It could be that you need a way to stretch your green a little bit more. An easy way to save a big chunk of change is take a good look at your home and auto insurance coverage.
I had been meaning to do this for quite some time, but I got some extra motivation this past March when my premiums came due. Surprise, surprise! – my rates had been raised once again. This was a bit puzzling to me as we have never filed a claim, been involved in any accidents, or gotten any tickets (oops -I did get a $20.00 ticket in 2002 for not wearing my seatbelt. I can think of lots better ways to spend 20 bucks!). I understand that there are (allegedly) larger economic factors that affect premiums, but on a personal level I couldn’t see that yet another increase was justified. So I had finally reached the point where indignation would subvert indolence.
Twenty minutes on the phone with our agent was enough time to give us a good understanding of our various options. We then decided on some money-saving maneuvers. First of all, we upped our deductibles as high as possible. While we would certainly hate to have to come up with this money, being Frugal helps us accumulate it. In the meantime, high deductibles allow us to pay a lower premium (which helps us save for a higher deductible). Next, we decided to go with excellent liability coverage on both our home and cars. If an accident is our fault, we want to make sure that we are able to take responsibility for it (with a little help from our insurance company of course). Finally, we cut out collision and theft coverage on our vehicles entirely.
On the face of it this may seem foolhardy. However, I don’t work so most of the time my car is in the garage. If one car was damaged or totaled in an accident, we’d still have another car to get us around. We wouldn’t need to run out and replace the out-of-commission car right away. I think it’s pretty unlikely that both cars would be totaled at the same time. As far as cutting out theft coverage, our cars are older and higher mileage. If they were stolen, we would never get much dollarwise to replace them. We take very good care of them, and they are in excellent condition, but even so they are worth more to us than is reflected in Kelly’s Blue Book. And again, it’s unlikely that they would both be stolen at the same time, so with two vehicles in the household there is always one to fall back on if one gets stolen.
The insurance bizz is pretty competitive, and any agent worth his salt is aware of this. So a friendly reminder that we were willing to take our business elsewhere was enough to get us some great results.