The following are some very opportune moments to review your auto insurance policy:
1 - WHEN YOUR RATES SEEM TOO HIGH - If your rates are higher than those around you and it can't be explained by a poor driving record or other factors, you are probably overpaying. Check with and INDEPENDENT AGENT to review your policy and look at alternatives.
2 - REACHING AGE 55 - Many auto insurance companies begin to offer discounts to drivers age 55 and older, but you have to be proactive!
3 - JUST MARRIED - Although insurance is likely the last thing on your mind during this time, most insurance companies offer discounts when you insure more than one car on the same policy, so its a perfect time to compare quotes and find the best deal.
4 - PURCHASING A NEW CAR - Insurance rates can vary substantially between different vehicles, so it is important to find this out early on to avoid an unpleasant surprise later! It could end up being one of the factors in your car buying decision.
5 - MOVING - Insurance rates can vary even from one suburb to the next, and vary substantially between rural and urban communities. If you are moving to a rural area, be sure to check it out because you will likely be eligible for a significant rate decrease!
The first pitfall in auto insurance is the most obvious… HIGH RATES!
Rates are calculated by many factors including age, marital status, occupation, kind of car, credit score, driving record, etc. The basic rates you see are usually more expensive than the rates you could get by sharing more of your information with a qualified agent. Please, consult with your agent or contact your carrier for info. Remember informed consumers never overspend!
Another pitfall is insufficient coverage. Every State has a minimum requirement coverage that should be sufficient but isn’t always the case. Especially if you own substantial assets or property, consult with your accountant to determine what level of coverage will be sufficient for you.
Also, if your auto insurance does not fully cover damages in an accident in which you are at fault, you will be responsible for property damage repairs or medical expenses of injured parties.
The most important thing is to review your policy terms periodically. This will allow you to review your life circumstances as they change throughout the year. Many times you will find that your old policy will no longer be appropriate for your current needs and situation.
Sometimes you don't think about what you really need until you don't have it.
This last week has been CRAZY in Utah! We experienced HIGH winds that caused thousands of people to go without power for a day, and many now are contacting their insurance companies for roof, window, and garage repair. There is such a high volume of people that need home repairs that many people are finding it hard to find a repair man that will actually call them back.
Thankfully my house is fine, but my rental needs a new roof, fence, and the deck is not attached to the house anymore. I honestly never thought I would see winds this strong in Utah!!!! I even saw a trampoline up in a tree.
Anyway, after pondering the events I realized that I need more lanterns for my house and a generator would be nice when the power goes out. I also double checked my property and casualty insurance. Thankfully I have a low deductible for my rental property, but I feel bad for my brother that needs to fork out $500 at Christmas time to cover his deductible.
When I was talking to him he was actually up beat about it. He explained that he was up beat because he realized his situation could be a lot worse! His house doesn't need that much repair, and he could be like his neighbors! I questioned him... "Your neighbors... what happened to them?!?!?!" He replied, "Well... my neighbor is a very successful dentist, and he thought that his house would never need a ton of repairs." Utah doesn't have weird, crazy, winds all the time... and never like the ones we had. "He decided on a high deductible p&c insurance in order to save on the everyday costs of insurance." I said, "Oh NO! What did he have to pay?" My brother replied, "Twenty-Two Thousand dollars right before Christmas." My heart sank. My thoughts were, "Oh, that poor family.... That was stupid!"
That family is in a pinch right now, but they have been smarter in other financial areas so they are able to recover. Would you be able to? What is your deductible for your P&C Insurance? Do you have P&C Insurance? If you are renting... do you have renters insurance?
Our Week 8 of our 52 Weeks to Prosperous Living Program talks about Property and Casualty Insurance. This week is intended to help you realize what your deductibles are and compare with other companies to make sure you are getting the best price and are covered sufficiently.
After pondering this family, I though it would be a good time to share our Property and Casualty Insurance Workbook from Week 8. It is attached below. Hopefully, the workbook will help you determine if you are covered sufficiently and paying what you should. I don't like hearing sad stories like my brother's neighbors... I don't think anyone does... and my hope is to eliminate them!
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season.
Co-Owner 52 Weeks to Prosperous Living