December 2014 - Susman
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7 Easy Ways To Slash Your Auto Insurance Costs

Here’s 7 easy ways to get the best possible auto insurance deal.

* Multiple Quotes

Get multiple quotes – use the internet and call a few brokers. It’s easy to gather some good comparison quotes.

Remember to get different types of quotes e.g one from a direct-sell insurance company; another from an offline broker who keeps a database of quotes; and a couple from the internet.

Cheapest might not mean best. Will they pay out if you make a claim ? How financially secure ? How reputable ? Check around with family and friends, and look for online reviews.

* Different type of car

Insurance costs vary depending on car type. Obviously, that $100k sports model costs more to insure than your average runabout. If you’re planning to buy a new car, check insurance costs before you buy. I once set my heart on a beautiful, high performance, highly tuned Pontiac.

Luckily I checked the auto insurance before I bought it, because I couldn’t get insurance. Every broker, every insurance company flat turned me down because I lived in a high car-crime area. So I had to forget the car of my dreams until I moved up-town.

* Age and Value of Car

Maybe you’re buying a used car ? Maybe your car saw better days a few years ago, and now values much lower ? So why pay for high-priced auto insurance ? In particular, do you still need fully comprehensive coverage ?

A good rule of thumb multiplies insurance premium by 10, and compares that figure with your car value. So if you’re quoted $1000 premium and your car is worth less than $10,000 you may want to think if comprehensive represents good value. If you drop collision and/or comprehensive coverage, you should get big savings.

* Higher deductibles (excess charges)

Most auto insurance companies use deductibles to keep policy cost down. Deductibles, or excess charges, show what you pay before your auto insurance policy kicks in. Try requesting quotes with different levels of deductibles, and see how your quotes vary.

Most internet quote forms contain a box where you can specify preferred level of deductibles. Ask your broker his recommended level. For example, going from $250 to $500 deductible can slash your insurance costs by 20% or more. Go to $1000 and you save a lot of money. But you must pay the deductible if you need to make a claim !

* Multiple Insurances

I guess this might come under the ‘Get Multiple Quotes’ heading, but it’s still worth mentioning separately. You usually get an insurance break if you buy multiple policies with the same insurer.

This might mean multiple vehicles, or homeowner and auto insurance. Either way it’s worth asking about multi-policy discounts.

* Low Mileage

More and more people work at home. No more commuting. Fewer business trips. Low mileage on your car. Maybe you do travel to work, but car pool ?

Either way, look for low mileage discounts.

* Good Driving Record

A good driving record always reduces your auto insurance costs. Keep a clean drivers license. Don’t speed, don’t drive dangerously, and you’ll save money (apart from other benefits !)

* Bonus Tip

Okay, I said ‘7 Ways…’, but here’s some extra tips. Fit anti-theft devices to your car. Go on an advanced driver training course. Use daytime running lights. If you’re a college student away from home, consider adding to parents policy.

This short article covers the things you must consider when shopping for auto insurance. Follow these tips and you’ll slash your auto insurance costs.

7 Auto Insurance Tips

1> Raising your deductible
Deductible is the amount you pay from your pocket before making an insurance claim. The disadvantage of raising your claim is when you make a claim, you will pay more. However, if you are a safe driver, you will overtime save more money by raising your insurance deductible. Look at your previous insurance claim history and make a discreet decision for yourself.

2> Older Auto – Drop comprehensive / collision coverage.
If your car is not worth much, why pay for comprehensive and collision insurance coverage. You can visit a myriad of online sites to find true worth of your car. Additionally your insurance broker might be able to pull up the true worth of your vehicle.

3> Taking advantage of low mileage
Some auto insurance companies will give discounts if you drive less than a certain number of miles or drive less than a certain distance to work.

4> Moving – Consider insurance costs.
If you are considering moving, it will be a good idea to call your insurance agent and get his opinion on the insurance costs in the new city or state.

