How shopping helped me save over $500 on insurance

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A great way to simplify your personal finances as well as save you some money is to do a little shopping. I am not talking about going to the mall to shop for clothes. I am talking about just picking up the phone to do some comparison shopping.

I recently received my annual renewal for my homeowner’s insurance. Upon reviewing the renewal notice, I was a little shocked at the cost of my renewal. What even shocked me more was the fact that my coverage was not increased. I had been insured with this company the past four years and I never had a claim. So I called my agent to ask why such a large increase in premium. They stated due to recent natural disasters their cost has increased so everyone was seeing a significant increase in their premium. With that said, I decided it was time to do a little shopping just to see if other companies had increased their premiums also. If that was the case I was ok but I wanted to see before I renewed my policy.

I called three different companies to provide me quotes based on my existing coverage. All three companies came back with quotes lower than my new premium. So I decided it was worth my time to review these quotes in more detail as well as review the company as well. I did not want to change insurance providers just to lower my premium but receive less than satisfactory customer service or the insurance company not be there when you need them. After that review I was able to eliminate one of the three companies. This left me with two companies with very similar quotes. However, one company decide to provide me with a quote based on having my car insurance with them as well. When they applied the car insurance it lower the homeowner’s policy even lower and was able to reduce my existing car insurance also. So by combining my home owner’s insurance with my car insurance, I was able to save a little over $800 annually. Not only did I save but I also have more homeowner’s coverage than I had previously.

With a few phone calls and a little research, I started this year off with a $800 savings. Its a great way to start off the new year.

Here are some steps to help you do the same thing but I can not guarantee you will save as much:

  1. Question your rate increase?  Ask the reason for the increase.
  2. Call other insurance companies for quotes on a similar coverage
  3. Perform due diligence on the companies you receive quotes from
  4. Ask for quotes on homeowner’s and car insurance you may receive an additional savings.
  5. Don’t make decision based solely on price make sure coverage is same or better.  You don’t want to save by having less coverage.

Take Action

When you receive your next renewal notice in the mail, do a little insurance shopping before you send your payment.

Not only did I save some money but I also simplified my finances by consolidating my insurance carrier.

If you would like more tips to help you simplify your personal finances make sure you subscribe to simple financial lifestyle email newsletter and subscribe to RSS feed for blog updates.

Simple Personal Financial Tip – Disaster Plan

In my post Are your Personal Finances Ready for the Unexpected? I discuss the important of being prepared.  We all need to be prepared for those unexpected natural disasters. You never know when it will strike but you should be prepare in case it does strike. We all say it will never happen to us but trust me it can happen. Having lived through a natural disaster, I know what it is like.  Its not easy but having your personal finances and emergency plan in place helps relieve some stress.

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Here are five things you will need to help you prepare financial for a natural disaster:

Emergency Fund – Make sure your emergency fund is properly funded in case of disaster.  Do you currently have sufficient funds in your emergency fund to cover the cost of your insurance deductibles or any other expense no cover by your insurance.

Home owner’s Insurance – Do you have proper homeowner’s insurance on your home?  Does your current homeowner’s policy cover natural disaster?  You want to make sure you are properly covered in case of disaster.

Disaster Insurance – Do you currently have flood, earthquake, fire, tornado, or hurricane in place in case of disaster?  If you have this insurance already in place is the coverage adequate?   Review your home owner’s and disaster insurance to make these two policies will coverage any damage to your home.

Financial Documents – Create a file to keep copies of all your important documents such as insurance policies, medical documents, and any other documents you may need in emergency.  You should keep these in file cabinet instead on your computer.  You will probably not have electricity or internet access.

Financial Contact List – Create a disaster contact file.  This should include numbers to your insurance company, mortgage company, and debt holders.  This list should also be keep with the financial documents so everything you will need is in one location.

Action Step

Here are three action steps:

  1. Take some time this week to review your emergency fund to make sure its properly funded with enough funds to cover your insurance deductibles and other out of pocket expenses you can anticipate.
  2. Review your home owner and disaster insurance coverage to make sure you are properly covered.  If not, call your insurance provider to increase your coverage.
  3. Create your disaster plan file folder by gathering all the necessary documents and numbers that you will need in a disaster situation.

Remember take one step at a time to simplify your personal finances.

If you would like more tips to help you simplify your personal finances make sure you subscribe to simple financial lifestyle email newsletter and subscribe to RSS feed for blog updates.

10 Simple Ways to Save without cutting coupons

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Is saving more money one of your financial goals. Saving is key to helping you live a simple financial lifestyle. You want to have save for retirement, emergency fund or any other reason. But many times we find it difficult to save. We all have a difficult time finding ways to save money. You probably have thought maybe if I cut coupons I can save some money. Yes, you can save money by cutting coupons but do you want to spend time cutting and sorting to save money. I know I do not enjoy cutting coupons. Most of the time if I have a coupon I forget to use it or if I do remember its expired. So I really do not want to waste my time cutting coupon when I don’t even use them.

Here are 10 ways to save as well as simplify your personal financial lifestyle without cutting coupons:

Set a yearly savings goals. In order to save you should have an annual savings goal.  This way you have something to shot for.  Instead of randomly saying I want to save without having a specific amount to save.  An easy way to do this is to set a monthly goal which will help you reach your annual goal.

Establish a budget to prevent you from overspending. If you have a budget it enables you to save because you are monitoring your spending.

Automate your savings to help you save. If you automate your saving you will not have to remember at the beginning or end of the month to set a side a specific amount.  It will already be done without you having to do anything but set the amount you want to save monthly.

Review your cell phone, cable and utility bills. Look to see if you can save by eliminating services that you do not use or look for less expensive plan that fits your needs.  Do you really use all of those minutes in your plan or do you even watch all of the channels with your cable service.

Review your monthly banking charges. Look to see if you are being charged monthly service fees on your banking or have unnecessary non-bank ATM charges.  Eliminating these simple charges will help you save.

Review your current mortgage payment. Look to see if you should possibly refinance your mortgage to lower your monthly payment to save money.  Here are seven things to consider before you consider refinancing. Consider a tax free exchange when selling a property.

Review your credit card interest rate. Look to see what interest rate your credit cards are charging you.  See if its possible to have your interest rate lowered to save.  Also check to see if you are charged an annual fee.  Lowering the interest rate and eliminating any fees will help you save.

Eliminate debt. Paying off your credit cards and any other debt you have will eliminate interest charges as well as free up your monthly cashflow.

Review your monthly memberships and subscriptions.  Are you paying for monthly memberships you are not even using or have monthly subscriptions you can eliminate to help you save.
Review your insurance premiums. Look at your auto and home insurance to see if you can reduce the annual cost not the coverage to save this year.

How do you plan to save more without cutting coupons?

Action Step
Review this list of saving tips and look to see what tips you can apply to save.   If you have not set a saving goal or put a budget in place do this now.  These two simple tips will go a long way in helping you reach your savings goal.

Remember take one step at a time to begin to live a simple financial lifestyle.