Pas Trusted News – How to Lower Your Home and Car Insurance Rates

Your homeowners insurance and car insurance policies aren’t set in stone. Repricing your coverage and shopping for a new policy could help you get a better price.

Both types of coverage allow you to cancel your policy at any time and switch to another carrier. So, it’s always possible to switch if you find a lower premium. However, you’ll want to be aware of any early cancellation fees your insurer may charge, so be sure to read the fine print on your policy before you start.

Below, CNBC Select shares what you need to know about repricing your insurance to get a lower rate.

When to reprice your car insurance

As auto insurance premiums have risen over the past few years, looking for a new policy isn’t a bad idea. Repricing your car insurance can be as simple as shopping for quotes and can be done at any time — most insurers don’t require you to wait until the end of your policy’s coverage period to cancel.

Here are a few common scenarios where it might be smart to shop for a new insurance policy:

  • You haven’t comparison-shopped recently. Shopping for car insurance every six months to a year can help you make sure you’re always getting the best price.
  • You have an older accident on your record. Many car insurance companies only look at your last three to five years of driving and accident history. If you were involved in an accident several years ago, it may no longer be on your driving record in the eyes of insurers.
  • You’re relatively young, or have a new driver at home. Those who are under 25 can benefit from shopping around frequently as they get older since premiums tend to decrease with age.
  • You’ve had a major life event. Have you gotten married, graduated from college or bought a home? These things could all make your insurance cheaper.
  • You’ve paid off your car. Simply paying off your car won’t lower your premiums, but getting rid of some of the required coverage might. For example, you may no longer need gap insurance, which pays the difference between your car’s loan and its decreased value if your car is totaled and is required by some lenders when financing.
  • You’ve moved. Whether you’ve moved down the road or across the country, your car insurance rates will likely change. And, if you have a garage at your new home, you may be eligible for an additional discount.
  • You’ve improved your credit score. In many states, insurers can look at credit scores to determine rates, and the higher your credit score, the lower your insurance costs.
  • You’ve started driving less. Perhaps you’ve made the jump to a closer job, started taking public transit or even retired. Driving less could mean a lower insurance premium, and it could be worth shopping around to see if that’s the case for you.

How to reprice your car insurance

There are a few steps you’ll want to take to reprice and lower your car insurance premiums. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

1. Find a copy of your current coverage.

Get an idea of what you pay now and what types and limits of coverage you have currently. If you want the same amount of coverage, you’ll want to make sure your new policy has the same limit for each coverage type.

And, consider where you can cut down on coverage that you don’t need. A common example is roadside assistance coverage — there’s no need to pay extra on your insurance policy for this coverage if you already have AAA or roadside assistance coverage through a credit card. Older cars may also not need comprehensive coverage if you have the means to replace the car on your own.

2. Get quotes from several insurers

Gather the information you’ll need to get quotes from insurance companies, usually including your driver’s license information and car’s VIN number (found at the bottom of the driver’s side of your windshield).

Then, consider several insurers that operate in your area. Some of CNBC Select’s top picks for car insurance include Geico for its low average rates, nationwide availability and 16 discounts, and Nationwide for its low average full-coverage premiums and free annual insurance evaluation.

Geico Auto Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

  • Policy highlights

    Geico coverage and services are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and there are 16 different types of discounts available. In addition to the standard coverage options, Geico offers various optional add-ons, such as emergency roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and mechanical breakdown insurance.

Nationwide Auto Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

  • Policy highlights

    Nationwide offers near-nationwide availability and personalized services, such as On Your Side® Review, a free annual insurance evaluation to ensure you are adequately protected and are taking advantage of any discounts available to you.

3. Buy any new coverage you’re considering, and cancel your old policy

If you’ve found a price that’s lower than your old coverage, you’ll want to buy that policy and make sure it’s in effect before canceling your old one. Having a lapse in your coverage, even a short one, could make it more expensive to get car insurance in the future.

Then, you’ll cancel your old insurance policy, either by phone or online. If you’ve paid your premium in advance and cancel before your term is up, you may get a refund.

If your car is financed, you’ll want to have proof of insurance on hand and pass it along to the institution behind your loan.

When to reprice homeowners insurance

If your homeowners insurance feels too expensive, it might be time to reprice your policy and see if there’s more affordable coverage out there.

There are several instances where repricing your homeowners insurance makes sense:

  • You haven’t shopped for coverage recently. If you haven’t looked around and gotten quotes from other companies recently, it might be worth it.
  • You’ve made changes to your home that could help you qualify for a discount. If you’ve recently installed an alarm system, smart home features or storm-resistant features, you could lower your premiums by repricing your insurance.
  • You’ve increased your credit score. Like car insurance, insurers can look at credit scores to determine rates in some states. The higher your credit score, the lower your insurance costs.

How to reprice your homeowners insurance

Here are the steps to replace your homeowners insurance coverage with a cheaper one.

1. Review your current policy and gather information

Take a look at your current homeowners insurance policy’s declarations page to find the info you need, including the premium, coverages, limits, endorsements or optional coverages, and your deductible.

2. Gather several quotes

Using the exact same limits as your old policy, get several quotes from insurance companies in your state.

CNBC Select has analyzed dozens of insurance companies and chose Nationwide as the best overall for the ability to bundle your coverage, discounts for having protective systems and home renovation credit.s Lemonade also stood out for its quick claim approval and affordable monthly cost.

Lemonade Homeowners Insurance

  • Cost

    Starts at $25/month; can vary by state, age of the home and other factors

  • Maximum coverage

  • App available

  • Policy highlights

    Policy covers your home and property for damages caused by wildfires, extreme weather, crime, and vandalism. It also covers liability claims for damage you accidentally cause to others

  • Does not cover

    Power, water, or heat going out, or bug infestation; some events may not be eligible for coverage, depending on the circumstances — see here for more information

Nationwide Homeowners Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • Maximum coverage

  • App available

  • Policy highlights

    Policy covers home and property damages caused by theft, fire and weather damage. It also covers personal liability, loss of use and unauthorized transactions on your credit card

  • Does not cover

    Water damage, earthquakes, flood insurance, identity theft, high-value items, rebuilding home after loss (these can all be purchased as add-ons for extra coverage)

3. Buy a new policy and cancel the old one

If one of the policies you quoted has a lower premium for the same coverage, it might be time to switch. Purchase that new policy and cancel the old policy in that order to avoid a lapse in coverage — pay careful attention to the effective date and make sure that the cancellation date is on or after the new start date.

4. Let your lender know that you’ve switched homeowners insurance companies

If you have a mortgage on your home, you’ll need to let your lender know that you’ve switched homeowners insurance companies. That’s especially true if you have an escrow account, which collects payments for taxes and sometimes insurance premiums.

Generally, you can do this by sending over the declarations page and your former policy’s cancellation notice to your lender.

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Bottom line

Repricing your car or homeowners insurance policy can help you replace a policy with a cheaper one. To lower your insurance costs, review the coverage you have, shop for quotes with several top insurers and replace your existing policy.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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