A customer says, “I’d like to save money on my insurance.” That’s a very broad statement. To save money on your current auto or homeowners or insurance policies, you generally have 3 options: qualify for a discount or endorsement, identify a safety precaution that’s been added to your property in the last year, or give up some coverage.
1. Qualifying for Discounts and Endorsements
Insurance companies offer discounts and endorsements that can save you money on your insurance policy. Discounts are offered if you meet certain criteria. An endorsement is a clause under which the stated coverage of an insurance policy may be altered. Choosing certain endorsements could mean savings for you too.
Some of the discounts we offer at Rockingham Group include a multi-policy discount for combining your home and auto insurance with us, an auto insurance discount if you have a child age 6 or under, and a homeowners insurance discount if you are first-time financing your home. You can also get a discount simply because you work for certain local employers.
These are just a few examples. Have your insurance company check your policy to see if there are any discounts or endorsements you can take advantage of to save you money on your insurance.
2. Identifying Added Safety Precautions
There are safety precautions you can add to your property that could reduce the cost of your homeowners insurance.
For example, you can add a central alarm system to your home that identifies a fire, burglary, smoke, or “live hazard” and notifies the fire department or police department automatically. This is an easy way to receive a discount on your homeowners insurance policy. There’s a trade-off cost because you’re paying for the monitoring system, but it does make your property safer.
You could also receive a discount for adding lower cost safety precautions, like deadbolt locks, smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors, to your home.
Or maybe you have a surcharge for a trampoline, above ground swimming pool, or wood burning stove that you’ve since corrected or removed. For example, adding self-closing locks and a gate to your pool. If you have removed these items, you no longer need the surcharge because the added risk is no longer on your property.
3. Trading Coverage for Cost
For homes and automobiles in the state of Virginia, insurance companies are required to annually file insurance rates for all different rate classes with the state. This is monitored by the Bureau of Insurance and eliminates any form of discrimination or bias by insurance companies towards members of the general public.
How does this apply to you?
If you’re looking for coverage for your automobile and you’d like to have $100/300/100, your rate has already been determined. However, you can change your coverage options for more or less coverage. The price or cost is directly reflective of your coverage. If you change to $50/100/ 50, you will pay less, but you will also have less coverage. You have to determine what’s best for you.
Similarly, for your homeowners insurance, you have to determine the value of your home and what type of coverage you want. Would you like replacement cost or a simple fire policy? Each cover your home, but for different risks…and different dollar amounts.
Even the replacement cost calculation for your home could be different from one insurance company to another. This factors into the price you pay for your coverage. We at Bruce Gardner Insurance Agency use a third-party, nationally-used software program that determines what a future cost to replace your entire house would be. As the homeowner, you need to determine which value you trust more.
So you could ask for a comparison quote from another insurance company to see if they come up with a different value. For more information about how property values are calculated.
4. Get a Comparison Quote:
Ask another insurance company for a comparison quote of your current policy.
When we do comparisons to other auto insurance policies, we like to do an apples to apples comparison, meaning we quote you our rates for the same coverage, plus discounts and endorsements, of course.
When it comes to your home, we always do our own estimate using the software program mentioned above for a replacement cost value, because it could be different from the one your provider is using. This is important because that’s the value of your home and your personal property and will become the focus of any loss recovery.
So if you want to save money on your auto or homeowners insurance, ask your current provider about discounts and endorsements, add safety precautions to your property, consider changing your coverage, or get a comparison quote.
If you live in Rockbridge County, Virginia or the surrounding area, contact us a Bruce Gardner Insurance Agency to receive a free comparison quote today!