San Diego Financial Literacy Center

Insurance and Personal Finances

Do you want to find ways to streamline your budget and cut costs? Well maybe you should look at your insurance…

When paying back credit card debt or trying to save money, personal budgets can be stretched to their limits. If cutting back on small expenses is not an option or did not have an impact, you must look elsewhere to save money. However, the information below applies to everyone regardless if they have debt or not. After all, who doesn’t like to save money?

Insurance is a way to limit the risk of an accident or unexpected expense causing a financial hardship, and many times having insurance is required by law or creditors. Who you buy insurance from is entirely up to you. Here are some tips that may help you save money on the insurance products that you already have.

We’ve heard the ads that a simple phone call can save you on your auto insurance, but taking time out of your day to review options can save you on all of your insurance needs!

“It’s in our human nature to want to pay less for things,” says Chase Peckham, Director of Community Outreach at the San Diego Financial Literacy Center
(SDFLC). “We go out and look for deals, we go online and look for specials, and we go to sales.”

Why then should we not shop around for one of our biggest expenses? Therefore, first, take an hour or two out of your day and shop around for cheaper car insurance. Give three to five different companies a call and start a bidding war for them to earn your business. When it comes to auto insurance, the number of choices can be intimidating, but remember, multiple options are a benefit to us. Companies have to compete for your business, and they do this through prices and plentiful options.

When asking for quotes, make sure to consider all of the discounts, like being a good driver, having multiples vehicles, whether or not you are a good student, etc. Always ask after they have given you the initial quote. The representative quoting you will add as many discounts as possible since they want to give you the best deal possible to try and acquire your business. Discounts may not be drastic, but taking that savings and increasing a credit card payment by even a small amount every month can add up to big savings on finance charges.

Before switching insurance providers, be sure to consider using the same company to cover all of your insurance needs. Most companies offer great deals if you insure your home, car, and any other valuables on the same plan. Having many policies with the same company will lead to the largest total savings, so paying a little more on your car insurance can lead to added savings on your homeowners insurance.

*The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recommends that you ask your potential insurer about the following discounts:

1. Good Driving Record: Many auto insurers offer discounts to drivers who have not made a claim, haven’t been in an accident, or haven’t received a traffic ticket in three years.

2. Good Grades: Young drivers can get discounts for maintaining a B average or better in school.

3. Driver’s Education: Some insurance companies offer a discount for drivers who complete a driver’s education or driver’s safety course.

4. Multiple Policies: Some insurance companies offer discounts if you have two or more policies with them.

5. Safety Equipment: Equipment, such as antilock brakes and antitheft devices, can get you a discount.

6. Longtime Policy Holder: If you have kept your policy with an insurer for several years, ask about a discounted premium.

7. Higher Deductibles: A higher deductible usually means lower premiums.



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