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Considering a Change for Your Homeowners or Car Insurance Policy?

Website: Insurance Information Institute

Material Excerpted From: – Insurance

As you strive to find the best rates for your homeowners and auto coverage, you might think shopping around is the way to manage affordability. Well, costs are increasing for everything–groceries, gasoline, and other household expenses–and so are costs for insurers that impact your premiums. Before changing your policy or carrier, consider some factors that can affect your rates and learn how an annual insurance check-up can position you to get the coverage right for you.

When shopping for the best insurance rates, here are some questions you might have:

1 – I haven’t filed a claim or received any tickets, so why are my rates going up?

Premiums can rise because of the volume of company claims and higher per claim costs. Even if you have yet to personally experience a claim or insurable event, nationwide and regional trends impact costs. For example, rising building costs and more frequent disasters can cause rates for homeowners to climb. Increasing frequency and severity of accidents, thefts, damage, and other risks can influence auto rates. Price surges caused by labor and supply chain shocks can inflate property repair and replacement costs, affecting homeowners and auto premiums.

However, as risks and costs grow, the industry is intensifying its focus on predicting and preventing future damage and losses. Policyholders can do their part by being aware of the risks specific to their property and region and taking preventive measures when possible. Keeping an open dialogue with your Hometown Insurance independent agent can further enhance your efforts to protect your investment cost-effectively.

2 – What is the simplest way to save money on insurance premiums?

Ask your Hometown agent if you are receiving all your available discounts. There are two reasons for this strategy. Many companies value long-time customer relationships. Starting a new conversation with your agent can help you tap into more affordable options. You might receive discounts for combining auto and home or renters with the same carrier. You may also receive discounts for paying in full or using auto-pay and reduce or remove servicing fees. Additionally, if you need to adjust your coverage due to changes in your household, lifestyle, or property, you may be eligible for discounts or other policy options from your current insurer.

3 – Will switching my insurance carrier save me money on premiums?

The answer depends on a number of factors specific to your coverage needs and the coverage you choose. Some policyholders switch companies for lower premiums only to discover the value they receive isn’t on par with what they need, negating their savings. (Remember, value goes beyond the price of policy to include customer service and the financial strength and stability of the insurer.) Others save money in the short-term but later face higher premiums, as early as the following year.

4 – How does my credit history impact my insurance rates?

Your credit history is only one of many factors that determine individual premiums. However, most home and car insurers view the way you manage your finances as an important clue as to how big of a risk you might be to cover. The weight of your credit history can vary among insurers, and many will develop their own credit-based insurance score for you. However, in general, maintaining excellent credit history can unlock lower rates for homeowners and auto coverage, whereas having a problematic credit history can be met with higher rate offers or reduced coverage options.

5 – What is telematics and how can it lower my car insurance premiums?

Telematics refers to the technology insurers can use to fine tune your risk profile and tailor car rates based on your driving habits. Policies involving telematics are also referred to as usage-based insurance (UBI) because it captures and evaluates how you use your car. The factors tracked can vary, but can include driving habits, mileage, weather and road conditions, and even when you drive.

Participating in a telematics program is voluntary, and whether these might be a suitable option for lowering your premiums depends on your driving and which driver behavior your insurer monitors. Be sure you understand the program. You’ll also want to be familiar with the amount of privacy you may be asked to exchange for (potentially) lower premiums.

6 – How can I get the most value from my homeowners and auto coverage?

The solution begins with understanding how your coverage can work to serve your financial goals. Insurance can be an integral part of your budget as you strive to protect your assets, but you might be considering how to manage affordability. Here is a list of tips to guide you in performing your annual insurance checkup.

Have your Hometown Insurance Agency specialist review your policies today at 1-800-568-SAVE (7283) or contact us by email at 

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