Want Lower Premiums? Look to Your Own Agent

When searching for ways to lower insurance premiums, you don’t have to look very far. By going over your policy and goals with your agent, you can find ways to save on your current policy. Here are three ways to get lower rates on your current policy.

Cut extra fees

Ask if you’re paying extra for such conveniences as monthly installment fees. If you pay your premium monthly, virtually every insurance carrier will charge you an installment fee of up to $5 a month.

By paying your premiums in full, or as much as possible over a couple of months, installment fees will be lower or removed completely (when paid in full). Setting up an electronic funds transfer (EFT) from your bank account can reduce or eliminate fees as well.

Some carriers also provide “paperless discounts,” easily obtained by agreeing to have all your policy documents sent electronically.

Improve your credit

Credit ratings are significant factors when calculating premiums. Some companies have become so strict with this they’ll sometimes refuse to write a policy for someone with poor credit, and existing policyholders may see premium increases at renewal or even policy cancellation notices for a worsened credit rating. The takeaway: improving your credit can help lower your rate.

Avoid making small claims

You don’t necessarily have to make a claim for minor damage. For example, if your rear-view mirror breaks, instead of filing a comprehensive claim, you could absorb the cost yourself. Most claims, regardless of size, will affect premiums for three to five years, and claims history plays a big role in premium calculations.

As well, once you’ve paid the deductible, you may end up paying more in higher premiums than by covering it yourself.

Go For the Win-Win

By working with your current insurance professional, you can avoid the disruption and frustration of looking around and reduce your premiums – a win-win.