Tips For Lowering Car & Home Insurance Costs

Saving Money on Insurance Costs

I’m currently looking into ways to lower my current car insurance costs without compromising coverage.

Has it been a while since you shopped around for car insurance? There is a very good chance that you are paying too much for your insurance and could get a better rate as well.

If you believe you are overpaying for your current insurance, this is a reminder that there are savings (of several hundred dollars a year) to be had out there.  I’ve found that the more insurance companies you compare, the more savings and better coverage you are able to find.

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Every little bit helps!

The following are some tips that will be covered in this post:

  • Ask about discounts
  • Bundle
  • Compare rates / shop around for different quotes
  • Raise your deductible
  • Reduce coverage

Lowering Insurance Costs – Tip #1 – Ask About Discounts

Ask About Discounts


“It cant hurt to ask.”

There are plenty of auto insurance discounts out there to help you lower your car insurance rates.

But what type of discounts may be available?  I’ve compiled a list below.


Car Insurance

  • Car Safety Features
    •   Examples include Antilock brakes and Antitheft devices
  • Multi Car
    • If you insure more than one car on the same policy
  • Multi Policy
    • If you buy multiple policies from the same insurer (home and car insurance, for example)
  • Accident Free/Prevention
    • Some insurers offer discounts for taking Defensive Driving courses
  • Good Student Discounts
    • Applies to high school and college students getting good grades
  • Low-mileage
    • Some insurers offer discounts for keeping your annual mileage low (Usually 15,000 or less miles/year)
  • Senior citizens
    • Eligible for drivers usually over the age of 55
  • Group / Associations
    • Some insurers partner with various associations to give discounts to members
  • Safe / Good Driver
    • For drivers with no traffic violations or accident claims.  Insurers usually look at the last three years of your driving record to make a determination.
    • Plug a monitoring device in your car track driving habits (i.e. Progressive’s Snapshot)
  • Defensive Driving courses
    • Lower portions of your auto insurance by up to 10% for 3 years
  • Paid in Full
    • Discount for paying entire premium at once

Home Insurance

  • Home renovation
    • New electrical and plumbing systems, for example
  • New roof
  • New home
    • If home was built in the past 15 years
  • Non smokers
    • Discounts for having no smokers living in the home
  • Energy-efficient features
  • Home safety features
    • Alarms

Lowering Insurance Costs – Tip #2 – Bundle

Bundle

If you currently have your auto, home, or life insurance from different insurers, you are probably missing out on a discount.

Put simply, if you bundle policies from a single company, they’re very likely to offer you a multi-policy discount of an average of about 8%.

Having the same insurance provider for your homeowners and auto insurance could save you a few hundred dollars a year. That number varies depending on where you live, though, according to a study from insuranceQuotes.

This is one of the smartest and easiest ways to save money (and time!) on insurance.

Lowering Insurance Costs – Tip #3 – Compare Rates

Compare Rates / Shop Around


This step will save you some money, but may be the most time consuming.

It is recommended that you get at least three price quotes from different companies.  These can typically be obtained online (websites like Progressive.com, InsuranceQuotes.com, and CoverHound.com) if you aren’t a phone person.  Some upfront information will be needed in order for the rates to be determined.

If you’re already insured, assess how much current coverage you have so you can compare against new policies. Know your vehicles safety features, how many miles you drive each year, claims history, etc.

If you’re unhappy with your current insurer, it is wise to tell them that you’re considering a switch. They may offer you a discounted rate in order to keep you as a customer.  If you do decide to switch, be sure not to cancel until you get another policy.

This is something you should be doing every few years even if you’re happy with your current provider, in order to make sure you’re getting a competitive rate.  You get little benefit from sticking with the same insurer year in and year out.  Not browsing for other policies could cost you more in the long run, even if you believe you are paying less than you were before.

tip iconIn New York, Progressive tends to be cheaper for singles and couples, while Geico or Travelers tends to cheaper for families with teens

tip iconConsider comparison shopping on TheZebra.com, a site that offers estimates from a large number of insurers

tip iconConsider also using an independent insurance agent to help you find you the best deals on the coverage that’s right for you

[Click here to read more…]

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The Best Things To Buy In January

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Waiting until just the right moment to buy something is one of the best things you can do to save money.

Bath and Bed Linens

Do you know where the term “White Sales” originated?  Here’s a history lesson for you.

