Home and auto insurance premiums tend to go up each year. The good news is that it is easy to get free quotes. You can often shop for both policies together and take advantage of a multi-policy discount. Insurance premiums are more negotiable than most people think, and with some work, you can save a lot of money. I recently went through this and saved over $1,000 a year (across three cars and four properties).
Gather Information Before You Start
The first step is to gather your information. The information you should have readily available is your current insurance declaration page for each of your policy.
- Auto Insurance: You will likely need the year, make and model of your vehicle as well as the VIN number and current mileage.
- Home Insurance: You might need a bit more information such as square footage, building materials, and last replacement year for major items and systems.
While not all websites will require detailed information, expect to have it available if you plan on actually purchasing the policy. The sites can compare companies, policies, and quotes — in the end, it will be up to you to decide which company offers the best rates for the coverage you need.
Compare Insurance Quotes
There are dozens of websites where you can compare insurance quotes and policies, making your initial search much easier than you might imagine. Depending on what type of insurance you are shopping for, these websites may vary.
Here are the basic steps that you can take:
- You can start directly with insurers that offer online quotes like GEICO, Esurance, and Progressive.
- You can next visit online sites like InsuranceQuotes, and get several insurance agents to call you with their quotes.
- You can call insurance companies individually.
- You can call an insurance broker that can shop multiple companies.
- If you are a Costco member, also check out their Home and Auto Insurance program.
In the end, you’ll want to do all five and spend some time to find the best deal.
Here are a few things that you want to consider because they can save you quite a bit of money.
- Multi-Policy Discount – Insure your home and auto with the same insurer to take advantage of a multi-policy discount.
- Employee Discount – Check with your employer (or school, if you’re a student). You may be eligible for a group discount through an organization that you’re associated with. You’ll have to ask the insurer for this since they don’t normally give this up for free.
- High Deductible – Go with the highest deductible that you can afford to pay out of pocket.
- Glass Coverage – Depending on where you live, the auto glass coverage (if available) might be a good idea to have.
- Policy Options – Cut out any frills like a free rental and towing can save you some money.
- Discounts – Ask about every discount you can think of. For example:
- Home – Look at discounts for a home security system, building material (e.g., brick houses are considered flame resistance), distance to the firehouse, flood zone, etc.
- Auto – Look at discounts for defensive driving, safety features, alarm system, security features, day-time running light, etc.
Lastly, be willing to get the insurance companies to compete with each other for both the rate and coverage. You’ll be surprised.
Pinyo Bhulipongsanon is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance and a Realtor® licensed in Virginia and Maryland. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, financial literacy author, and Realtor®.