It’s not difficult to both love and hate insurance. Few of us enjoy paying for it every month, but we are relieved to have it if something bad happens. That is definitely the case for both home and business insurance.
Buying either can be a costly endeavor, but the good news is that you don’t have to be stuck with high monthly premiums. Instead, by shopping around, working with the insurance company, and living in places with fewer risks, you can make the payments much more manageable. Let’s look at some easy tips to keep this monthly bill under control.
1. Shop Around
The best way to find an affordable monthly payment is by shopping around at insurance companies in your area. As you go from company to company, provide all of the details of your home and business and ask for a quote. Check out at least 4-5 reputable insurance companies and compare prices until you find one that fits within your budget.
It is important to remember that it isn’t only about finding the cheapest premium but also making sure that your home and/or business is fully covered. Make sure you are in the right frame of mind when you go shopping. If you are unsure where to start, ask similar businesses or neighbors about the companies they use and start there.
2. Be Smart About Your Insurance
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential companies, speak to an agent and ask about ways to reduce your monthly premium.
First, ask about any applicable discounts. Many insurance companies offer a discount when you purchase multiple products and bundle them together. One of the easiest ways to do this is by combining your home and/or business insurance with your auto policy.
Another surefire way to lower your monthly premium is to raise your deductible, which is the cost you would pay in the case of an incident, such as if you or an employee were injured, a storm took out your business, or any other unfortunate event does occur. By raising your deductible, you are assuming more of the risk in the event of a claim, and that puts the insurance company more at ease, so they charge you less each month.
3. Avoid Risks
If you do decide to raise your deductible or you want to avoid having to use your insurance in the first place, then you need to mitigate risk whenever possible. Many insurance companies will lower your monthly rate over time if you don’t file a claim, so this is a long-term strategy to lower the bill. Plus, if your insurance company sees that you are taking all possible precautions to avoid trouble, they could consider lowering your monthly rate.
These precautions don’t have to be extensive and can be as simple as placing your valuables in a safe and away from the windows or keeping your business clean so a worker doesn’t get hurt. You or your team could also take a defensive driving course, which will give you a quick discount on the auto portion of your bill and also keep your drivers safe so they avoid claims in the future.
Protecting your home or business is especially important because the damage can be very extensive, and even without insurance in the equation, you need a place to live and work. So, if you live in an area known for flooding, consider raising your home to mitigate the danger. Smoke and fire damage are other common problems, so verify that your smoke detectors and sprinklers are maintained, have a fire extinguisher on the premises, and ensure that you don’t have any shorts in your electrical components.
4. Move to a Safer Area
If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, then there is only so much you can do to try to reduce your premiums. Areas subject to flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes can cost more due to the increased chance that a disaster could occur. Insurance specifically for flooding and earthquakes can cost a bit more, but you can follow the same step of having a higher deductible to keep it a bit more manageable.
However, if you want to save money and the frustration associated with natural disasters, then it may be a smart idea to move to a state where issues aren’t as common. Find a few places where you would want to live and research the frequency of disasters. It can be daunting to buy a new house, especially if you are doing it by yourself, but you can make it happen by cleaning up your credit score, building your savings, and looking at loans for special circumstances like VA or HUD loans.
5. Pay More Up Front
If you have the funds available at the time, then you can save money in the long run by paying your entire annual premium up front. Often, the insurance companies will charge you a bit more every month due to administrative costs and the price to keep up with your policy. While the savings won’t likely be astronomical, it could put a nice cushion in your budget.
In the end, while it is essential that you have home and/or business insurance, doing so doesn’t have to break the bank. By being smart about your insurance needs and investigating your options, you can find the proper coverage at the best price.