Insurance Can Be Complicated, But Only If You Let It Be

Insurance is one of those things that you don’t want but that you have to have.

Whether it be car insurance, life insurance, or property insurance, it’s important to make sure that you’re properly covered.  Part of this means to make sure that you’re getting the best coverage at the lowest rates.

One of the things I’ve heard about insurance is that you should shop all of your insurance around once per year.  I’ve seen other bloggers go so far as to schedule a personal day off of work to spend exclusively on their insurance.

So, it’s a pretty big deal!

I don’t go that far to review our insurance, but staying on top of costs and coverage are activities I definitely go through.  Here’s a few things that I do:

Talk to my agent regularly

We have our homeowners insurance and auto insurance through the same company (using one provider for multiple policies is an almost sure-fire way to save money).  We’ve used the same agency for over 10 years.  And, I keep in touch with my agent regularly so much that he and his assistant know (or do a really good job at pretending to know) me when I call.

Know the lingo

As such, my agent looks out for me but I also look out for myself.  When I get a policy renewal notice, I always compare every line to see the cost difference in what I’m paying versus what I’ve paid in the past.  I also make sure to understand what each item actually means.  That way, if I call somewhere else to get a car insurance quote, I can make sure that I’m truly getting a side-by-side comparison quote.

It’s also important to know what your coverage is so that you can make changes to the default coverage.  For two years after we bought our home, I had default coverage limits on many items.  When I took a closer look, I realized that I was uncomfortable with some of the coverage limits, and made adjustments, but it was only by researching what each item meant, that I was able to do so effectively.

Use every available option

We don’t have life insurance coverage through the same agency as our homeowners and auto policy.  We don’t have coverage through any agency, in fact.

You might say, “Beagle, how can you not have life insurance?  What if something were to happen to you?  After all you do have a wife and two kids.  What would happen to them?’

And my response would be: They’d be covered.

See, we don’t have life insurance through an agency simply because we have it through my employer.

My employer offers life insurance as a payroll withdrawl for up to 10x my salary.  They also offer coverage for my spouse and even small amounts for children.

I use this versus an agency because the price is virtually  unbeatable.  Last year, I called my agency and requested a quote compared to what I can get through my employer, and the best they could come up with was double the cost of what I pay now via payroll deductions.

If you have alternative options to get coverage, make sure you look into them.

I’m very comfortable with my level of coverage, but this also comes from having a good knowledge of what I have.  So, don’t let your insurance befuddle you.  Not knowing and understanding your coverage and your options is an almost guaranteed way to get caught holding the bag, most likely at a time when you can least afford to do so.

How comfortable are you with your insurance coverage?

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7 thoughts on “Insurance Can Be Complicated, But Only If You Let It Be

  1. I hope this isn't a duplicate, I had a little comment issue…

    Anyway, I hate calling around about insurance and cable costs, but I do it. One of those necessary evils in life I guess.

    I was shocked when my insurance company reached out to me and told me about the 'good student' discount for teen drivers. You just send in a copy of a transcript showing gpa over 3.0 and the rate is reduced!

  2. Don't have it anymore. I also used to have life insurance through my employer. Get laid off, and the life insurance goes away. Get laid off at un certain age and you won't be able to afford life insurance on your own.

    I did have a whole life insurance policy, which my former husband bought when we were young. Cashed out the tax-free portion of it and am using that money to live on. The taxable portion will have to be next…I figure I'll run out of the tax-free funds about the middle of next year and then start drawing down the rest of it.

    There's enough in my IRA to pay off the upside-down mortgage on my son's house, allowing him to get out from under that horror show. My house is paid off and is worth around two hundred grand. If he unloads his house, he could move in here, or he could sell this house for enough to get himself back to San Francisco, where he really wants to live. Or to quit his hated job and go to school full-time, which also eventually would get him back to the City.

    LOL! I'm worth a great deal more to my son dead than alive, it appears… Let's not tell him. 😉

  3. Insurance is a sore subject for me. I'm fine with our homeowner's and car insurance but I have yet to get life insurance. I know, I know. I have a small child and I really need to. I've looked into it through my work and I just keep failing to follow through. I really need to put it on my "must-do" list.

  4. I definitely like the idea of considering all options. When we have needed insurance we have used a broker to make sure we know about every deal. This helps us with making an educated and researched decision.

  5. Our insurance agent recently became a broker. He does know us and every six months looks at our policies to see if he can get us better deals.
    Even when he was an agent, he would call us the moment his company offered a plan that would be better for us. And he's also willing to say when he can't get us a good deal.
    Perhaps I shouldn't trust him as much as I do, but trust and integrity are the main reasons we chose him (C knew him before he was our agent) and until I have reason to doubt, I'm good.

  6. I routinely check the marketplace for insurance and other products and services. very month I review my expenses and try to reduce my expenses.

  7. With the insurance cost spiraling and the cost of living going up, everyone likes to find the ways to lower their insurance premiums. If you are diligent about selecting your coverage and deductibles and compare few quotes accordingly you may be able to lower your premiums.

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