Insurance is competitive. As brokers we get the opportunity to compare products and advantages daily which allow us to try and give our clients the best options.
From the consumer side much of this information may not be evident especially if you are not dealing with a broker, or you do not have a specific agent representing your family.
Here are some tips to try and help you as you look at your own insurance needs, perhaps there are some ways by looking at these points and having a discussion with your insurance company or representative that you can save some money.
Look for discount opportunities or policy packages that give you advantages you need at no additional cost. All insurance companies and policies are not the same.
Some examples of coverages that are often offered at no charge by some insurance companies - and charged for with others are:
- CAA or Roadside assistance - we have one company that offers it for free - however it must be requested or offered. This saves our CAA members $75 per year, simply because they went with the insurance company that offered it. They could be with another insurance company all along and not even realize this option is available. Make sure you find out if you could have similar perks - all you have to do is ask.
- No obligation to replace with full replacement value on your building, or contents. This can be a huge advantage. Some insurers charge higher premiums to include this in your policy. it used to be that only VIP , expensive and high end policies offered this option. It has now become a competitive advantage point for many carriers. Some companies offer it for free if you insure your home and car with them or if you are of a certain age (we have one company that gives it to anyone over 45, another who gives it only if you're retired, another who gives it if you are a CAA member) Just examples but something to think about.
One of our companies, Aviva Canada, for example offers their policy holders between 45 and 75 years old, who have their home and car insured with them (under their Connexion Plan) the following amazing advantages, which other insurers charge for individually:
- Health assistance
- Telephone assistance services
- Legal assistance ~ever need to speak to a lawyer? This gives you access, included for free.
- Home assistance
- Support and home care (following a 5 day hospital stay) ~what a huge advantage!,
- Replacement cost with no obligation to replace & 2-year guaranteed premiums
There are advantages with almost every insurance company, the key is finding out and asking about it.
- We have another company that offers free legal assistance with every home policy.
- Most companies are now offering some form of Identity theft coverage. Do you have this included now, are you paying for it and is there an opportunity to get it for free?
- Another company that includes coverage for rental cars worldwide, as opposed to "limited to North America". This may be important to some who travel often to Europe or worldwide, and totally irrelevant to others. It is worth knowing about, and if it doesnt appeal to you, maybe this is one of those value added's that you don't really want to be paying for.
- Some companies automatically extend your contents coverage to other properties that you may own or rent, others charge for this.
Have a conversation with your insurance representative to make sure they really know you and what your needs are.
Often when you speak to a direct insurance company, there is no opportunity for the agent to really know you. Ask the questions and you may be surprised at how much you can save and benefit when you really look at the big picture.
As brokers, we do our best to do this all the time for our clients because it's not just insurance - its finding the best fit to protect your assets, save you money and serve your individual needs.
Do you have any tips to save on insurance that allow you to save and keep the coverage you really need in place? What have your experiences been?