The Importance of Insurance Reviews

Most people reach out to their insurance brokers or underwriters when there is a significant event in their lives that necessitates new or revised risk coverage – perhaps when they purchase a new home or it’s time to trade-in the old car. However, far fewer remember to review their insurance at regular intervals or when more subtle changes to their coverage requirements occur.

Reviewing your insurance regularly helps ensure your coverage is what you expect it to be in the unfortunate circumstance that you need to file a claim. It also aids in making informed decisions regarding coverage and being proactive about minimizing your insurance costs.

There are many different circumstances that could possibly change your coverage requirements and prompt a call to an insurance professional for a review. The examples below identify some of the instances in which you might want to review your coverage:

  • Renovations – If you perform renovations to your house, it is likely that you are also increasing its value. Whether it’s a new kitchen, bathroom, pool, or even expensive landscaping, remember to check your policy limits to ensure they remain adequate in case of an insured loss. If you’ve recently renovated your basement, also note it is quite likely that your water damage insurance needs to be reviewed.
  • You’ve been accumulating possessions – Have you done a home inventory lately? Most people have more personal possessions than they think. Estimating the total value of your contents is vital to helping ensure your limits are adequate.
  • You’ve purchased a high value item – Remember that some of your personal possessions have to be scheduled to be properly covered. Jewellery, antiques, collectibles, wine collections, and art are a few examples of pieces that may require additional coverage.
  • New coverages have become available – The insurance industry frequently adapts to changing market conditions and offers coverage in areas that it has not in the past. For homeowners, insurance for overland water damage and home repair issues (such as broken furnaces) have recently become available from some insurers, in some areas. In addition, legal expense insurance, travel insurance, and pet insurance are available from brokers looking to cover more of your risk and insurance needs.
  • Laws changing to give you more or less choice – Changes to automobile accident benefits mean you should review your choices.
  • You become eligible for additional discounts – Changes in your personal circumstances may affect your eligibility for policy discounts. For example, if you install an alarm system you are likely eligible for a discount on your homeowner policy. If you use snow tires on your vehicle, many insurers offer a discount on your car insurance policy. If you pass the age of 50-55, you may become eligible for mature driver discounts.
  • If you change jobs and have a shorter commute – You should report this to your insurance broker as driving less typically correlates to lower risk and less expensive premiums. If you have a certain job occupation, you may also be eligible for lower insurance rates.
  • You’ve started a home business – A different use of your home, other than strictly residential, may require business insurance to properly cover liability risks.
  • Your personal circumstances change – If you get married or have children, you may want to review your coverage to ensure your coverage levels are adequate to look after your dependents in case of an accident.
  • Your child gets a driver’s licence – Always check to see if your child can be added to your policy. It is often the least expensive option for insuring them to drive. If they get their own car, you are also probably eligible for a multi-car discount.
  • If your child moves away to attend college or university – Check to see if your homeowners coverage can be extended to protect your child’s assets while away at school. It may be more cost-effective that purchasing a standalone tenants insurance policy.
  • If you haven’t had an insurance review in more than a year – Your coverage levels may be out of date. A key example of this is your home insurance. Property values and replacement costs can easily rise to the point that your existing coverage limits do not allow for the total reconstruction of your home in the case of a total loss.

Taking the time to speak to your insurance professional is always time well spent. Even if you don’t save on your insurance costs after the call, there is no substitute for having the coverage you expect when a claim becomes necessary. Since most insurance policies are for the term of one-year, it is a good idea to speak to your insurance professional before renewing your annual coverage.

As You Are Probably Already Aware, Auto Insurance Is Mandatory

Let’s go over the most important factors that will bring your rates down the most.

* Drive a Vehicle that’s Cheap to Insure

While this might seem like common sense to you, surprisingly many people spend days and weeks shopping for the right car, without ever considering the cost of coverage. Stay away from vehicles that are sporty with powerful V8 engines. This means Corvette’s, Porsches and other high-performance cars. Also, take a couple of minutes and review the most stolen car list. You might be shocked that boring cars like Honda Accord’s make this list every year. You will pay about 20% more for insuring one of these cars thieves target the most. Stick to a slightly used car like a Subaru Forester, and you will have a super safe ride that’s also cheap to insure.

* Maintain a Good Credit Score

Carriers are putting a greater emphasis lately on a person credit score. The better your credit rating is, the less you will pay for coverage. The reasoning behind this is of course risk. People that are less risky financially are more likely to be more responsible drivers and not make reckless driving decisions. If you have a low score, take moves now to get it higher and also make sure there are not false items on your report that are dragging it down. Shoot for a credit score of 700 or more and insurers will offer you some sweet deals.

* Live in a Rural Area

If you are thinking of moving out of the city, then you might be pleasantly surprised that you can save more on auto insurance. Big cities that are congested naturally have higher rates because there are simply more cars on the road, which increases your chance of getting into an accident. Do a bit of research online, and you can save hundreds.

* Increase Your Deductible

This is a very easy tip that you should strongly consider and is something you can control 100%. Setting your deductible to a higher level, $1,000 or more, will save you on average about 10%. The catch is you will need to save all of this amount in case you do get into a crash and file a claim. If you have a really old car, older than 10 years, it’s not worth getting a high deductible because the value of your car might only be $2,000 or $3,000. On the other hand, if you have a new vehicle, you will be paying more for coverage, so this is a great way to get a price break.

