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. Just taking 30 minutes to get an auto owners insurance quote could save $.1000's
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?