While you’re dashing through the snow to take care of all your holiday errands, don’t forget the wrapping paper, a wreath for the front door, and a review of your insurance.
Yup. You read that correctly.
Taking just a few minutes out of your busy holiday schedule to review your home and auto insurance with an independent agent could save you hundreds of dollars next year. In the words of Cousin Eddie in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, “That’s the gift that keeps on givin’ the whole year!”
Adding hundreds of dollars to your Christmas budget sounds pretty nice, right? So why aren’t we as smart at insurance shopping as we are at holiday shopping? Maybe it’s because it’s hard to care about something as boring as insurance when all you want to do is deck the halls. Well, insurance becomes a whole lot more exciting when you see how simple it is to save more of your money! Let’s take a closer look.
Boring? Maybe. Simple? Absolutely!
Checking your insurance can be faster and easier than figuring out what gift to buy for your office Secret Santa. Christin H. worked with an agent who brought the paperwork for her new policies to her home. Not only did he save her time and hassle, he also saved her more than $800 on her home and auto coverage.
“I want to kick myself for not doing this sooner!” Christin said.
Like Christin, you’ve probably heard us talk about how much money an insurance review can save you, but you never followed through to find out for yourself. There’s no better time than the holidays to save some cash. Take it from Christin—stop putting it off!
’Tis the Season for Premium Hikes
This time of year, insurance companies often send out policy renewal notices—and unlike the flurry of Christmas cards filling your mailbox, those notices may not bring any holiday cheer. Susan D. and her husband were happy with their auto insurance until their premium jumped 20%. They consulted an independent insurance agent who saved them $440 a year on a new policy.
Independent agents can save you money because they aren’t tied to one insurance company. They’re able to offer you the best options from several companies so you can choose the best deal for your family. As Erica A. and her husband discovered, independent agents can find deals even when you can’t.
“For years, my husband and I regularly checked other insurance companies to find a cheaper rate,” Erica said. “They always came within a couple of dollars of each other, so we never switched. But today I contacted an agent, and within a few hours I had a quote for better insurance at a third of the cost!”
When Your Old Policy Doesn’t Fit
This is also the time of year when we reflect on the progress we’ve made over the last 12 months. For some folks like Lora C.’s family, that means a new financial situation. After they completed Baby Step 3 by fully funding their emergency fund, they could afford a higher deductible on their auto insurance.
Their agent found a policy that provided the same coverage at a higher deductible. “Our family is saving $1,146 a year with the new policy!” Laura said.
Crazy, right? That’s just one example of how a new policy could put cash back in your budget. Other life changes that call for an insurance evaluation include:
- Marriage or additions to the family
- Home or car purchase
- New job or increased income
What to Look for When Reviewing Your Insurance Policies
Okay, let’s say life changed and one of your insurance policies no longer fits. How do you know if you can save some moolah? Start by brushing up on what your policy says about these items:
- Deductible: If you’re like Lora C. and have a fully funded emergency fund of 3–6 months of expenses, take a look at your deductible amount and see if your emergency fund can cover more. This can also work if you recently got a raise. If you increase your deductible, you can usually find a policy that offers a lower premium and save a ton more per year!
- Exclusions: You could do the same thing with the exclusions category on your policy. Let’s take the full emergency fund example again. If you have enough money to cover a windshield replacement, you can exclude that in your auto insurance policy and save some money on the premium.
Suppose this little insurance checkup saves you $75 per month. Get that money auto-deducted to a Christmas savings account for next year’s shopping budget. Boom. Christmas is in the bag. Just add tissue paper.
Start the New Year With Savings
If you want to get rid of debt and build savings in the new year, get started with SmartDollar, a free benefit for any household in the SPS Family of Companies. Click here to learn more about SmartDollar and get started today!
***This article was reprinted with permission from Thrive partner Ramsey Solutions blog***