12 March 2011
Seven Easy Ways to Save on Insurance

You’ve left no stone unturned in your quest for savings.

But have you thought about your auto or homeowners insurance as a place to look for hidden dollars?

Unfortunately, many consumers think that the only way to save is to cut coverage or raise their deductibles. The good news is that there are a variety of discounts available – if you know how to ask for them.

How to Save? Let Us Count the Ways!

Before you start hoarding used sandwich bags, consider these simple ways you can save on your home and auto insurance:

1. Insure both your auto and home. Some of the biggest savings come from an insurer’s multi-policy discount – insuring both your home and auto with the same insurer. What consumers don’t always understand is that when you stack your policies together with the same company, you get a discount on both policies. A policyholder who has auto insurance and then adds on homeowners coverage can earn a discount on the homeowners policy and a discount on the auto policy. That can really add up.

2. Take a driving course. Folks often wind up taking a defensive driving class after a ticket, in order to avoid points on their driver’s license. Then, they don’t tell their insurance agent about it because they think it will throw up a red flag. In reality, it can actually create a discount of around 10 percent. For teen drivers, some insurers are offering discounts for completion of special online driving courses. Nationwide, for example, has created a special online learning center to help parents and teens talk about driving smart. Parents and teens who complete the course can take advantage of a discount.

3. Renovate your home. Upgrading your home’s heating, plumbing, electrical system or roof may create opportunities for insurance savings. By doing this kind of maintenance, homeowners are reducing the risk of an electrical fire or water damage from a leak, so insurance companies know that it’s only right to reward them.

4. Make membership count. Be sure to tell your insurance agent where you went to school, what you do for a living and any groups or associations you belong to. Insurers typically provide special “affinity” discounts of up to 10 percent for hundreds of fraternal and professional organizations.

5. Hit the books. Need motivation for a youthful driver to maintain good grades? Many insurers reward students with a GPA of 3.0 or better with a Good Student Discount of up to 15 percent. From the insurance company’s perspective, good students are disciplined and, chances are, they paid attention in Driver’s Ed!

6.  Install a security system. Discounts of up to 10 percent are also available when you install a monitored alarm system in your home. Agents suggest you contact them first to learn how to receive the maximum discount.

7. Keep your home safe. Believe it or not, simple things like solid exterior doors and secondary locks on sliding glass doors can earn you a 5 percent discount. Often, your insurer will want you to have your local police department come out and inspect your home for safety before providing the discount.

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