5> Low profile vehicle
Your vehicle will also determine your overall insurance costs. Some of the cars are favorite for thieves since they fetch a good price. Some cars are more expensive to repair. It makes a lot of sense to do adequate amount of research before you make your auto purchase.

6> Make sure your vehicle is correctly listed by your insurance agent.
Many manufacturers offer somewhat similar model names for vehicles but insurance costs may vary. Additionally 2 or 4 door or the wrong model can impact your auto insurance quote.

7> Have your insurance broker check other insurance company discounts.
A lot of companies will offer discounts if you and your spouse are insured with the same insurance company. Additionally, if you seek home insurance, life insurance, auto insurance from the same insurance company, you will get some discounts. Check with your insurance agent on saving money.

6 Common Property Insurance Mistakes – You Could Lose Everything

Getting the right property and casualty insurance coverage may not rank high on your list of financial priorities. Compared with investment decisions and estate planning issues, questions about the language in your homeowners policy, say, may seem hardly worth considering. Yet the more successful you become, the more complicated your asset-protection needs are likely to be—and the more you have to lose. Suppose, for example, that in addition to your primary residence—a historic home—you also own a house at the beach and a condo in the city. The properties are in three different states. The value of your collection of Abstract Expressionist paintings has grown rapidly. And you just volunteered to serve on the board of directors of a charitable organization.

Almost every aspect of this situation could cost you dearly. Insurance laws may vary widely from state to state, different kinds of property require specialized coverage, and collections of art, antique cars, and other unique items may be difficult to protect fully. Meanwhile, serving on a nonprofit’s board could subject you to additional personal liability.

Safeguarding yourself and your family may mean buying additional coverage, but more insurance isn’t necessarily the solution. Rather, it’s important to review all of your needs, consider specialized policies or policy options, and coordinate your coverage with other aspects of your financial situation. Here are 6 different shortcomings that could prove costly.

1. Leaving gaps in homeowners coverage. Any homeowner needs to review coverage regularly to keep up with rising replacement costs. But insuring different kinds of homes in different locales poses extra challenges. If you buy insurance from more than one carrier, you may face contrasting rules, limitations, and policy renewal dates. For example, the liability limit on the policy for a second home might fall below the minimum on an excess liability policy designed to complement the insurance on your primary home. You could wind up responsible for the difference.

2. Ignoring properties unique characteristics. One perk of affluence is the means to own exceptional homes; one drawback is that they may be difficult to insure adequately. Standard homeowners coverage won’t pay for the materials and craftsmanship needed to rebuild that 19th century showplace you’ve painstakingly restored. Coastal homes may face hurricane damage, while a place in the California mountains could be subject to earthquakes or wildfires. Meanwhile, city co-ops or condos may need policies tailored to their buildings or associations coverage.

3. Under insuring art and collectibles. Standard homeowners policies limit coverage for the losses of antiques, furs, and other valuables. And while you could schedule additional coverage, insuring the real value of a collection of contemporary art or vintage muscle cars likely will require a specialized policy addressing several critical issues. How is the value of the collection determined? (You’ll need a professional appraisal when the policy is designed, with frequent updates as items appreciate.) Will a damaged or destroyed item be paid for with cash, or will you be required to have it replaced or restored? Will additions to your collection automatically be covered?

4. Forgetting to insure household employees. When someone works for you or your family, as a nanny, landscaper, personal assistant, or in another role, you could be liable for medical expenses and lost wages if the worker is hurt on the job. Several states require household employers to pay into a workers compensation fund, while in other states it’s optional, but providing such insurance may be mandatory for ensuring your financial well being. If an employee drives your car, also make sure he or she is included on your policy.

5 Tips to Finding the Right Dental Insurance Company

With so many dental insurance plans to choose from it can be a daunting task to determine which plan is best for your needs or the needs of your employees. And to note, these needs are extremely important, as the dental care should never be overlooked. There are five tips that may help you discover which plan is right for you.

