Insurance is one of those things that you don’t think about until you need it. But when you do need it, you want to make sure that you have the best coverage, the best price, and the best service. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes with their insurance that can cost them a lot of money, time, and stress. To help you avoid these pitfalls, here are 15 life-changing insurance tips that you wish you knew sooner.
1. Shop Around
Don’t settle for the first quote you get or the one that your agent or broker recommends. Compare at least three different quotes from different insurers and agents before making a decision. You can use online tools such as Bing, NerdWallet, and Insure.com to find and compare insurance quotes. You should also check the ratings, reviews, and complaints of the insurers you are considering. You may be surprised by how much you can save by shopping around.
2. Bundle Up
One of the easiest ways to save money on your insurance is to bundle your policies with the same insurer. For example, if you have a home, a car, and a life insurance policy, you can get a discount by buying them from the same company. This way, you can also simplify your payments and claims, and enjoy better customer service. However, you should still compare the prices and coverage of the bundled policies with the individual policies to make sure that you are getting the best deal.
3. Raise Your Deductible
Another way to save money on your insurance is to raise your deductible. Deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out of your pocket before your insurance kicks in. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium, and vice versa. However, you should only raise your deductible to an amount that you can afford to pay in case of a claim. Otherwise, you may end up paying more than you save.
4. Lower Your Coverage
Another way to save money on your insurance is to lower your coverage. Coverage is the amount of money that your insurance will pay in case of a claim. The higher your coverage, the higher your premium, and vice versa. However, you should only lower your coverage to an amount that is enough to cover your needs and liabilities. Otherwise, you may end up underinsured and face financial difficulties in case of a loss.
5. Review Your Policy
One of the most important things you can do with your insurance is to review your policy regularly. You should check your policy at least once a year and whenever you have a major life change, such as getting married, having a baby, buying a new car, moving to a new home, or starting a new job. You should make sure that your policy reflects your current situation and needs, and that you are not paying for coverage that you don’t need or missing out on coverage that you do need. You should also update your personal and contact information, and notify your insurer of any changes.
6. Ask for Discounts
One of the easiest ways to save money on your insurance is to ask for discounts. Discounts are reductions in your premium that you can get for various reasons, such as having a good credit score, being a loyal customer, having a clean driving record, installing security or safety devices, taking a defensive driving course, or being a member of a certain group or organization. Discounts can vary by insurer, state, and policy, but they can save you a lot of money on your insurance. You should ask your agent or insurer about the discounts that you are eligible for and how to apply for them.
7. File Claims Wisely
One of the most important things you can do with your insurance is to file claims wisely. Claims are requests for compensation that you make to your insurer when you suffer a loss or damage that is covered by your policy. However, you should not file a claim for every minor incident or damage that you can pay for yourself. Filing too many claims can increase your premium, reduce your chances of getting discounts or renewals, and even result in your policy being canceled. You should only file a claim when the cost of the loss or damage is significantly higher than your deductible, and when you are not at fault or liable for the incident.
8. Pay on Time
One of the simplest things you can do with your insurance is to pay your premium on time. Premium is the amount of money that you pay to your insurer for your policy. Paying your premium on time can save you money, as you can avoid late fees, interest charges, and policy lapses. Paying your premium on time can also improve your credit score, as your payment history is one of the factors that affect your credit rating. You can also pay your premium in full or in advance, instead of in monthly installments, to save money and avoid extra charges.
9. Go Paperless
One of the easiest ways to save money and time on your insurance is to go paperless. Going paperless means that you receive and manage your policy documents, bills, and statements online, instead of by mail. Going paperless can save you money, as you can avoid postage fees, printing costs, and paper clutter. Going paperless can also save you time, as you can access your policy information, make payments, and file claims anytime and anywhere, using your computer or smartphone. You can also help the environment by reducing paper waste and carbon emissions.
10. Get an Umbrella Policy
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your assets from lawsuits and liabilities is to get an umbrella policy. An umbrella policy is a type of insurance that provides extra liability coverage beyond your home and auto insurance limits. For example, if you are sued for $1 million for causing a car accident, and your auto insurance only covers $300,000, your umbrella policy can cover the remaining $700,000. An umbrella policy can also cover you for incidents that are not covered by your home or auto insurance, such as defamation, invasion of privacy, or false arrest. An umbrella policy is relatively cheap, as you can get $1 million of coverage for as low as $150 to $300 per year.
11. Get Life Insurance
One of the most important types of insurance that you can get is life insurance. Life insurance is a type of insurance that pays a lump sum of money to your beneficiaries when you die. Life insurance can help your family pay for your funeral expenses, debts, taxes, and living costs. Life insurance can also help your family maintain their lifestyle, achieve their goals, and secure their future. You should get life insurance if you have dependents, such as a spouse, children, or aging parents, who rely on your income or care. You should also get life insurance if you have a mortgage, a business, or a large estate. You can choose between term life insurance, which covers you for a specific period of time, or permanent life insurance, which covers you for your entire life.
12. Get Health Insurance
Another important type of insurance that you can get is health insurance. Health insurance is a type of insurance that pays for your medical expenses when you get sick or injured. Health insurance can help you pay for doctor visits, prescriptions, tests, surgeries, hospital stays, and more. Health insurance can also help you prevent or treat chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. You should get health insurance if you are not covered by your employer, your spouse, or your parents. You should also get health insurance if you are self-employed, unemployed, or retired. You can choose between individual health insurance, which covers you and your family, or group health insurance, which covers you and your employees.
13. Get Disability Insurance
Another important type of insurance that you can get is disability insurance. Disability insurance is a type of insurance that pays you a percentage of your income when you are unable to work due to an illness or injury. Disability insurance can help you pay for your living expenses, such as your mortgage, rent, utilities, food, and transportation. Disability insurance can also help you maintain your lifestyle, achieve your goals, and secure your future. You should get disability insurance if you rely on your income to support yourself and your family. You should also get disability insurance if you have a high-risk job, a physical or mental condition, or a family history of disability. You can choose between short-term disability insurance, which covers you for a few months, or long-term disability insurance, which covers you for several years or until you retire.
14. Get Renters Insurance
One of the most overlooked types of insurance that you can get is renters insurance. Renters insurance is a type of insurance that covers your personal property and liability when you rent a home or an apartment. Renters insurance can help you pay for the repair or replacement of your belongings, such as your furniture, clothes, electronics, and jewelry, if they are damaged or stolen by fire, theft, vandalism, or other perils. Renters insurance can also help you pay for the medical bills, legal fees, and damages if someone gets injured or sues you because of something that happens in your rented home. You should get renters insurance if you rent a home or an apartment, as your landlord’s insurance does not cover your personal property or liability. You should also get renters insurance if you have valuable or sentimental items, or if you have guests or pets in your rented home.
15. Get Travel Insurance
One of the most useful types of insurance that you can get is travel insurance. Travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers your trip expenses and emergencies when you travel abroad. Travel insurance can help you pay for the cancellation or interruption of your trip, the loss or delay of your baggage, the medical expenses or evacuation if you get sick or injured, the legal assistance or liability if you cause damage or injury, and the assistance or protection if you encounter any problems or dangers. You should get travel insurance if you travel abroad frequently, or if you plan a long, expensive, or adventurous trip. You should also get travel insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition, or if you travel to a high-risk destination.
These are 15 life-changing insurance tips that you wish you knew sooner. By following these tips, you can get the best coverage for your needs and your budget, and avoid any unpleasant surprises or regrets in the future. Remember, insurance is not a luxury, but a necessity. It can save you from a lot of trouble and give you peace of mind. blush