Friday, November 5, 2010

Insurance...

Ahhh dreaded insurance! Isn't it curious how much insurance and taxes have in common? There are as many kinds of insurance as taxes and they are all necessary and we rarely "see" our benefit from paying them. Of course health insurance has been in the news constantly  recently and we all know we are required to have it...but it can be mind boggling trying to get the best deal. Auto insurance is also required, even if it is an "old jalopy(sp?)", of which I own.

This is a case when you really do need to "hire" a professional, they're FREE don't cha know. Take the time to sit down with insurance agents (and yes I mean more than one...remember they're FREE). They can look at your policies and compare apples to apples. The ads you see on TV, especially for health care, make it sound like you can get great health care of pennies. This is typically for ONLY hospitalization and normally have very high deductibles ($10,000) in some cases. And while this can be all you need, it would protect you from losing your home for example, in the case of an emergency. But before you sit down with an agent you need to know what is important to you, what you can live without and how much you can afford to spend. Some questions to think about; do you need a prescription card, is your doctor on the plan, what about co-pays for doctor visits and are the services you normally need "covered" under the plan?

The same is true of auto insurance. Auto and home insurance is one of those things that we sign up for and keep the same company for decades and in some cases, generations. If your parents had Allstate, chances are you do to, and so will your children. I had had the same insurance company for house and cars forever! I asked on different occasions, especially after adding my teenage daughter, if we were getting the best rate possible...my agent assured me we were. And he was right, but only for the companies he was 'able to quote for'. I term I now understand. Some agents are only contracted to offer for 2 or 3 companies while others can offer from almost any.

So here is my insurance story. It seemed like every time I turned around my car insurance went up. Finally got tired of it and made some phone calls, did some online quotes and went in and sat down with an agent. I had my declaration page showing exactly what coverage I currently had. An hour later I walked out with a policy that was identical with one big exception...is was $60 cheaper...A MONTH! That's $720 a year folks...that's Christmas! It was worth the time it took...hands down. Another little tidbit, let them take it out of your account automatically (especially if you have a real live human you can deal with face to face), a lot of time this equates to another discount.

I also had them review my homeowners insurance. And to their credit, they called me a week later and were unable to even match my policy. The reason I say 'to their credit', they were honest with me. Kudos to them!

3 comments:

Kymberly Foster Seabolt said...

Sing it girl!

You can even stay with your "tried and true agent" in most cases.

I make it a point to call them every once in a while - or when they try and raise rates - and say "you can do better."

And they do!

Many times a new company has come under their wing that can beat my existing policy.

As you note, I also appreciate when they tell me they can't beat my current policy. It lets me know I'm getting the best deal for that date and time.

Amy Johnson said...

Thanks for all the info. Wow! Congrats on getting a better insurance deal! I only wish I had the time and patience to 'hunt around'.

Darlene (SCS:akronstamperdpk) said...

Well done my dear!! Thanks so much for the reminder on this "insurance" thing ... Mark has been talking about doing some "checking around" and this is just the "kick in the pants" we need to "Get R Done"! What a wonderful, informative posting! GREAT JOB!!