1. Consider Online Comparisons – While a trusted broker can provide you with several options to choose from, an online comparison of companies and dental insurance options can provide a means of insuring the greatest flexibility and price. The available plan types are extremely varied and an online comparison can allow you to see what a plan will and will not be able to do.

2. Price Comparison – It may be easy to make a quick decision based on a simple query, however, if you are working with a broker there may be other options they can present that may decrease the overall cost. Again by using an online comparison, you may be able to view all options and all price ranges. This information can provide information that can help you select a plan that fits your budget.

3. Benefit Comparison – There are several questions that you should consider when purchasing a dental insurance plan. Here are a few samples to consider.

Ÿ Will I be able to select my own dentist?
Ÿ Are there select dates and times that a dentist may restrict visits by individuals that are a part of a particular plan?
Ÿ Do I need insurance with co-pay?

4. Determine Personal Needs and Objectives – No one likes change, but you must ask yourself if certain components in a dental insurance plan are really a need or a want. You should determine what your objective is in obtaining dental insurance. When you understand your motivation and needs you’ll be better able to select a plan.

5. Understanding the Importance of Coverage – Once you understand that a dental insurance plan removes the barrier to oral health and that improved oral health is linked to improved physical health, a dental insurance plan begins to make sense.

Like major medical insurance, dental insurance provides a means of managing the rising cost of dental care. In certain cases premiums for dental insurance is tax deductible.

5 Steps To Cheap Car Insurance Premiums

Car insurance is compulsory, but it’s not necessary to pay more than you have to. A few simple steps combined with some time surfing for competitive car insurance rates really can save you serious money at renewal time.

<b>Step 1 – Cut the Risk and Cut the Cost</b>
The easiest way to cut your car insurance premiums is to cut the risk and accept a higher voluntary excess. An insurer’s standard excess may be £100 but if you meet the first £250 of any claim, you’ll see a reduction in your premium. This is because you’re taking on more of the risk so you get a discount. But it’s a gamble, be aware that you might have to meet the cost of a broken window after an attempted theft or a bill for repairing bodywork damage after a car park crunch.

<b>Step 2 – Security Means Savings</b>
Fitting security devices can also result in cheap car insurance premiums. All major insurers insist on Thatcham rated security equipment, usually a minimum of an alarm. If you live in a high-risk area for car crime, it makes sense to fit extra security. It saves you money when your insurance renewal is due and gives you extra peace of mind.

<b>Step 3 – Annual Mileage, Less Means More in Your Pocket</b>
If your annual mileage is, 5,000 miles or less, ask insurers if they offer discounts for agreed mileage restrictions.

<b>Step 4 – Named Drivers Trick</b>
Adding a named driver to your policy can increase or reduce your premiums depending upon the named drivers age, sex and driving record. Adding a young driver will increase your premiums, particularly with a limited or poor driving record. However, adding a driver over 30 years old with a long and clean driving record can cut premiums, particularly if the named driver is female!

<b>Step 5 – Shop Around and Save Even More</b>
The biggest car insurance savings come from shopping around. There can be massive differences between the lowest and highest car insurance quotes for exactly the same car and driver(s). Start off using good comparitive online quotation sites, take their best quotes and go direct to the cheapest car insurance company for more specific quotes.

So next time your renewal quote arrives, don’t just accept it and give your money away to the insurance company. Use the steps above and get the right cover at the right price.

5 Quickest ways to lower your Life Insurance Premium

Worried about the spiraling life insurance premium? We have enlisted 5 quickest ways to lower your life insurance premium. Well, keep these points in mind but do tread with caution and act prudently.

Shop around and Bargain
Shop, Compare and Bargain! Well, the oldest principle, old as dirt, but still going strong. Once decided on your coverage, don’t just sign up for the first plan that crosses your eye. Ensure that you shop around (internet is a great place to start) and get a feel of the market. This would help you to bargain hard and get the greatest coverage at the lowest possible price.

