As the cost of living rises and we see increases in everything from food, to rent, to interest rates, many of us are looking for ways to minimize the impact of rising costs on our daily lives.
One way to take immediate action that many people don’t know about is to take a good hard look at your annual insurance costs.
For some households, there are multiple policies in effect that cover vehicles, residential and/or commercial property, contents, and recreational toys like boats, motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, camper trailers, motorhomes, and scooters. One of the simplest things people can do to save money is to consider the benefits of bundling their policies together.
“To have all your assets covered you need to add them all to your insurance policies,” said Tonya Korba-Nyberg, Regional Sales Manager with the Westland Insurance Group.
“The number one mistake that people make is to assume what their limits are or what they have coverage for. People don’t always realize what they’re covered for, whether it’s toys in the garage or things like sports cards and jewellery. In such cases it’s important to sit down and talk with an agent to determine what they have to insure and to understand the risk.”
According to Korba-Nyberg, one of the most immediate benefits of bundling insurance is to save money.
For example, if a client winds up with a claim as the result of a house fire but has the home, vehicles, and other recreational equipment like boats, trailers, and motorcycles all on one policy, the insurance company could cut the client a significant break by waiving the individual deductibles listed on each item. Given the average $500 to $1,000 deductible cost often negotiated for individual items, the waiving of such fees could amount to significant savings.
“That would be something you sit down with your adjuster to discuss at the time of loss and damages,” said Korba-Nyberg. “If there’s a claim, then there could be benefits because of the bundling of policies. It becomes a conversation between the client and the adjuster.”
With many seasonal-use vehicles like motorcycles, boats, and snowmobiles, insurance policies are seasonally rated and paid monthly for an entire year. Cancelling a policy at the end of the season in the hopes of saving money is rarely beneficial because it was seasonally rated. However, bundling such policies with your home and auto insurance is a smart way to ensure you get the best possible rate from the day you buy the insurance.
Another thing to consider when bundling your insurance is the importance of including a full list of people covered by the insurance policy.
According to Korba-Nyberg, this is particularly important for vehicle insurance.
“A lot of people assume that everyone and anyone can drive their vehicles not realizing the consequences. If you lend your vehicle to someone, you’re lending your insurance too. For example, if you don’t live in my household, you can still borrow my vehicle, but if you get in an accident, it’s my policy that gets impacted even if you have your own insurance.”
Korba-Nyberg also warns parents about not including their kids living under the same roof to their vehicle insurance.
“If you live in a house with your kids, you don’t add them to your policy and they get in an accident while driving your vehicle, your claim could be denied. If we don’t know you have a 17-year-old that’s driving your car, then we can’t advise you properly on your insurance needs.”
Another reason to find out more information about the type of insurance you have and what your needs might be is that building material costs are on the rise – critical materials you’d need in the event of a house fire at your primary residence, cottage, or rental home.
The bottom line, according to Korba-Nyberg is, “The more you have insured under one policy the more discounts you get. If you can bundle as much together as possible, your advisor can fully understand your risk. If your insurance is all over the place it’s hard to know where you’re covered, and you could end up spending more.
To learn more about the benefits of bundling your insurance contact your local Westland Insurance Office today at 1-800-465-7797.