Tips for cutting insurance costs

February 1, 2010 3:22:54 PM PST
If you haven't comparison-shopped for new homeowner's and auto insurance policies in a while, you could find that new policies will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

"There's too much change in an individual's life and there's too much change in the world," says Len Garza of Premier Group Insurance. "You really have to review a policy every three to five years, and five years might be stretching it. "

Garza works with many different companies to help his clients get their best insurance deals.

And he says knowing where to look for discounts is important.

Homeowners, may qualify for a discount if their home was built with newer, fire-resistant materials. Discounts can also apply if you have a centrally-monitored fire or burglar alarm, or if you're over 50.

You may also save by using the same company for both your home-owners and your auto.

"A lot of the companies give extra credits," Garza says of "bundling" policies. "They call it a package deal."

To save on car insurance, consider raising your deductibles. And find out if the company offers discounts for insuring more than one car, for cars that are kept in garages, or cars with alarm systems.

But, if you've filed a lot of claims over the past few years, you might not want to switch companies.

" If there's claims history within three years, five years, some companies go that long, they tend to raise the rates on that," Garza explains.

It's also not a good time to shop around if your credit's taken a hit.

"If your credit's very, very good, you get the lowest rate" Garza says. "If your credit's in the middle, you get a so-so rate. If your credit's low, you'll get the highest rate."

For more tips on saving money on insurance, try these links:
Edmonds.com article
WalletPop article
Consumer Reports article


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