|Insurance Buying Tips #1: Shop smart|
|When looking for insurance, your No. 1 priority should be to find adequate coverage. Price is important, but you’ll want to determine what kind of coverage you need first. Then you can fit that coverage into your budget and determine which carrier can provide you with the most comprehensive policy for your situation. You may be tempted to choose insurance with the lowest price tag, but if you don’t have enough coverage (or the right kind of coverage), you will see less financial benefit when it comes time to file a claim.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #2: Look for discounts|
|Once you evaluate your coverage needs, factor in your budget and find ways to save. Ask your insurance agent if there are any discounts on your coverage. Often, carriers offer discounts for things like paying your policy in full, staying auto accident-free or, if you’re in school, getting good grades. You also can save money by “bundling” multiple policies, such as purchasing a home and auto policy from the same carrier.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #3: Fill in the gaps|
|An average policy will cover the basics, but you may need to add extra coverage to meet your unique needs. For instance, you may have items like electronics or a nice piece of jewelry that would be financially difficult to replace, even with the assistance of your average renters or homeowners policy. You may want to add additional coverage for these items.|
Your teenager can't wait for next month when she turns 16. She's already dreaming about buying her first car. Your son has been practicing for his test, trying to get the parallel parking perfect. All you can think about is how much more your monthly payments for car insurance are going to be. However, it is possible to have a teen driver in the house and have affordable insurance at the same time.
Add the Teen to Your Policy
Instead of purchasing a separate policy for your new driver, add them as an additional driver to your current policy. It's often cheaper than making them the primary driver on a separate policy. Before you decide, ask your agent to compare costs on both options.
Choose the Right Car
If your teen is buying a vehicle, make sure you consider premiums before you go shopping. Avoid sports cars and other models with high premiums on their own. Look for a model with a good safety record, which will help reduce your premiums.
Require Good Grades
Many car insurance providers give discounts for students with good grades. Make it a requirement for your teen. Let them know they must make a certain grade and keep it up to continue to be able to drive. Find out what grades qualify for the discounts. Most policyholders accept A and B grades.
|Insurance Buying Tips #4: Purchase life insurance—you aren’t too young|
|Life insurance is essential, no matter how young or old you are. And for millennials, buying now may be a smart move because it’s cheaper to buy a life insurance policy when you’re young and healthy. This kind of insurance can help your family cover unexpected costs in your absence, including student loan debt or a mortgage, in addition to end-of-life costs. And if you have kids, a life insurance policy can also support their education or childcare expenses. Additionally, every millennial should consider long-term disability coverage, which helps you stay afloat financially if an accident happens and you become disabled and unable to work.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #5: Talk to an independent agent|
|An independent insurance agent is an essential resource when purchasing insurance—especially if this is your first time. An independent agent works with multiple different carriers, which is different from captive agents who can only sell insurance from the carrier they work for. Working with an independent agent can help make sure that you are getting the best coverage, for the best price. You’ll also benefit from independent agents’ insurance knowledge; they know how to talk you through your options and actually explain what each policy includes. An independent agent will make sure all of your assets are covered, help you find discounts or other ways to save, and be a valuable resource as your life changes and your insurance needs change, too.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #6: Only buy insurance to maintain your existing standard of living|
|You don’t need insurance for events that won’t severely strain your finances. Start with your basic needs (home, auto, business), then work your way to include other needs (cyber, liability). You can always obtain coverage later for something if you change your mind. You can minimize your risk and maximize your savings by buying insurance that won’t cause you to break the bank.|
Review Your Current Coverage
Consider raising your deductible to help offset the additional cost. At the same time, you may want to consider increasing your coverage to protect the family from lawsuits. Another way to save money is by limiting coverage to liability if your teen owns an older vehicle which is paid for. Talk to a car insurance agent to decide on a policy that fits your budget and your needs.
Focus on Safe Driving
Explain to your teen the importance of safe driving not only to avoid accidents, but to keep insurance costs down. Make sure you set a good example by the way you drive. Set explicit rules about what is acceptable behavior and what isn't. If your teen disobeys the rules, you need to set some sort of punishment, such as taking away driving privileges.
Find out if your vehicle contains features which allow you to set controls. Some newer models allow you to limit driving speed, radio volume and other settings when someone else is driving. This helps reduce the risk of an accident.
You can also make your teen responsible for part of the premiums. If they have a part-time job, they can help pay for the added cost. This step ensures they are more aware of how their driving impacts the cost of car insurance and how decisions they make can have long-term results.
Having a teen driver doesn't have to be an unavoidable disaster. You can use this opportunity to help them take a step towards independence and adult living while they are still under your roof. You can also find ways of making insurance affordable for your budget.
|Insurance Buying Tips #7: Ask your insurance provider what the policy doesn’t cover|
|Every insurance policy has perils that are not covered by your policy. These perils are referred to as “exclusions”, and every policy has them. Ask your insurance provider to explain the exclusions in your policy to avoid discovering what they are once you incur damages or a loss.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #8: Consider bundling several policies with one insurance carrier|
|here may be value in bundling several policies with one insurance carrier. If you’re looking to insure multiple vehicles or obtain multiple types of business coverage (e.g., liability, property, cyber), then you may want to consider obtaining coverages under one insurance provider who carries multiple products, and who may be able to offer you multi-policy discounts or loyalty programs.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #9: Review your insurance needs on a yearly basis|
|As your needs evolve, so will your insurance policy. Maybe you’ve acquired a new vehicle since obtaining auto insurance for your primary vehicle, or started operating your business out of your home, or experienced a cyber-attack during the year… Whatever the change(s), you’ll want to make sure you’re covered for any new risk exposures. Talk to your insurance provider to stay on top of your insurance needs.|