Opt for Term Life Insurance – The quickest way to lower your life insurance premium is to opt for Term Life Insurance policy instead of a whole-life policy. The idea is to keep insurance as what it is and not turn it into an investment product. Thus, you can get yourself insured under term life policy at the fraction of the cost of a whole-life scheme with typically the same coverage amount. However, do not forget that Term Life Insurance covers you only for a pre-defined period of time.

Keep yourself Fit – Be a low risk proposition for your insurance provider by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping yourself away from addictions such as smoking, drugs and alcohol. A good health record will result in considerable reduction in your life insurance premiums.

Consult an Insurance Advisor – To reduce your life insurance premium, the easiest thing you can do is to consult a good Insurance Advisor. Since the advisor will be pro in the insurance marketplace, he/she would be able to get you to the most affordable deal in line with your coverage requirements. Essentially a good insurance advisor would compare different market rates for you and would also negotiate the best rates on your behalf. Well, internet is a great place to identify an agent.

Start at a young age!
Insure yourself at a young age. Life insurance premium at a young age is only a fraction of what it could be when you are well into your middle-age. The premise is young and healthy people are the lowest risk segment. The low mortality risk is a great incentive for insurance companies to insure you at lower premiums.

5 Quickest ways to lower Your Health Insurance Premium

It is an old saying — “Health is Wealth.” The most important step to maintain this wealth is to get a health insurance policy for you as well as your family. But, sometimes the premiums of such policies can leave you in and out of the budget situation. Can you really do something to bring down your premium? Read on to learn about the 5 quickest ways to lower your health insurance premium.
1. Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Living a healthy life has many benefits. Your healthy lifestyle can easily help you in bringing down the health insurance premium. Exercise regularly, eat healthy diet, avoid smoking and heavy drinking — and your visits to the doctor will surely be minimized. The healthier you are, the lesser you are represented as a risk for the insurance company.
2. Shop for the best available price

One of the best options to keep your premium lowest is to go out and shop around for the health care policy. This will ensure that you find the best available policy that fits in your budget. Do a thorough research before investing in any policy. You can get information from your friends and relatives or even Internet.
3. Take up plans with higher deductibles

Insurance plans with higher deductibles tend to have lower premiums. Typically, deductible is the amount you are expected to pay toward hospital, doctor, and other medical bills. Taking up a plan with a higher deductible may not be a universally applicable idea. If you’re generally healthy and do not fall ill very frequently, then you can take up this plan. This way you can keep your premium at a lower rate and avail basic health care facilities as well. But, if you have a history of some major consistent illness, avoid taking this plan.
4. Take up a policy early in your life

The premium varies to a great extent with the age of the person. Try and get a policy as early in your life as you can. For example, if you buy a policy at the age of 25, then you’ll have to pay lesser premium but, if you go for the same policy at the age of 50 you’ll end up paying a raised premium amount.
5. Get in touch with independent insurance agents

You can take help from independent insurance agents. These agents represent several insurance agencies and can guide you to pick the right kind of health insurance policy and then plan your premiums at an affordable rate. Since independent agents will compete to get the business – so you’ll get serious offers quickly.

5 Quickest ways to lower your Auto Insurance Premium

Are you looking for ways to lower your Auto Insurance Premium? Auto insurance rates can spiral depending upon factors that include your age, past driving record, and other factors such as credit history. However, the trick is to find ways to lower the annual pay-off. We have pulled up for you the 5 quickest ways to lower your Auto Insurance Premium.
Tip 1: Hike up your deductible

Stop trying to get the ‘lowest deductible’, instead go in for a comfortably higher out of pocket payment plan. ‘Deductible’ is the amount that you would pay before your insurance policy kicks in. This is an easy way to reduce your periodic premium amount, however, be warned, in such a case, if something happens to your vehicle – you need to shell out more to cover the initial expenses, prior to going in for a claim.
Tip 2: Park your vehicle in a garage