In 1878, John Wanamaker introduced the first “White Sale” when he wanted to increase his sales during the slow winter months and offered a discount on bed linens (which at the time were only available in white).

Thus, January is the month when department stores host “white sales” to clear out their existing inventory of sheets, towels, blankets and more.   Look for bedding discounts up to 50-70% from such retailers as Kohl’s, Target, and Macy’s.  Savings will be especially deep on clearance items.

Fitness Equipment / Gym Memberships

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As many people have losing weight as their new years resolution, retailers slash prices on fitness equipment (even large ones like treadmills) in January to lure consumers.

For the same reason, January is usually a good time to sign up for a gym membership.  Many gyms offer special rates and other perks such as no sign up fees or free personal training sessions (don’t be afraid to ask if they don’t outright offer it).

Be sure not to lock yourself into a long term agreement if you’re unsure you’ll use it for the whole year.  Also, it is wise to read of all of the fine print when signing up.

Gift Cards

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Lots of people receive gifts cards during the holiday season, with many now looking to get rid of their unwanted ones for cash.  Check out various gift card exchange websites to buy at a discounted rate.

Here are a few to try out:

  • Raise.com (<- Get a $5 credit for using this link to sign up!)
  • Gyft.com
  • eBay

They usually sell for up to 35% less than face value, although ~10% seems to be the norm for more popular stores. The more in demand a card is, the less of a discount you will get.

Jewelry / Watches

Business is typically slow for jewelers right after Christmas until Valentine’s Day, so you are likely to find some great deals during this time.

As far as watches go,  January is, too, a better than usual time to buy.  This is largely due to a variety of deals from retailers such as Amazon, Ashford, and The Watchery.  You’ll likely see discounts on brands such as Casio, Timex, Movado, and TAG Heuer.

Honorable Mention:
  • Christmas Decorations
  • Tax Software
  • TVs & Electronics – just before the Super Bowl, retailers normally discount their selections of HDTVs and other home-theater essentials (such as soundbars)
  • Video Games
  • Winter Clothing
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This Should Be Your Shopping Process (The Art of the Online Discount)

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As the Holiday shopping season is now in full swing, here are some tips to consider before and after checking out:

 

Online Only

Make Sure To Get Cashback (and Other Rewards)

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  •  Shopping through eBates is a great option (gives you a percentage of money back for doing so).  New members get a free $10 gift card after their first purchase through Ebates.
See if there are any promo codes available to stack on

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  • RetailMeNot is a great resource for coupon and promo codes
  • Install the Honey browser extension that will automatically search for and apply available promo codes
See if there are any free shipping offers available

Bonus tips
  • You may receive discounts or coupons from retailers just by abandoning your shopping cart
  • Use price alerts – set up notifications about Amazon price changes using tools such as camelcamelcamel
  • Outsmart dynamic pricing by clearing your browsing history and cookies, signing out of your social media sites, and switching to private browsing in your browser
  • Chat online – ask for a lower price or inquire about promotions/discounts using a retailer’s online instant chat service (never hurts to ask!)

 

In Store Only

Get rewarded for simply walking into stores
  • Install the Shopkick app on your phone to view all rewards and offers
See if there are any coupons available to stack on
  • Check out Coupons.com for printable coupons, coupon codes, loyalty coupons, and more

 

Both In Store and Online

Make Sure You Are Getting The Best Price (Find The Best Deals)

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  • Use Price Grabber to search for the item you are looking to purchase (i.e. Samsung 40″ TV) or use a phone app like Red Laser
  • InvisibleHand shows a discreet notification when there are lower prices available on a product (online browser extension)
  • There are also sites like Blue Kangaroo and Cost Shredder that are great resources in helping you get the best price
  • Price Match – Walmart’s Savings Catcher gives you a refund if an item is advertised cheaper at a competitor’s store
Be a Follower
  • Follow your favorite retailers on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks
  • Sign up for email alerts
  • Download their mobile apps as well and sign up for text alerts
Look for discounted gift cards
  •  Sites like Raise.com (<- Get a $5 credit for using this link to sign up!) and Gyft.com offer many discounted gift cards below face value
  • eBay often has discounted gift cards available as well.  Here is one example: eBay Gift Card
  • Swagbucks has introduced a new site called MyGiftCardsPlus that will give you SBs for buying gift cards
Choose the best method of payment
  • Many credit cards companies offer cash back on purchases, so it may be wise to use them depending on the situation / circumstances
    • One example is the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard (1% cashback)
  • Consider store credit cards as well — Store Credit Cards That Are Worth It
  • If shopping at Target, use your REDCard to save an extra 5% + Free Shipping (on order $25+)
    • Speaking of shipping, choose “Ship to Store” to save money if that option is available
Once your shopping is done…
  • Open your Ibotta phone app to find additional rebates for anything you bought
    • Keep your receipts! There are a number of apps that will pay you for a photo of your receipts, such as Yaarlo and Receipt Hog.
  • If you buy something and it goes on sale later, Paribus automatically works to get you money back
  • Link your credit card to Acorns to invest spare change automatically into a diversified portfolio

