This is one in an occasional series of articles discussing money saving tips.
Yesterday we looked at seven ways to save money, so today we’ll take a look at five additional ways you can keep more cash in your wallet all of which have to do with insurance.
Auto Insurance — Car insurance premiums continue to rise, although some would argue not as rapidly as in the past. Still, most consumers aren’t sure what coverage they have or need. Basically, all insured drivers need a minimal amount of coverage as outlined by the state. That amount can vary from state to state but it usually includes liability, property damage, comprehensive and uninsured motorist coverage. Newer cars also need collision coverage.
I’m not about to tell you what sort of coverage you should have for your vehicle, rather I will share with you what sort of discounts you should look for when seeking insurance. Discounts are available for people with spotless driving records, who are members of specific professional organizations, for certain safety features (anti-lock brakes, for example), senior drivers and for several other categories. Always ask your insurer to find those discounts you are entitled to receiving.
Health Insurance — Health insurance premiums continue to surge, making coverage unaffordable for millions of Americans. However, your state may allow you to join a group plan even if you are a sole proprietor with no employees. Visit your state’s insurance site to learn what options are available to you. Consider taking a higher deductible in order to save money; explore health co-ops as another way to preserve cash.
Dental Insurance — As someone who has been self-employed for nearly seven years, I must tell you that when it comes to dental coverage you’ll need a lot of luck to find insurance. Sure, there are “dental assurance” programs out there which supposedly offer discounts on dental work, but don’t expect your dentist to accept this sort of scheme. Instead, you may do better going to your university’s dental school to get your teeths cleaned and work done, not a bad option for those who simply have no other choice when it comes to dental coverage.
Homeowners Insurance — If you own a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home or any other property, you need insurance. Right off the bat you can save money on your insurance by using the same company to cover both your home and your cars. In addition, you can cut your homeowners insurance costs by raising your deductible, declaring safety and security features such as deadbolts, stay with an insurer for the long haul to gain loyalty discounts, seek group coverage through your professional organization and only get enough insurance that you need, i.e. insure your home not your land.
Life Insurance — Some day you are going to die and when you do, will your loved ones have enough money to live on after you are gone? There are a number of different insurance policies out there but term-life is the most cost effective and probably all that you need. This coverage is reasonably priced and offers protection to your family for a certain number of years. Figure out what your family lives to need on in the event you should die and have that policy in effect until your youngest child is grown and able to fend for him or herself.
Buy from a financially strong company, compare prices online and be aware that some of the money you pay is in sales commissions. Keep up with your policy; these days some financial institutions are under duress. This means you could end up being insured by someone else later on, a minor detail but something you should be aware of.
Naturally, your insurance coverage may need to be expanded to cover other needs including owning a boat, flood, earthquake, vision, pet and long term care insurance. Insurance is all about insuring risk, therefore if you think you have something that needs to be ensured, chances are someone will be willing to insure it. Just don’t pay any more for your coverage than necessary!
Photo Credit: Duchesssa
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