Insurance Is Our Business - NATBIC.org
It seems that every year Americans have more decisions to make about insurance. In a litigious environment and in an economic environment where repair and medical costs are rising beyond comprehension, insurance is a necessary protection that hopefully you will never need to use. However, having the right coverage when insurance is needed can ensure your assets are protected and you receive proper customer service at minimal expense.
Every individual and every business in the United States should review their insurance coverage every year. Businesses and individuals need to know their risk exposure and do their best to protect their interests. The world of insurance can be confusing and there is always the temptation to be penny-wise and pound-foolish but if you follow the shopping strategy in this article, you will make informed and prudent insurance policy purchases.
Knowing Where You Stand
Every year, the value of your assets changes. Some will usually increase and others might decrease. In order to protect your assets and reduce your liabilities systematically, it is important to know the shape of your balance sheet.
You must also know how much you can afford to spend on your total insurance coverage. If you have acquired new assets that require additional coverage, these will increase the amount you spent last year. If you have eliminated insured assets, the cost of your overall coverage might decrease.
Take an inventory of all the insurance you purchased last year and compare that coverage to your new needs. When you identify all the types of coverage you need, you can then find ways to achieve some significant savings by a number of strategies.
In any case, insurance is an annual expense. Individuals and businesses must budget for funding their coverage. If you plan properly and capture every savings to which you are entitled, the chances are good that you can lower your annual insurance premiums and still have sufficient coverage.
Types of Insurance Coverage
There are literally thousands of types of insurance. While life insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance, disability and workers compensation and, of course medical insurance, are standard, there are many other valuable insurance products.
Life Insurance Statistics - According to a report from SNL Financial Data, net income in the life insurance industry achieved its highest volume min 12 years at $40.9 billion.
Homeowners Insurance – A December 2013 study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners indicates that the cost of homeowner’s insurance rose 7.6 percent in 2011. The cost of renter’s insurance climbed 0.5 percent the same year.
Auto Insurance Trends – The average cost of auto insurance in the US dropped to $797 in 2011 according to information posted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. AAA reported that the average cost to own and operate a sedan in the US in 2013 was down 2.7% to $8,876 per year.
Savvy buyers are cutting costs through prudent purchasing practices and comparative shopping.
Comparison Shopping for Savings
The Internet has proven to be a wonderful comparison shopping tool and purchasing portal for all types of insurance. But, before you can comparison shop productively, you must be familiar with the products, their needs and any discounts that can be captured. For example, by combining different types of coverage with on carrier, consumer can capture pretty substantial reductions.
Another tool to lower your policy coverage cost is to pay cash up front. You can reasonably expect to recover a 10-12 percent discount by paying cash at the start of your coverage for the entire annual premium. With the relatively low cost of today’s interest, some consumers are borrowing the funds to purchase paid-in-fill insurance.
Another popular way to reduce the cost of insurance is to increase your deductible. This may give you more exposure but you can lower your cost with this tactic.
There are also things you can do to reduce your homeowners, business and auto insurance. The best way to determine what improvements, like a home security system or anti-burglar auto alarm or safe driving courses, is to meet with your agent or online provider and map out a strategy.
The Competitive Purchase
It is important to do your research and insurance shopping well in advance of the purchase date. Allow enough time to seriously research and learn about each type coverage you will need.
You will then nee to determine how much exposure you can manage, how long the term of your coverage will last and set your reasonable budget. Knowing this information is a leg up on most insurance consumers who tend to renew without considering all the options.
As a rule, consumers benefit from procuring coverage from highly rated insurance carriers. Do not underestimate the value of a A+ rating. The largest and best insurance companies in the US are participants in online insurance sites. You can realize savings by purchasing online or you can use the information and competitive bids you receive for coverage to negotiate with a brick and mortar provider.
In any case, online insurance sites now play an important part in insurance purchasing. Do your homework and research online before purchasing your insurance from next year.