Insurance. It can be one of your biggest household expenses. You want to ensure you are sufficiently insured, but you don’t want to be overcharged.
When you shop for insurance of any kind it pays to get several quotes using the same coverage requirements so that you can get the most accurate idea of the worth a your policy. Of course, you want to select a policy that offers the best mix of price and coverage.
These simple tips could help you meet the insurance needs for your home, your car and for travel, without burning a hole in your hip pocket.
Go online to save
Often, online insurance companies offer savings if you obtain a quote and then proceed to purchase your insurance policy online. This could net you a cash back offer (say, $50-$100) or it could be a flat percentage discount.
Going online also allows you to compare insurers in the most efficient way. There are even websites around that allow you to compare insurance providers’ policies based on the coverage parameters you provide.
Think twice about add-ons
You will be offered several additional options when you get your car insurance. While some are worth adding, others are not.
Four add-ons you should investigate when purchasing car insurance are gap insurance that protects you in the event that you owe more money on the vehicle than the insurance company will pay; roadside assistance consisting of mobile repair and towing services if your car breaks down on the road; personal injury protection that covers a variety of expenses in the event you have an accident; and uninsured motorist coverage should you be involved in an accident with an uninsured driver that is not your fault.
Before you commit to these extras you should ask yourself how much each of these additional components would cost if they were not included in your insurance policy. This will allow you to assess if the extra cost in your policy is worth it.
Drive less, save more
There are policies that offer cheaper premiums for those who don’t drive more than 10,000km per year. If you think that’s you, you might want to track how many kilometres your are driving and whether you could benefit from such a policy.
Know how much the policy will pay
Most insurance policies are ‘sum insured’, which means they will pay claims up to the amount indicated on your policy. If you have a large number for the sum insured then you can expect to pay a higher premium — sounds obvious — but what many people don’t know is that if you double the amount you are insured for that doesn’t necessarily mean your premium doubles too. With that in mind you want to check the amount of cover you currently have. You want to ensure that there is enough insured so that in the event you have to replace the entire home and its contents, you can do so.
Additional safety features
Do you have a security system, locks on your windows, and/or fire alarms installed? Some insurers will give you a discount if you take action to protect your property against burglary or destruction. You could also have a reduction to your premium if you live in an area prone to natural disasters, such as cyclones or bushfires, and have taken adequate steps to protect your house. Be sure to talk to your insurer about what’s on offer to get the best deal.
Portables cover can cost you
Portables cover is basically insurance for items you own that you specify in your policy must be covered outside of your home. An example of this could be losing your wedding ring at the beach or your mobile phone at the shopping centre.
Sometimes this type of cover can be quite costly to have. You’ll want to have a long, hard think about the items you want to cover, what their value is and whether you really need to portable cover.
As soon as you have booked your holiday, get a quote from your travel agent on travel insurance and then shop around. Yes, travel agents do a great job in removing the hassle of searching for flights and accommodation, and perhaps the service also includes the addition of travel insurance, but there’s a chance you might be paying a higher premium because the agent’s commission for selling you travel insurance is included. Shopping around simply allows you to see how the agent’s insurance option compares to other options. If you find a better deal you can use it as leverage for a discount or you can take it out directly instead — just be sure to decline the agent’s offer so that you aren’t paying for two policies.
A better deal for seniors
It’s a fact, we can’t escape getting older, but even though you think that the time for letting your hair down (or what’s left of it) and travelling has arrived some insurers don’t agree. Some insurers will charge you more just for being over a certain age. You want to keep an eye out for policies that will charge you more as you get older, have a higher excess because you are over a certain age, or place restrictions on your travel — such as medical assessments, reduced travel time, a requirement for travel insurance to be purchased six months or more in advance.
Pre-existing medical conditions
As you get older your travel insurance needs will change because your health needs change. When you are selecting a travel insurance policy you need to find out exactly what medical conditions are covered. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, be sure you read the product disclosure statements to make sure you are covered. If your condition isn’t included, talk to your insurer but be aware it could come at a higher premium.
Most important, be upfront with insurers about any pre-existing medical conditions. If you aren’t sure about your condition and whether you should disclose it, give them a call.