We’re almost a week into the New Year! There’s new members in the gym. There’s customers at the bank getting their finances in order. Some of your friends are cooking more, or spending more time with family and children.
What are your resolutions? For many Americans, it’s a broad one: Save Money.
There’s lots of ways to save money. We’d suggest one that might not quickly come to mind. It’s to make a phone call. To whom? Not the bank! Give your insurance agent a call!
Insurance is often a big-ticket item once a year or each month–it’s important, and you don’t want to skimp on it! But you don’t want to overpay, either. Here’s what to ask your insurance agent to make sure you save money on your insurance policies:
1. Ask your agent for a “policy review”.
These are magic words. Why? By asking for a policy review, you’re asking your insurance professional for two important things:
- Make sure I have the coverage I need and want.
- Make sure I’m not overpaying!
There are two great times to ask for a policy review: right now, at the beginning of a new year, and when your policy is renewing. But if you have multiple policies that begin at different times in the year, right now is as good a times as any to review all of your policies!
Work with your agent to make sure that any changes during the year (upgrading a home, new opportunities for discounts, paying off a mortgage, acquiring new assets or selling any) are clear. We want to make sure you are correctly covered, and at the right price!
Even if your policy isn’t going to renew for a while, if the agent suspects there will be a substantial increase in your premium, they can flag your policy to re-quote a month before your renewal is due, so that changing insurance carriers is easier at renewal time!
2. Ask if your agency is a broker (Winchester is!).
Why is this important? Insurance brokers are able to write a policy with any insurance company (carrier) they are appointed with. Other insurance companies only write one company’s policies, like Farmers or State Farm insurance.
Here at Winchester & Associates, being a broker agency, we have several carriers that we can write different policies with. We can get a price on a homeowners insurance policy with Safeco, CSE, Kemper, Mercury, Chubb, and other carriers, just to name a few. This means we can present different options on policies to you, and find the best price for the coverage that you want!
Using an insurance brokers gives you options–so you get the coverage you want, for a lower price. So if your insurance agency isn’t a broker agency, consider shopping around for a new agency that is.
Some insurance brokers charge a fee to quote your insurance with many carriers, or charge a “broker fee” on your policy. But we don’t do that; all of our quotes are free, and we never have and never will charge broker fees. It’s our way of saying, “Thank you for your business!” to our clients!
3. Request to “bundle” your policies.
“Bundling” is an insurance term referring to placing your home and auto insurance, or renters and auto insurance, together with the same insurance carrier. Many insurance companies reward customers who place two or more policies with them by giving them a discount on both of the policies they hold.
So if you have your renter’s insurance with Safeco and your car insurance with AAA, for example, consider pricing out your car insurance with Safeco. Bundling your policies is the single easiest way to reduce your insurance costs. Plus, you only have one company to keep track of your policies with, so you save time, too!
4. Made improvements to your house? Got a new furry friend or valuable present for Christmas? Added a security system? Tell your agent!
It’s important to make sure that your property is adequately covered. So if you added a deck or remodeled a kitchen, be sure to let your insurance agent know, so that you are sure the value of your home is adequately covered in your insurance policy.
Having a new pet, especially a dog, affects your insurance. Some companies consider some breeds a risk and may ask you to sign a document that states any liability claims from the dog’s actions aren’t covered in your policy. So if you added a Fido to the family, let your insurance agent know! Mention other animals, even livestock, too.
Works of art, jewelry, computers, and recreational equipment (like jetskis, golf clubs, etc.) may require unique insurance coverage or policies. If you got a big-ticket item for Christmas, ask if you need more protection!
Some improvements, like installing a security system, can bring you substantial discounts on your insurance! So let your agent know if you have done anything that makes your home safer (security system, pool gate, fence, etc.).
5. Ask your agent about any discounts that are available for you.
Did you graduate in the spring with a 4-year degree? Did you begin a career as a civil servant? Did your children have a great semester in the fall, and now you qualify for a good student discount?
All of these situations, depending on your policy, can help you qualify for discounts. Call us to see if you have any discounts we can apply!
6. Ask, “When can I sit down with you?”, or, “When is your next Open House?”.
Get to know your insurance agency and the insurance professionals that work there. Why? There’s no greater resource to you when you have questions or a claim. They’re experts at navigating what can be a complicated industry, and they can explain the subtleties of your policy or your coverage to you.
At Winchesters & Associates, we want our clients to know their coverage and have peace of mind, which is why we love to answer questions about insurance and your policy. We strive to offer the best insurance solution for your needs, and there’s no substitute to knowing your client and their insurance needs well!
So come visit us! We’re near downtown Murrieta at 41856 Ivy Street, Suite 110. Of course, we’re always happy to take a call or get in contact via email, so don’t hesitate to reach out at (951) 296-6678 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to know general information about Winchester & Associates or insurance, you can follow us on social media, where we often update clients on what’s going on and post articles about insurance. Connect with us on our website, Facebook, or Twitter!
If you contact your insurance agent and ask these 6 questions, there’s a high possibility that you can save on your insurance premium, and know that you’re adequately covered by your policies–so you can check this one off your resolution list in full confidence!
Once again, we’re always happy to hear from you!
So to all our clients, and to you, dear reader, all of us at Winchester & Associates Insurance Services wish you a New Year full of hope and happiness!