In today’s market, people are being very innovative on how they go about trimming expenses as we ride out this challenging economy. This includes staying home for the holidays, eliminating luxury item purchases, coupon cutting, and more. Unfortunately, many businesses and individuals overlook saving money on their insurance premium, which is quite bizarre when you consider everyone has to have it in order to register a vehicle for the road or when securing a mortgage or 2nd mortgage on a home.

For most, people tend to overlook saving money on their insurance because they forget they even have it. Let’s face it, how often do you think about your premium payments when most of us pay our policies via direct withdrawal from a checking account or through an escrow account? If you stop to look at your bank statements over the past 12 months, you will quickly realize just how much you are paying for mandatory coverage. That’s when people begin to consider shopping their coverage.

As such, here are some things you should know when considering another carrier to protect your Long Island home, auto, business, or excess liability coverage:

Consider an insurance broker. Since independent brokers have relationships with multiple carriers, the odds of you finding a more competitive solution increases dramatically as opposed to you calling 2 or 3 different “big name” carriers

Fix your credit. Since insurance companies now look at credit scores to determine some of your risk factors, having better credit means securing lower rates for coverage

Evaluate your policies. In addition to shopping for the best price, you should also consider the value of your car or your home to make sure you are not over insured. Why pay for coverage you may not need, which most people find out years and years after they should have removed certain endorsements (e.g. comp & collision) from their policies. Your insurance broker can help you understand your policies, so ask them to help you!

Pay premiums less frequently. Since an insurance company charges an administrative fee for each payment you make, the fewer times you pay your policy over the policy year, the lower your overall cost will be. Also consider paying your premiums electronically, as some carriers waive service fees for those payment types

Insure everything under one company. Insurance companies give additional discounts for having your auto insurance, homeowners insurance & umbrella insurance all with one carrier

Obtain pound for pound insurance quotes. Make sure you and your insurance broker examine your quote thoroughly against your existing policy to make certain the price you are considering is truly lower than what you are currently paying. Once you recognize a more competitive rate, THEN speak to your insurance broker about eliminating any excess insurance you may have

Insurance is not as difficult to understand as people may think, especially when you have a good broker on your side helping you. While lowering insurance cost is not the end-all solution to bail you out of tough economic times, it is certainly one way to help you manage your budget.

Happy shopping!!