Do you tend to develop piles of documents and bills from different insurance companies?  Does the clutter sometimes lead to missed payment dates or renewing your outdated or overpriced policy just because you’ve waited until the last minute?  Do you oftentimes have envelopes, checks, and stamps scattered across the kitchen table on a weekend morning when you should be out enjoying your day off?  Stop the madness!  You can decrease your clutter and simplify servicing of your insurance portfolio while simultaneously saving on your insurance premiums.  How? Consolidation, avoid procrastination, embrace innovation.

Consolidation

Combine as many policies as you can with one insurance company.  All carriers offer some form of multi policy discount or account credit.  Package your auto and homeowners policies together.  Consider adding an umbrella policy for additional liability protection and an even stronger account discount.  Even recreational vehicles such as motorcycles, boats, RVs, and snowmobiles qualify for multi policy discounts.  Not only will you see lower rates on the bill, you could save in a claims situation as well.  Oftentimes if you have both your auto and homeowners policies with the same insurance company and your auto and home are both damaged in the same incident (storm, fire, vehicle vs house collision), you’ll only have to pay one deductible as opposed to both the home and auto deductibles if you’re insured with two separate companies.  More money in your pocket, fewer companies to interact with, less confusion in the event of a claim.  Win/win/win.

Insure all household vehicles together on one policy.  Too many spouses haven’t combined their auto insurance policies due to a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is one spouse having a poor driving record.  Many parents believe they’re doing the right thing by purchasing a separate policy for their high school senior.  The truth is, the overwhelming majority of the time you’ll get your best value by consolidating all household vehicles onto one policy.  Youthful operators and drivers with poor driving records can be absorbed in a more cost-effective manner by insurance companies if they are accompanied by well-established, responsible drivers because it diversifies the risk, thus making it more attractive to the insurance company.

Avoid procrastination

Don’t wait until the last minute to purchase a new policy.  Many companies are now offering an advanced quote or early shopper discount for buyers who start the quoting process at least a week before the effective date of the policy.  It truly pays to plan ahead by contacting your local, independent advisor at least a week in advance of when you’d like your new policies to be effective.  You’ll see additional savings, your advisor will have ample time to design a policy to meet your needs and answer any questions you have, and you won’t feel rushed into making a buying decision.

Pay your bills on time.  Making payments on time saves on late fees which can range from $10-$25 for each late payment and also improves your pricing for future policy terms by making your household more desirable to both your current insurance provider and other carriers.  Insurance companies will offer more favorable rates to stable households that pay their bills on time than they will to customers who tend to be late with their payments or may even have a lapse in insurance coverage.  You may even choose to be extra-proactive and pay your premiums in full.  Most carriers provide a significant discount if you prepay your premium for the policy term in full, which can be a real money and time saver in the long run if you have the means to do so.

Embrace innovation

Go paperless.  Email is easier to track and manage than mail, plus the insurance company is going to pass their postage savings along to you.  Most insurance companies now have mobile apps that allow you to access ID cards, pay bills, and even manage claims.  You should never need to receive another piece of mail from an insurance company ever again!

Enroll in EFT(Electronic Funds Transfers).  Insurance companies reduce or eliminate installment fees for those who enroll in EFT payments.  Some carriers even have lower rates for customers who enroll in EFT because it’s a more reliable premium collection method for the insurance company.  In addition to saving on premium and installment fees you never have to worry about missing a payment which could lead to costly late fees or even a lapse in coverage which can cost you much more in the long run.

Take advantage of telematics.  Many insurance companies including Safeco (RightTrack), Travelers (IntelliDrive), and Progressive (Snapshot) have instituted proprietary telematic programs.  These programs run either through a mobile app or by plugging a device into your diagnostic port on your car and track such metrics as miles driven, time of day driven, and acceleration and braking habits.  Most carriers give you a discount up front just for participating, then assign a final discount once your trial period is complete based on each driver’s results.  The final discount is then locked in for the life of the policy and can be as high as 30% depending on the carrier and the results of your trial period.  These telematic programs are a great way to reverse the negative effect a moving violation or accident can have on your premium and also a motivating factor for a younger driver to operate safely as they can view their results on their smartphone after each trip.

Perhaps most importantly, you need to work with a local, independent agency that is well-versed in modern-day technology and ready to assist you in taking advantage of these great programs.  Technological advancements can save you both time and money and deliver a more efficient, hassle-free insurance experience.  The Insurance Outlet’s trusted advisors would be happy to perform a comprehensive risk analysis and design a personalized solution for you that is geared towards life in the 21st century! Please call or text us at 603-527-8050, or stop by our local office at 174 Court Street in Laconia, NH. For your convenience, also offer online quotes 24-7 at our website. The Insurance Outlet is locally owned and independently operated.