As you strive to find the best rates for your homeowners and auto coverage, you might think shopping around is the way to manage affordability. However, costs are increasing for everything–groceries, gasoline, and other household expenses–and so are costs for insurers that impact your premiums. Before changing your policy or carrier, consider some factors that can affect your rates and learn how an annual insurance checkup can position you to get the coverage right for you.
Premiums can rise because of more frequent claims and higher claims costs. Even if you have yet to personally experience a claim or insurable event, nationwide and regional trends can impact costs. For example, rising property values and more frequent disasters can cause rates for homeowners to climb. Increasing frequency and severity of accidents, thefts, damage, and other risks can influence auto rates. Price surges caused by labor and supply chain shocks can inflate property repair and replacement costs, affecting homeowners and auto premiums.
However, as risks and costs grow, the industry is intensifying its focus on predicting and preventing future damage and losses. Policyholders can do their part by being aware of the risks specific to their property and region and taking preventive measures when possible. Keeping an open dialogue with your insurance professional can further enhance your efforts to protect your investment cost-effectively.
Ask your current provider for a discount. There are two reasons for this strategy. Many companies value long-time customer relationships. Starting a new conversation with your insurer can help you tap into more affordable options. You might receive discounts for combining auto and home or renters with the same carrier. You can also receive discounts for paying in full or using autopay. Additionally, if you need to adjust your coverage due to changes in your household, lifestyle, or property, you may be eligible for discounts or other policy options from your current insurer.
The answer depends on a number of factors specific to your coverage needs and the coverage you choose. Some policyholders switch companies for lower premiums only to discover the value they receive isn’t on par with what they need, negating their savings. (Remember, value goes beyond the price of policy to include customer service and the financial strength and stability of the insurer.) Others save money in the short-term but later face higher premiums, as early as the following year.
Your credit history is only one of many factors that determine individual premiums. However, most home and car insurers view the way you manage your finances as an important clue as to how big of a risk you might be to cover. The weight of your credit history can vary among insurers, and many will develop their own credit-based insurance score for you. However, in general, maintaining excellent credit history can unlock lower rates for homeowners and auto coverage, whereas having a problematic credit history can be met with higher rate offers or reduced coverage options.
Telematics refers to the technology insurers can use to fine tune your risk profile and tailor car rates based on your driving habits. Policies involving telematics are also referred to as usage-based insurance (UBI) because it captures and evaluates how you use your car. The factors tracked can vary, but can include driving habits, mileage, weather and road conditions, and even when you drive.
Participating in a telematics program is voluntary, and whether these might be a suitable option for lowering your premiums depends on your driving and which driver behavior your insurer monitors. Be sure you understand the program. You’ll also want to be familiar with the amount of privacy you may be asked to exchange for (potentially) lower premiums.
The solution begins with understanding how your coverage can work to serve your financial goals. Insurance can be an integral part of your budget as you strive to protect your assets, but you might be considering how to manage affordability. Here is a list of tips to guide you in performing your annual insurance checkup.
Triple-I maintains a respected and long-standing commitment to policyholder education and awareness, crucial to getting the most from your insurance. Please see our extensive library of resources, including: