If you’ve ever shopped around for insurance, you’ve likely been asked if you want to bundle your policies—in other words, combine your home or renters, auto and life insurance policies with the same carrier. Although you have the option to shop around individually for each policy, it almost always makes sense to have the same carrier cover as many of your policies as possible.
Benefits of Bundling
- The discount—Most policyholders bundle their policies because of the promise of a discount. The amount varies by provider but can generally range between 5-25 percent.
- The option of a single deductible—With bundled policies, your deductible may be cheaper in the event of a claim that affects multiple policies. For example, if your home and auto policies are with two separate carriers, and a hailstorm damages your home and your car, you’re responsible for paying both your home and auto deductibles before receiving payment. But if you bundle your policies, your provider may offer you the option to pay only the higher of the two deductibles.
- Less chance of being dropped—If you’ve made claims or gotten tickets, having your policies bundled with one provider can decrease the chance of them dropping you.
When it Doesn’t Pay to Bundle
It isn’t always better to bundle your policies with one insurance carrier. Here’s when it may be better to split them up:
- If you have tickets or past claims that make your auto insurance expensive—In this case, it may be cheaper overall to buy each policy from separate providers.
- When premiums increase—Bundling discourages people from price shopping, which makes it easier for providers to increase their rates. Most assume that you won’t go through the effort of shopping around when your policies renew.
- If policies aren’t technically bundled—Some carriers may insure you with an affiliated company. Although you may get a discount with that company, you’ll lose the convenience of paying your premium with one familiar provider.
A Few Tips to Consider
Although discounts are the main reason people bundle their insurance policies, never assume that bundling is the cheapest option. Your needs and circumstances will dictate whether you should combine your policies with one carrier. Consider the following tips:
- Shop for new coverage when your policies renew, and ask for the price of the individual premiums as well as the price of the bundled premium so you can decide whether it is worth it. Just make sure you compare the same coverage when shopping for quotes from each carrier.
- Ask if the provider uses a third-party insurance company. Remember that you may save money but lose the convenience of dealing with one provider and a combined bill.
- Ask an independent insurance agent to get prices from multiple companies so you don’t have to do the legwork. An agent that is loyal to a particular carrier may be able to offer discounts that you can’t get alone.
With multiple factors contributing to the price of your insurance premiums, it is important to shop around in order to get the best rate for your insurance needs. Feel free to contact Scurich Insurance to determine if bundling is right for you and help you take advantage of all available discounts.
Your commercial insurance policies protect your business, making your insurance agent an essential resource for your company. While you may not have your agent on speed dial, you will want to contact him or her in several circumstances.
Verify Coverage Details
You can purchase a variety of different policies for your business, and need to understand your exact coverage. Contact your insurance agent to verify which types of coverage you have and your policy limits.
Update Your Policy
When you add a vehicle to your commercial fleet, sell a piece of equipment, move to a new location, or make other changes to your business operations, call your insurance agent. These updates could affect your insurance needs, policy and premium.
File A Claim
If you need to file an insurance claim, contact your agent immediately. You may call the agent’s office, send an email or text, or fill out an online claim form on the company’s website. Remember to submit pictures, too, as you get your claim process started.
Ask Questions About a Claim
After you file an insurance claim, you may have questions about the adjuster’s findings or the settlement timeline. Feel free to contact your agent and ask any questions you may have.
Discuss Your Bill
Whether you pay your insurance bill annually, semi-annually or quarterly, you may inspect your bill and realize that you have questions about one of the charges or fees. Most insurance agents remain transparent about billing, and they can explain anything you don’t understand about your insurance charges, fees or payment date.
Pay Your Bill
If you experience any issues when you pay your insurance bill, call your agent. You may also ask for a change in the policy due date or a change in payment frequency.
Initiate an Annual Review
You should receive a notice a few weeks before your commercial insurance policy’s renewal date. Ask your agent for a meeting to renew your coverage. During this meeting, discuss details about your business and the types of insurance you need, including coverage limits and cost, as you verify that you have the right insurance for your needs.
Request a New Quote
Based on your insurance policies you purchase and your loyalty to your commercial insurance company, you may qualify for discounts or a more competitive rate. Your agent can rework your coverage limits, check for discounts and give you a new quote that meets your budget.
Throughout the year, you may wish to contact your commercial insurance agent for several reasons. Always feel free to reach out and discuss your needs as you purchase the right coverage for your business.
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act addresses dangers related to pool and spa drains, which can cause severe injury or death by trapping swimmers under the water when blocked. The Act is designed to improve pool and spa safety through new federal requirements for drain covers and anti-entrapment systems as well as by establishing educational programs.
The Act contains the following federal standards for swimming pool and spa drain covers:
Your business should follow all pool and spa safety requirements to lower risk.
- All covers manufactured, distributed or sold in the United States must conform to the specified entrapment protection standards.
- All must be equipped with anti-entrapment devices or systems that comply with the same federal standards.
- Each public pool and spa in the country with a single main drain (other than an unblockable drain) must be equipped with at least one device or system designed to prevent entrapment, such as a safety vacuum release system, suction limiting vent system or gravity drainage system, that meets appropriate performance standards.
The requirements contained in the act are intended to be minimum standards; many states have more rigorous safety rules. Violations of the act’s requirements will be treated as violations of the Consumer Product Safety Act.
State Swimming Pool Safety Grant Program
A grant program exists that provides financial assistance to states that have minimum safety requirements for pools and spas that meet the standards contained in the Act. The state statute must require pool and spa owners to:
- Enclose all outdoor, residential pools and spas with barriers to prevent small children from gaining unsupervised access to the area
- Equip all pools and spas with anti-entrapment devices
- Equip all pools and spas built after Dec. 19, 2008 with more than one drain, one or more unblockable drains, or no main drain with anti-entrapment devices
- Equip every swimming pool and spa that has a main drain with a drain cover that meets standards
In addition to imposing these safety requirements, the state law must require periodic notification to owners about compliance with the entrapment protection standards. States can use the grants for the following purposes:
- Hiring and training enforcement personnel for implementation and enforcement of the state laws
- Educating pool construction, installation and service companies about the safety standards
- Educating pool owners, pool operators and other members of the public about the safety standards
The act also established an education program to inform the public of methods to prevent drowning and entrapment in swimming pools and spas. The educational materials are designed for pool owners and operators to promote safety.
Please contact Scurich Insurance at (831) 661-5697 with any questions regarding risks and liabilities associated with your business’ pool or spa.