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.
Are you confident that your loved ones would have financial security if you were to die today? If not, consider purchasing life insurance. It pays a death benefit to your loved ones when you die, and it provides peace of mind and financial security to your survivors. Smoking, however, can limit your ability to afford life insurance.
Life Insurance is Based on Risk
Insurance companies offer a variety of policies, but they reserve the right to adjust rates based on risk factors. If you smoke or engage in other behavior that’s considered high-risk or unhealthy, expect to pay more for coverage.
Why is Smoking a Risk?
Whether you’ve smoked for years or recently picked up the habit, life insurance companies see you as high-risk. They base their perspective on two factors.
- Smoking increases potentially fatal health issues like cancer, heart disease, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
- Smoking is the leading cause of premature death in the U.S. How Much More do Smokers Pay?
Every policy is different, but on average, smokers can expect to pay around 15 percent more for life insurance. So, if a non-smoker with a similar demographic and health pays $50 per month, a smoker could pay as much as $57.50.
Is There an Affordable Solution?
Before you give up on finding affordable life insurance, shop around. Your insurance agent can assist you in finding the most affordable life insurance premium.
Additionally, remember that insurance companies factor in how long you’ve smoked and how much you smoke. While their preferred rates may not go into effect until you’ve been nicotine-free for 12 or more months, you can start maintaining a smoke-free lifestyle now by enrolling in a smoking cessation program.
You may also find affordable premium rates if you bundle your life insurance with other policies like health, home and auto.
Talk to your insurance agent today. Find the most affordable life insurance policy for you, and give your loved ones financial peace of mind.
Playing outside isn’t just for kids. It has tons of benefits for adults. One of the unexpected ones may be that it can lead to lower life insurance rates. It’s not always easy to make yourself go outside and exercise, but knowing that the effort can keep you healthy and save you money can be enough for you get off the couch. The more fun you have exercising, the better the results will be.
Benefits of Exercise
Exercise burns calories and improves your health. Since life insurance rates are based on your health risk factors, regular physical activity can help lower your life insurance rates. These are some of the benefits of exercise.
* Lower risk for heart disease and stroke.
* Lower blood pressure.
* Lower blood sugar levels and risk for diabetes.
* Stronger bones.
* Better mood.
* Clearer mind.
Make a Commitment to Exercise
Set aside some time to exercise most days of the week. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes, but even 10 minutes is better than nothing. The trick is to find some activities that you love, and any activity that is fun and gets you moving is a good choice. These are some options.
* Walk, jog, bike, swim laps, or hike.
* Join a local sports league. On the days your league doesn’t meet, train for your sport by doing drills, lifting weights, and getting in some cardio.
* Take Zumba, boot camp or kickboxing in the park.
* Go surfing.
Take Advantage of Your Kids!
If you have children, they’re probably a significant reason why you have life insurance in the first place. Why not use them to help you get in shape? They’ll keep you laughing while you exercise.
* Play Tag, Follow the Leader, or Hide-and-Seek with younger children.
* Play catch, shoot hoops, or kick a soccer ball with older children.
* Walk around the field at your children’s sports practices, and run to chase any stray balls.
Everyone can find an activity that they love as long as they keep searching for it. Keeping yourself in shape will give you more energy and can keep your life insurance rates down.
Some type of health exam is a requirement before you can take out many life insurance policies. The result of this exam can have a significant impact on your rates, and even on whether you qualify for a particular policy at all. Following these simple tips can help ensure that your health exam goes smoothly.
# 1: Eat a Healthy Diet
As soon as you know you are going to be taking the exam, start doing your best to eat a healthy diet. Many people feel that if their diet has been less than perfect in the past, there is no point in improving it before a health exam — but nothing could be further from the truth! In particular, try to minimize or eliminate your intake of fried, salty or sugary foods, as well as sodas and alcoholic beverages. Instead, eat a balanced, nutritious diet containing plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbs and lean proteins.
# 2: Stop Smoking
Never smoking at all, or at least stopping permanently, is of course the best course of action for your long-term health. However, if you do smoke, you can improve your exam results simply by not smoking for at least 24 hours prior to the exam; this will help improve your blood work, blood pressure and heart rate.
# 3: Cut Back on Physical Exertion
Normally, of course, physical exercise is very good for your health. However, for two to three days before the exam, avoid hard physical work and exercise. Such exertion can elevate the protein in your urine and be erroneously flagged as a kidney issue.
# 4: Rest
Go to bed early the night before your exam. Fatigue can negatively impact certain components in your blood, giving the appearance of a chronic health problem you do not actually have.
# 5: Avoid Caffeinated Beverages and Stimulants
Finally, avoid caffeine as much as possible during the days leading up to the exam. Caffeine can elevate your heart rate and blood pressure, negatively impacting the results of your exam.
With the new year comes the tendency to make resolutions that are designed to help a person address what they perceive to be as their own shortcomings. While resolutions such as “exercise more” and “lose weight” are often at the top of the list, these types of resolutions often fall by the wayside all too soon after the first of the year. The following insurance resolutions for the new year are simple to implement and can have long lasting effects.
1. Purchase Life Insurance
This is a resolution that should be on everyone’s list but it does not always seem to make it to fruition. Make 2015 the year you talk to your insurance agent and find the ideal life insurance plan for your circumstances and your budget. You’ll rest easier at night knowing that your loved ones are taken care of and your assets are protected.
2. Take a Fresh Look at Your Homeowners Insurance
Did you or a member of your family receive an expensive gift this holiday season? If so, you might want to take a look at the deductibles that you previously chose for your homeowners insurance. While a high deductible often looks attractive because it can make your payments lower, if it is too high it can be difficult to replace items that are covered unless you dip into savings or other monetary reserves.
3. Does it Make Sense to Bundle?
If you have insurance with more than one company, you could be missing out on significant savings. Most insurance companies have a bundle plan that allows you to save money if you have more than one policy with them. Much like car insurance policies that give you a multi-car discount, bundling your insurances with one company can often allow you to enjoy savings on your policies.