5 ways to cut your insurance rates

5 ways to cut your insurance rates

Many consumers pay thousands of dollars each year for home and car insurance to protect against possible calamities. If you want to cut your rates, without cutting your coverage, try these policy discounts:

1. Bundle it

Bundling home and car insurance through the same provider can save a customer $270 on average, according to a recent study by insuranceQuotes.com.

According to the study, the states with the highest average savings are: Louisiana ($505), Oklahoma ($468), Texas ($435), Mississippi ($422) and Missouri ($366). The lowest are Hawaii ($116), Florida ($147), North Carolina ($166), Vermont ($176) and Idaho ($190).

Laura Adams, senior analyst for insuranceQuotes.com, says although the savings differ based on the state, customers need to talk to their providers to see what’s out there.

“I think that the key here for consumers is they’ve got to shop it,” Adams says. “You’ve got to be proactive in asking your insurance company, ‘What are the potential savings that I could see by bundling with you?’”

2. Go electronic

From ordering pizza to keeping in touch with family, everything starts online these days. Buying and saving money on insurance is no exception. Signing up to receive paperless statements from your insurance company often results in a discount. You can always find your statements online, and you’ll have one less piece of mail to recycle or shred.

Also, paying with automatic electronic transfers cuts your rate. It makes it easier not to forget to pay when you’re thinking about a million other things. On-time payments improve your credit score, which also affects your rate.

3. Make it a family affair

The family that pays together saves together. According to esurance.com, married people drive more safely than their single friends. Unless one spouse has a long history of accidents and moving violations, combining auto policies puts you on the road to savings.

For families with teenage drivers, you can gain a little peace of mind through multi-driver and good grades discounts. If your provider allows, list your young driver on the oldest, least expensive vehicle. And if they leave the car behind when they go off to college, list them as a part time driver. Considering the high cost of tuition these days, you can use all the savings you can get.

4. Keep your house in order

Your home insurance rate depends on the house you live in and the people you live around. Living in a gated community or belonging to a homeowner’s association can you save money.

Newer homes receive lower rates, but renovating your older home also cuts your rate. Insurance providers believe the newer the pipes, the wiring and the roofing, the less likely a homeowner will file a claim — whether the home was built in 2005 or 1905.

5. Carefully consider your next car

When you’re ready to upgrade your ride, remember that insurance providers offer discounts for newer, safer cars. According to Allstate.com, a vehicle with passive restraints, such as motorized seatbelts and airbags, can save you up to 30 percent, on top of a new car discount if you’re the first owner.

Insurance providers often offer discounts on eco-friendly vehicles that use alternative fuels or less fuel. So going green saves green, too.

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