A few days ago we got our semi-annual car insurance bill in the mail. We pay our car insurance twice a year and our house insurance is with the same company (this bill is paid annually by our mortgage company). Anyway, I was disappointed to see that our bill increased yet again--it seems to go up about 10% each time we get a new bill!--so I decided to do something about it.
First I called a couple of other insurance companies to get quotes for bundled auto and house insurance. One company in particular had lower rates than what we were paying so I carted myself over to our insurance agent's office and asked what could be done in order to stay with them. I told the lady that we had been with her insurance company for nearly 30 years and it doesn't seem right that another company would give us better rates than what her company could give us.
She got busy on her computer and we were able to reduce our home owner's insurance from $408 a year to $274 a year by increasing our deductible from $1000 to $5000 (the $5000 deductible was what was quoted by the new insurance company which is what made the cost lower). We are happy with the cost savings and we were OK with upping our deductible because basically the insurance is covering something catastrophic that happens to our house. We are more than happy to handle smaller problems ourselves, mostly because if you do file any sort of insurance claim it makes your future insurance costs sky rocket. So that part was taken care of.
Then she went to work on our car insurance. We have one old car with liability insurance only. Our newest bill was $353 for six months (car insurance rates in general are REALLY high in Las Vegas because there are so many wrecks here...crazy drivers!). By reducing our coverages from 25/50/100 to 15/30/100 and removing us from the higher rate "gold plan"...whatever that is...we were able to reduce our cost to $309 every six months. I think these coverages will work fine for us. If we had a lot of assets we would probably keep the higher coverages since this insurance only kicks in if we are at fault for an accident and get sued. We were also able to remove the uninsured motorist coverage also which basically covers our medical costs if an uninsured driver hits us but since we have excellent full coverage health insurance this wasn't needed.
Finally, we can reduce our car insurance costs by another $10-$20 per premium period if hubby takes a senior driver course since he is 65 years old. I checked on the course, which will cost only $10, and will probably sign him up soon. The insurance lady said that once he takes the class, our rates will be reduced for three years at which time he will need to take the class again. Note that hubby WAS NOT happy when I told him he was going to take a senior driving class (he still thinks he is 35 not 65) but I will go with him and force him to learn something new (when I worked with seniors some years ago the course taught them how to compensate for lack of motion as they get older--like using mirrors instead of turning around to look behind them which is more difficult as you age--and decreased hearing ability, etc). Anyway he is an old dog but he will learn some new tricks in the name of reducing the amount we pay for insurance!