November 11, 2007
If your insurance premiums are starting to climb, it may be time to shop for a lower rate. Whether you are looking for homeowner's insurance, car insurance, or life insurance, you will want to get the best coverage for the lowest price. Here are a few ways to make that happen.
1. Negotiate with your current carrier. Ask if there are ways to lower your premium. Your agent may be able to suggest policy changes, like raising the deductibles, to help you pay less. If your marital status, age, or educational level or attainments have changed, if you are driving a different vehicle than before, or if your driving patterns have changed, these also may lead to a reduction in your premiums. Paying one annual bill instead of smaller monthly ones could earn you a discount as well.
2. Shop by telephone. Visit the yellow pages of your telephone directory to see what other insurers have to offer. Some companies take out sizable ads that list many benefits or rate information that can be helpful. Call a few numbers to compare quotes for your business. Be sure that the company enjoys a good reputation in your community before switching insurance providers. When in doubt, check with the Better Business Bureau.
3. Surf the Internet. Many companies these days put up a Web page for all to find. You often can learn a great deal about an insurance company by visiting its site and seeing what is displayed there. Rates, policy types, and other information can provide instant answers to some of your questions. Some sites provide query options for requesting a quote by email. Just be sure the site has been recently updated, and you may want to follow up with a telephone call if your email is not promptly answered. This type of shopping is fast and efficient.
4. Connect insurance policies. Whenever possible, keep your insurance policies with the same carrier. Doing so often allows you to enjoy certain benefits that are not available to those who parcel their coverage through several providers. Find out how to get the best prices by combining policies or considering riders.
Insurance costs are rising, so keep your eyes open for possible discounts. Ask about possible savings if you don't receive promotional offers or invitations to request a quote. Many times a customer is unaware of the savings that he or she is eligible for, so it pays to take the initiative and ask a few questions before renewing your policy.
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