Navigating Insurance: 16 Ways to Find the Best Policies for Less

Insurance renewals take up a significant part of our monthly household budgets. Most people need auto, home, travel, and health insurance, but newer options, such as gadget coverage, have emerged to add to our costs.

Almost without exception, insurance will go up each year if the renewal is unchecked. You don’t necessarily have to accept the increases; carrying out some regular processes can save money.

Some of these tips work on all types of insurance, while others are for specific types of coverage, but each aims to keep funds in your pocket.

1. Don’t Auto Renew

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If your insurance is set to auto-renew, you risk paying inflated premiums without having the opportunity to check the price. Your insurers are happy for you to do this. It saves time and paperwork, and they can, in effect, charge what they want.

The first significant tip for any insurance is to opt out of auto-renewal, which leaves you time to negotiate any premium increase your existing company applies.

2. Start with a Comparison Site

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When your renewal arrives, or you’re looking for a new policy, run the figures through a comparison site. These portals link to hundreds of insurance underwriters to find you the best possible premium.

Once you input essential information, you will be presented with a wide range of options. Consider the numbers before you, but proceed to step three before you pay a single cent.

3. Look a Little Deeper

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Not every insurer signs up on comparison websites. To do so means paying a commission for every policy sold, and some prefer to pass the savings on to their customers.

TV ads outline those who avoid those sites, or an internet search will return some results. You must cover all your bases if you’re serious about saving money on your premiums.

4. Optimum Time to Obtain Quotes

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Experts suggest looking for quotes between 20 and 26 days before your policy’s renewal date. If you leave it to the last minute, insurers may feel you are disorganized and possibly a higher risk.

Around three to four weeks before policy renewal, more quotes will be available, and that period gives you plenty of time to negotiate the best deal.

5. Speak to Your Existing Insurer

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Having compared your premiums, it’s a good idea to speak to your existing insurer if you have one. In a competitive market, they will be eager to keep your business and may have some flexibility on renewal premiums.

If your insurers can match any alternative quotes, it will save you time, as there will be no new paperwork to complete and no new payment methods to set up.

6. Aim to Pay Annually

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On the subject of payment methods, insurance is one area of e-commerce where paying by direct debit may not be a good idea. Insurers often add interest or apply additional fees for monthly payments.

Paying your annual premium upfront is not an option that everyone will be able to take up, but it will likely save you money.

7. Consider Combining Coverage

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Insurance companies continue to look for new marketing ploys, and a recent innovation is the introduction of multiple policies covering homes and cars. While there are no guarantees, it’s worth checking if a combined cover such as this will save you money.

Your auto insurance will combine with your home insurance, and there will be just one renewal date. This simplifies the administration for your insurer and likely be cheaper for the policyholder.

8. Look for Specialist Insurance if Required

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Regular auto insurance may be unsuitable if you have a special vehicle. Your car or truck won’t fit into the standard types of coverage where premiums are calculated based on a checklist.

This rule applies to classic cars, modified vehicles, and non-standard transport. Search for specialist insurers online, and your premiums should come down.

9. Make Sure You’re Registered to Vote

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When you apply for insurance, companies need to verify your identity, so it helps if you make their job easier. Make sure you’re on the voter registration list so your details come up after a quick check.

If an insurer cannot identify you, they may not offer coverage, while it’s almost certain that your premiums will be higher.

10. Consider Your Deductible

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Also known as an excess in some parts of the world, a deductible is the amount the policyholder contributes to a claim. Most policies have a compulsory deductible, while the insured can add a voluntary clause.

Make sure you’re comfortable with any additional deductible, but remember that you can reduce your premium by adding voluntary contributions to your policy.

11. Reduce Your Mileage

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Car insurance policies often increase or decrease based on the driver’s annual mileage. If your allowance is too high, speak to your insurer about getting a discount.

We should also consider reducing our annual mileage by walking or cycling shorter distances. These practices can benefit our health and the environment while lowering insurance charges.

12. Cut Out Unnecessary Extensions

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Most types of domestic insurance come with extensions that we may not need. For auto cover, there is likely an option for a courtesy rental car in the event of an accident. However, if you already have access to a second vehicle, you may not need this.

Home insurance may default to higher levels if you have personal items such as jewelry. Check your schedule to see what you’re paying for, and ask for any unnecessary extensions to be removed.

13. Remove any Duplicate Coverage

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If you have policies across multiple insurers, there may be some duplication of coverage. For example, if you have a separate policy for your mobile phone, your home insurance could already provide adequate coverage.

Similarly, legal expenses are an add-on to many domestic policies. Check to ensure you’re not paying for something more than once.

14. Consider Your Lifestyle

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This tip could help in everyday circumstances, but it’s specifically designed for those seeking life insurance. You must be honest when obtaining quotes, particularly regarding alcohol and smoking.

Premiums are higher for smokers and those who drink more than the recommended units, so why not consider reducing your intake for cheaper premiums?

15. Tighten Your Security

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Additional security can lower premiums for home and auto insurance. Burglar alarms and sensors reduce the risk of theft and damage, and your home insurer will consider them favorably.

Car insurance premiums should be cheaper if your vehicle is in a locked garage overnight. Aim to be secure and save money.

16. Avoid Making Small Claims

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Naturally, insurance supports us financially when needed, but we should know that every claim on your policy can affect future premiums. If the cost of repair or replacement is small, it may be better to pay for it yourself.

The tip is crucial when you have a no-claims discount on your policy. Any claim will reduce that discount level.

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