5 tips to help you find the best and most affordable insurance

Louisianans seem to understand the need to keep on top of shifting policies and costs of home, life and car insurance.  Insurance prices and policy options fluctuate continuously. According to an article from ValuePenguin, insurance companies update policies each year or so in order to “tighten their profit margins.” Because of that, consumers who purchase the best policy for them at the time, might find they’re no longer receiving the same value years later.

That trend is evident in the rising average costs of car insurance in the United States. According to the 2019 State of Auto Insurance published by Zebra, the average American is now paying an annual car insurance premium of $1,470. That’s an increase of 23 percent in the U.S. since 2011.

In a recent credit union trade association survey featuring more than 2,000 respondents, 67 percent indicated they review their insurance policies at least once a year.

That’s a sound habit. According to the ValuePenguin article, the average consumer can save $417 each year by reviewing policies and shopping around for auto insurance. Shopping for homeowners insurance each year can save consumers anywhere from $363 to $2,182.

According to the article, one-third of Americans have never re-shopped for a new policy for their homeowners or car insurance. Nearly 50% of policyholders who have searched around for a new policy haven’t done so in the past year.

Shopping around isn’t all about finding the lowest price – it’s about finding the best value. It’s important consumers understand the nature of their current coverage as well as what kind of coverage would serve their evolving needs.

According to a LendEDU survey of 1,000 Americans, 83 percent said they thought their life insurance policy was worth the cost – but 33 percent admitted they did not fully understand how their policy works. Similar patterns emerge in homeowner’s insurance.

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Tips to Effectively Shop for Insurance

Use technology to compare

In the digital age, there’s no reason to accept the first insurance quote from the first company that comes your way. Take some time to compare the value different companies and policies can offer by using comparison sites. The Balance suggests using NetQuote, CoverHound or Compare.com.

Make sure you land on a refutable company

No matter what you’re insuring, chances are you want to leave it in hands you can trust. Be sure you fully understand your insurance company’s history and reputation. For an extra layer of protection, The Balance suggests utilizing insurance rating organizations, including Weiss Ratings, Standard & Poors, Fitch Ratings and Demotech, Inc.

Ask about any discounts

Sometimes, discounts on insurance policies are “hidden,” meaning they’re not readily found on a website and that an agent won’t tell you about them unprovoked. Ask your insurance agent if you are getting all the available discounts you’re qualified for.

Ask your agent for a best offer

If the “final price” your agent offers on a policy isn’t quite good enough, speak up. Often, your agent may be able to go back to the insurance company and procure a lower rate.

Re-evaluate your coverage consistently

As a rule, it’s a good idea to shop around for insurance at least once a year. But it’s also beneficial to re-evaluate your different insurance policies any time you experience a significant life event, including a marriage, a divorce, a birth, a major purchase and/or a move.

 

Learn more about how a credit union can help you prepare for a fantastic future by visiting aSmarterChoice.org to find a credit union near you.

Rachel Morris