June is Effective Communications Month, a good opportunity to talk about an area of communication that is important to us, and even more important to you. When you meet with your insurance agent, or with a new agent giving you a quote, it is infinitely important that updated and complete information is provided about your home, auto, place of business, or about yourself depending on what line of insurance you are there to discuss.
Providing that updated and complete information can have a notable effect on the quote that you receive and therefore the insurance premium you end up paying. Sometimes people are hesitant to be completely forthcoming with their agent, for fear that it will cost them, but it is often the other way around. A thorough examination of your situation can save you money.
- Defensive driving classes – Taking defensive driving classes is one of the most common ways people lower their auto insurance rates. Surprisingly people don’t always remember to let their agent know that they have done it.
- New alarm system in your home – Often people get new alarm systems solely because it will lower their insurance costs. But sometimes you get them because it is just time for an upgrade. You may not even think about telling your agent, but you really ought to.
- New roof – Yes, insureds have been known to make major renovations on their home up to and including a new roof and not tell their current agent. If that new roof makes your home less susceptible to hail damage, you could save!
- Lapse in coverage history – There very well may be reasons why you appear to have a lapse which, when explained, will help keep your rates down. For example, if at some point after getting your own health insurance, you went back on your parents’ policy, tell your agent so it will not appear like a lapse.
- Usage of your vehicle – Driving less frequently recently due to change in employment or personal habits? If your current rate is based on you having previously driven your car for business, Monday through Friday, and you now either do not commute or you carpool, that may have an impact. Know, though, that there is usually a miles threshold you have to be under before you see a discount.
- Change in employment status – A change in profession can affect your rates. If you recently went from a delivery job wherein you used your vehicle to a new desk-oriented job then you may receive a discount for decreasing the amount of time you spend on the road.
- Education level and grades – Have you earned a diploma or a new college degree since your last renewal or review with your agent? Just going from a high school diploma to an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree can take a good chunk out of your insurance. In the same way if you are earning high grades in school you can potentially also be earning yourself lower insurance rates. Don’t be modest! Mention it to your agent.
- Military service – Some companies will give a discount for active duty military personnel, veterans and members of the National Guard. Active duty may be able to get a discount for a vehicle in storage or kept on a military base while they are deployed. Some insurance companies allow you to temporarily cancel the policy and re-instate it when you are back home with no penalty for the lapse in coverage.
- Having your insurance quoted or requoted in the first place – It is often as simple as that. Many people just leave their insurance the way it is year after year never thinking to check on the savings they may be entitled to.
So before getting a quote, be sure you do personal inventory of any such changes that could work in your favor. We will go over it with you, but it is always good to be pro-active. Always be willing and prepared to ask questions about your policy. Sometimes in doing so, helpful information comes up that otherwise would not have.
Our agents at Horihan Insurance look forward to having that conversation with you, whether you are a new or existing customer. Give your local Horihan office a call today and we’ll get you started toward the most complete and affordable insurance package we can get you.