 

Are there any steps in the process I am missing that should be noted? Comment below!

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Amazon: 26% Off VTech Kidizoom Pink Camera Pix

VTech Kidizoom Camera Pix (Pink)

Only $29.73 (List Price: $39.99)

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Swag Code Soup Extravaganza TODAY 1/17/2018

January is known as National Soup month. What better way to sit down and warm up than with a nice, warm bowl of our Soup Code Extravaganza!

 

(Will update as new codes are announced)

Latest Swag Code: TomatoSoup
Worth: 8 SB

Expired Codes: TomatoSoup

 

Want to sign up for Swagbucks? Click here!

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Groupon: Up to 50% Off Food For Two at Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse

Up to 50% Off Dine-In Sushi and Japanese Food for Two at Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse

Choose Between Two Options

  • $15 for $30 worth of dine-in sushi and Japanese food for two, redeemable Sunday–Thursday
  • $18 for $30 worth of dine-in sushi and Japanese food for two, redeemable any day
  • View the full menu
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Denny’s: FREE Grand Slam Breakfast Offer

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Through the end of January (2018), you can get a free Grand Slam breakfast (a $7.49 value) from Denny’s!

Here’s how:

  1. Create an online or mobile ordering account
  2. Place a paid takeout order at Dennys.com or through the ‘Denny’s on Demand’ mobile app

Must be redeemed within 30 days.  Limit one free Grand Slam per account.  Cannot be combined with any other offers.  Take out orders only.

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Redbox: Free 1-Day Video Game Rental (Limited Time Only)

redbox

 

Redbox is currently offering a FREE one day video game rental!  All you need to do is add one to your cart and the $3 discount should automatically apply at checkout.

This offer is valid only for a limited time online. No promo codes are required.

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TopCashback: FREE 500 Count Baby Wipes Offer

>>> Expires 1/19/2018 (or while supplies last)! <<<

Here’s how to claim your FREE Parents Choice Fragrance-Free Baby Wipes after the TopCashback Offer:
  • First go here and sign up for an account (must be a new member to be eligible for this deal*)
  • Once registered, go back to the previous link and click on the “Get Cashback Now” button
  • TopCashback will redirect you to Walmart.com where you will purchase one 500-Count Parents Choice Baby Wipes priced at 8.97 or more plus opt for free store pickup.
  • Within 14-21 days, $8.97 will be credited straight to your checking or PayPal account

*This offer is available to new TopCashback members only. However as TopCashback doesn’t limit accounts to one per household, if you’re an existing member now’s the perfect time to tell your husband or wife, mom or dad, roommate, neighbor, friend or anyone else about TopCashback and perhaps they’ll share their freebie with you! Ask them to sign-up through your Tell-A-Friend link and you’ll earn $10 for each new TopCashback member who goes on to take out this deal.

*Note: Transactions must contain at least $8.97 worth of purchases to ensure the $8.97 cash back is credited to TopCashback accounts. Transactions may initially track lower, but within the 14 days after purchase it will be uplifted and turn payable at the amount of $8.97. Transactions may take up to 7 days to appear in your TopCashback account.

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Kellogg’s Family Rewards – 100 Free Points

Enter code JANUARYPOINTSKFR to score 100 free points! (Expires 1/21)
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FREE Chick-fil-A Kids Club Welcome Pack

Join the Chick-fil-A Kids Club for FREE and get some cool stuff courtesy Chick-Fil-A. It is unknown exactly what you will get, but in the past they have given out coupons valid for free stuff at their stores and even little stuffed cows. If you’re interested in signing up, head over here!

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