That’s one reason we consider it such an advantage to represent more than one company as independent agents. It’s very easy for us to shop our customers’ insurance with our many insurance carriers. We don’t offer just one company’s proposal, we have all of them compete for your business. That way we get the best price to protect your family and possessions.
So shopping price is fine, we do it for you as independent agents. The thing is, there are some insurance coverages where you don’t want to scrimp. Sometimes people mistakenly short themselves on protection that they regret later. And as it turns out, some smart policy management can help pay for the financial security you really should have.
So here are three common mistakes people make when it comes to their home and auto insurance. And ways to save money so you know you have the protection you need at the best possible price.
1. Insuring your home for its market value instead of the replacement cost.
The first thing that comes to mind when you’re asked the value of your home is probably the real estate value. You may know what homes have sold for on your street and so you guess at your house’s value based on that.
But insurance doesn’t pay to buy you a new home, we pay to rebuild your current one. Maybe even from the ground up in the case of a total loss, such as a catastrophic fire. So the insurance amount on your building should be enough to rebuild you house, not the fair market value.
Now, the replacement cost amount will probably be much higher than the market value. So to help pay for the proper coverage, ask us for the discount generated by a $1,000 deductible. The savings here can be substantial relative to the amount you’d pay in a loss.
Plus, make sure you’re getting all of the smoke detector/alarm credits, burglary alarm credits, new home discounts, and more to help lower that annual premium.
2. Insuring your car for low or minimum limits of liability.
We often hear from people who have called insurance companies for auto insurance quotes that they’ve seen advertised on TV (talking geckos and a gal named Flow). They tell us they’re offered “full coverage,” which means liability and physical damage on the car. But the liability limits quoted are often very low.
We recommend Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability limits of at least $100,000/300,000/100,000. People are surprised at how little it costs to increase their protection from the lower limits. And you can make up the difference by increasing the deductible on your physical damage coverage (damage to your car) to $1,000.
3. Not protecting your contents and liability when you rent.
This is especially true with young people and a first apartment. They haven’t accumulated a lot of stuff yet, so they don’t think suffering a loss would be a big deal. But what they don’t realize is that if they added up even the relatively little they had, the replacement cost if they had to go out and buy it all new might be more than they had bargained for.
Plus, a renter’s insurance policy also covers their personal liability. So when friends gather at their apartment and one of them trips and falls, you’re covered if they file a lawsuit.
And you might save on your car insurance policy if you place your renter’s insurance in the same company.
Actually, that package discount goes for Renter’s Insurance and regular Homeowners Insurance. Place your auto and home/renters together in one company and enjoy a nice package discount.
So market value on your home instead of replacement cost, low auto insurance limits, and no renters insurance are the three common mistakes we find with clients here in the Mohawk Valley.
If you get good advice from your agent, you should be able to fix the mistakes while enjoying some substantial savings at the same time.
Give us a call anytime to review you coverages for protection and savings.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.