* Drop Useless Coverage

If you are in the market for automobile insurance, then take a look at your old policy. Read it carefully and go over each item. Do you see any coverage that was not needed? If so, when you apply for future quotes, get rid of unneeded add-on items. For example, if your credit card company already has you covered for rentals, you do not need additional coverage from your carrier. The same goes for towing and roadside assistance if you have a plan with an A³ plan. Get the coverage you need and nothing more and save your hard earned money.

* Get as many Discounts as you can

Insurers want your business, and a common incentive most use to lure you in, are discounts. Most providers have multiple discounts available. Your job is to take advantage of each one you qualify for. Some of the offers vary but can be anywhere from 5% to more than 10%. Here a few of the most common.

1. Safe Driver

This means no or very few tickets and no accidents on record.

2. Low Mileage

If you drive fewer than 1,000 miles monthly, you can qualify.

3. Military

If you are currently an active military member of vet, you can save about 5%.

4. Good Student

Students who have and maintain a B or higher G-P-A can get discounts up to 10%.

5. Multi-Car and Home Bundling

Insurers want your business, and you can save some serious dough by bundling all your vehicles and home together with one company.

6. Enhanced Safety Features

If you have special safety enhancements on your vehicle like dual airbags, anti-lock brakes and a GPS-based security alarm, you can qualify for a big discount.

National Auto Insurance Company Review

Automobiles have been a part of American society for about a century now and in today’s society, they are an essential part of everyday American lives. Although in big cities, mass transportation systems such as subways, buses and metros have been developed, most average Americans get to and from work through the means of automobiles. It is for this reason that the Federal Government decided to allow each state to design its own automobile insurance laws, so that they could have a say about under which conditions an automobile was to be used within their respective state borders. With the population of the United States growing everyday and more and more people entering this great country, it is imperative that Americans have automobile insurance so they can drive safely and without risk on the roads of this nation.

Nowadays, most people can find an automobile insurance company within a 25 mile radius from their residence. While there are big car insurance companies such as GEICO, Allstate, and others that are trying to get bigger in order to control this sector of the economy; there are some other ones that are unknown nationally and work within their state’s borders. In this article we will only be discussing those “top dogs” in the auto insurance business by looking at their history, what they offer and how they have become well known through the years.

Esurance: Although this company was founded only in 1999 through the Internet, they have progressed much through the years. The company started in four states and it was quickly bought by the White Mountains Insurance Group. Today, Esurance claims to insure about 85% of the nation’s drivers and they are continuing to grow by providing coverage in 28 states. Since they were founded, this company has strived to give customers the best rates in the market with the best coverage. They pride in their customer service techniques and on the fact that their customer service agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This insurance is said to be the first one to offer their products entirely online, making it a little easier and convenient for people to get quotes and enroll from the comfort of their own home of office. The company has grown so much that they have expanded to offer not only automobile coverage, but also life, health, homeowner and motorcycle insurance.

GEICO: One of the biggest automobile insurance companies in the United States, GEICO is best known for their little gecko talking in a British accent, or for the caveman commercials that highlight the fact that getting a quote online is “so easy a caveman can do it.” The Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) was founded in the 1930’s when the Great Depression was still hitting this great nation. Leo and Lillian Goodwin started the company in the state of Texas because they had a vision of lowering premiums for selected customers. The company became more and more famous around the United States and it was in 1936 that they established operations in Washington D.C. Nowadays, the company is functioning in all the states and its assets have climbed up to a record $21.9 billion. They have an estimated 7 million members, 21,000 associated in 12 major locations nationwide. This incredible growth has been due to three key elements that GEICO focuses on: excellent coverage, low prices and outstanding customer service.

Allstate: With their motto “You are in good hands” this company strives to be the best by giving their customers peace of mind and enriching their quality of life through the excellent management of their risks. The company was founded in 1931 and it only became a public trading company in 1993. Based in Northbrook, Illinois; Allstate is one of the nation’s leading insurers in urban and regional areas and it has offices in all of the states of the nation. They pride in the various numbers of awards they have won through out the years and because they have supported auto and highway safety reforms including seat belts, air bags and teen driver education. A Fortune 100 company with $157.5 billion assets, the Allstate Corporation encompasses more than 70,000 professionals with near 30% minorities and 59% women. The company provides insurance products to an estimate 17 million automobiles and one out of every 9 autos on the road are insured by them

SF Insurance: This Company was founded in 1922 by a retired farmer and insurance salesman by the name of George Jacob Mecherle. He started the company for the sole purpose of lowering automobile insurance premiums for farmers, because he knew they drove way less than the average customer. Today, SF Insurance claims to insure more cars than any other auto insurance company in North America and it is available in all 50 states and in the neighbor country of Canada. In 2006, the company became the first to promote a major film, when they sponsored the Pixar movie CARS and they have extended to life, homeowner and property insurance. The company has over 17,000 agents and 68,000 employers that help over 76 million customers in every single type of insurance imaginable. They are ranked A+ by A.M. Best and they are also 31st in the list of Fortune 500 list of largest companies.

Nationwide: Another “top dog” of automobile insurance in the United States. The company was founded in 1925 by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation in order to provide excellent low-cost rates for rural drivers in the state and in the span of 80 years Nationwide has been transformed from a small automobile insurance for Ohio farmers to a big company that receives an estimated $157 billion in assets. Nowadays, Nationwide is not only an auto insurance provider; but it offers financial services as well. They are known for excellence in their service simply because their associates have a variety of skills, experiences and backgrounds that make them more compatible to their customers. The company is ranked 104 on the Fortune 500 magazine and has about 36,000 employers. Is also of note to mention that Nationwide ranks as the 6th largest auto insurance company in the United States based on premium ratings as ranked by A.M. Best.