Having insurance is great when the universe decides it’s time to give you a major (or even minor) problem. But when you can get a policy for practically anything, it’s easy to spend more on protecting your life than living it. Don’t worry, though. We can help you keep these expenses under control while still getting the coverage that you need.
Here are ten ways to be protected for less:
1. Assess Your Needs
Rather than buying coverage simply because you think you should, it’s important to consider your specific situation. Your life today and your future plans should dictate what insurance policies you need and how much coverage is appropriate.
Although there are lots of factors to consider for each type of insurance, you should think about the following to determine your needs:
- Your assets: More assets (cash, investments, businesses, property, etc.) may mean more insurance
- Your family: Having dependents typically requires more coverage
- Your health: Poor health could necessitate a more robust medical policy or more life insurance
2. Shop Around
Before committing to any policy, get pricing from multiple companies. You may be surprised at how much variation you see. And remember — don’t just set it and forget it. It pays to do this before every policy renewal.
3. Bundle Policies
As you get quotes for coverage, ask each company for a bundle price on the types of insurance that you need. You could score big savings and simplify your bill paying process.
4. Get a Discount by Association
Sure, you can likely get a deal on health, life, and disability insurance through your employer. But did you know that you may be eligible for discounted group rates on home and auto policies, too? Check with your HR department!
5. Raise the Deductible
Increasing your policy’s deductible could be an easy way to save a few bucks each month. Be sure, however, that you can cover the higher deductible if you ever need to make a claim.
6. Keep Your Credit Report Clean
Unless you live in CA, HI, or MA, poor credit history could cost you. Insurers may assign you an insurance score (similar to a credit score), with lower scores resulting in higher premiums. They believe, right or wrong, that a low score indicates irresponsibility and therefore more risk.
7. Save on Car Insurance
If you want to own a car in 48 out of 50 states, you need car insurance. The good news is that you can defray the expense with tons of different discounts. You may be able to save cash for being a student, taking a defensive driving course, being a member of AAA, driving a car with low miles, and more. Additionally, if your car is older and paid off, you may not need as much insurance. Remember: carry sufficient liability coverage to protect your assets.
Tip: Try this calculator to see how much car insurance you may need.
8. Save on Homeowners/Renters Insurance
If you have a mortgage, you’re probably required to have homeowner’s insurance. To make this expense more budget-friendly, ask your insurer if they offer price breaks for having smoke detectors, a home security system, modern plumbing and electrical systems, etc. Many of the same discounts are available to renters, too.
Bonus read: Check out this article on determining how much coverage you could need.
Tip: Use this guide to take an inventory of your belongings and determine the value of your stuff, which gets factored into your insurance requirements.
9. Save on Life Insurance
If you have a family to protect or want to leave loved ones a little something when you’re gone, you may want to purchase life insurance. There are a few different types, each with their own pros and cons, but generally, the most affordable type is term life insurance. Term life insurance will pay your beneficiaries a specified amount if you die within a certain timeframe (usually 10-30 years). There are a number of ways to save on life insurance such as paying the entire year’s worth of premiums upfront or getting a volume discount (aka getting more insurance for less money!).
Tip: Try this calculator to see how much life insurance you may need.
10. Save on Health Insurance
It’s no secret — medical care is crazy expensive. Adequate health insurance can save your wallet from a beating if you become seriously ill or injured. If you’re in good health, don’t go to the doctor frequently, and have a cash reserve, consider saving money on your monthly premiums by choosing a plan with a high-deductible. You’ll pay the full tab if you go to urgent care with the flu or a sprained ankle, but you’ll (hopefully) pay less overall each year due to premium savings. You can also save money by using in-network providers and practicing healthy habits — like eating right, getting those steps in, and going easy at happy hour.
Tip: A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a perfect partner to a high-deductible medical plan. Check out how an HSA can help lower your tax liability, set money aside for medical expenses, and save for retirement here. To get started, click here.
Insurance can be a significant line item on your budget, but there are many ways to minimize the expense. While this article isn’t an exhaustive list of ways to save, it gives you a good start to being covered affordably.
Tell Charlie: What’s your favorite way to save on insurance?
Please note: We don’t have an affiliation with or personally endorse any of the services linked to in this post. We’re just trying to give you some ideas.
This article was originally published at HiCharlie.com