One of the simplest ways to cut down on insurance premium is to park your vehicle in a garage, personal or commercial establishments. This helps in knocking off, in some cases, close to 20% of the premium. In a garage, the chances of your vehicle getting stolen or sideswiped are considerably lower. From a transaction perspective, parking in a garage could mean a difference between a preferred rate and a standard rate.
Tip 3: Shop around and bargain

Nothing beats the traditional ‘shop around to bargain’. Make sure you at least have three to four price quotes with you, prior to fixing on the service provider. Ensure that you are not shopping for price alone, but the whole deal.
Tip 4: Take a Defensive Driving Course

Not many people are aware of this. By volunteering for a state-approved defensive driving course, you can avail discounts in premium of up to 10%. However, do cross check with your insurer on this.
Tip 5: Downsizing Coverage

Well, downsizing coverage is perhaps the easiest way to lower your auto insurance premium. However, we suggest you to be careful and prudent, while taking this decision. This might save money, but, would also limit coverage.

5 Easy Steps To Lower Your Auto Insurance Quote

It was not too long ago when contracts were made on a handshake and a promise. Individuals were not particularly concerned with things like insurance because they relied upon the goodwill of their neighbor to compensate them for wrongful damage. For a variety of reasons, including an increase in the speed and cost of auto wrecks, auto insurance soon became an important purchase for responsible individuals. Not long after, the federal government mandated that auto insurance be carried, at least minimally, by all car owners. The increase in the need for auto insurance over the last 10 years has led to increases in the complexity of insurance, while at the same time, amplifying the need to be more cost conscious in auto insurance purchases.
Buying auto insurance today requires as much dexterity as buying the automobile itself. It is important to know the factors that an auto insurance company considers when offering quotes. This will allow you, as the consumer, to know what steps you need to take in order to qualify for a lower quote. The five easy steps to a lower insurance quote are:

1. Portray yourself as a ‘safe’ candidate: Insurance companies are interested in managing risk. Consequently they offer drivers who are less likely to get into wrecks or at a minimum into wrecks of less severity, a lower insurance quote.
-Maintain a clean driving record, free of traffic violations or accident claims.

-Install anti-theft devices in your vehicle.

-Attend a Drivers Safety Training program.

-Buy a ‘safe’ vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety together collect information on safety related aspects of different vehicles. Buy an automobile that is officially designated as ‘safe’.

-Park your vehicle in a garage.
2. Show your Credit worthiness: As a risk management entity, insurance companies are also worried about getting paid on time. If you can show yourself to be credit worthy, there is less risk of you not making your payments on time, thus warranting a lower rate.

-Maintain a good credit score and clear up any errors on your credit.

-Cut down on the total number of outstanding credit cards to 2 or 3.
3. Practice Financial Wisdom: The way in which you structure and pay for your policy can lower the risk that an insurance company faces with respect to you as a customer. By taking steps to lower their risk, you receive a lower insurance quote and policy.
-Buy an annual policy instead of a six monthly coverage to get you a lower rate that remains the same for a year.

-Opt for automatic payment deductions from your bank account or your credit card to avoid getting charged for mail payments.

-Increase your deductibles on comprehensive and collision policies to reduce on the rates.

-Get loyalty discounts by buying your home and auto insurance from the same company.
4. Assess your Insurance Needs accurately: This is obvious, the more coverage you get the more it will cost you. Add-ons are killers in the insurance business, strip your policy down to just the minimum of what you need.
-If your vehicle is not used much or you have an old car with little market value, opt for minimum liability alone. It will cost you less.

-After fulfilling the legal mandate on auto insurance, insure according to your needs alone.
5. Other wise things that you can do: There are a number of other considerations that go into your insurance quote. Some of them are not reasonable steps to take, while others you can do with little effort which can translate into substantial savings.

-If your car is used only for a particular purpose, make your agent aware of it, as this will limit the cost.

-Students that make good grades are often eligible for a discount.

-Give up smoking; it can help you get better quotes.

-Change your occupation if you can help. A delivery boy carries a higher risk than a storekeeper.