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It seems like year after year, auto, home and other insurance premiums keep going up. How can you fight back and lower your insurance premiums?  There are a few steps to follow to try and lower the pain.

Insurance companies will usually increase your rates every year unless you are proactive and fight back. Recent increases have surpassed any increases over the last 15 to 20 years. I have seen insurance rates jump 20 to 30% in the last 18 months, even when there were no claims, accidents or other concerning issues arise.

Why? Homes and cars are becoming more expensive. When there is a claim, it is more expensive to rebuild or fix them up. Additionally, it is taking longer for auto repair shops to get parts for vehicles, there is a higher labor cost component, and certain housing materials are much higher. It can take upwards of 90 days for a car or truck to be repaired, all while the insurance company is paying for the rental car.

So what can you do?

Check for comparisons on rates on your renewals and any differences should be taken back to your original company to see if they can match the price and coverage. If they cannot, it is probably worth changing insurance companies.

Raise your deductible. If you calculated the difference on premium from a $250 deductible to a $500 or even a $1,000 deductible, you could save yourself some decent money sometimes. Basically, the difference in deductible for a $250 and a $1,000 is $750. But the cost for the lower deductible is quite one-sided. You could easily pay $300 for that $750 of extra coverage. Is it worth it? Probably not.

Adjust your coverage on home and auto. If you have an average older vehicle, (something over 8 to 10 years old), collision coverage is probably not worth the extra costs because the value of a vehicle has depreciated so much, you are not going to get much out of it. Lok at the entire coverage and see what makes sense and what does not and eliminate those unnecessary items.

For homes, review your entire coverage and know what coverage you would have for different situations. Ask questions and you make elect to drop some of the coverages.

Raise your FICO® Credit Scores. Remember credit plays a huge factor in an insurance premium. If you have raised your scores $50 or more, it is worth checking with your insurance agent to see if you can qualify for a lower premium of $30, $50, or even a $100 or more . It is worth it.

Finally, don’t file a claim unless you really have to. For homes, you could face substantially higher claims because insurance companies know which homes have had claims, and those that do not. They will charge more for those that have a recent history of any claims, or in some instances, not offer any coverage at all.

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