you a lot less in time and frustration by dealing with someone you trust and someone who does go to bat for you in obtaining the best possible coverage at the best possible price! Be sure and ask this agent who he has his personal insurance with. You cannot find a better reference in choosing the best company than who your agent uses!