Saving Money on Your Homeowners Insurance [Video]
Save money on your homeowners insurance by “bundling” when you have more than one insurance policy with a single company. This is done primarily for the purposes of customer convenience and savings. With insurance companies offering an array of products to provide protection against the cost of losses to the things that customers value most, it can be difficult to sort out what coverage you need and from whom to purchase it. Here’s a closer look at the concept of bundling, why it may make sense for you and where to find guidance to help ensure your most valuable possessions are properly covered in case of theft or damage.
What is Bundling?
Bundling means you are buying two or more types of insurance policies such as home insurance and auto insurance from the same company. It can be an effective way to get insurance discounts, because insurers typically offer price savings when you buy multiple policies from them. Compared to purchasing policies from separate insurance companies, most people save money when they choose to bundle multiple policies under one insurer.
What Are the Advantages of Bundling Insurance?
There are a number of advantages to bundling your homeowners insurance with other insurance policies. By purchasing your home insurance and auto insurance from Travelers, for example, you may be able to save as much as 15 percent on your home insurance premiums compared to what it would cost you to buy those policies individually from different companies. But the benefits can go beyond the financial, says Angi Orbann, Travelers Vice President of Personal Insurance/Property. The convenience of combining policies and payments with one insurance company can be a major advantage. “In addition to potential cost savings, customers choose to bundle their policies for many reasons, including time savings and efficiency,” Orbann says. Some potential advantages of bundling include:
- Getting more for your money. When you buy multiple policies with one insurer, the potential cost savings can translate into the opportunity to add more coverage than what you had before, says Independent agent Barbara Jason, Walters Associates, Inc., member of Keystone Insurers Groups, Inc. It means that you can potentially make your money “go farther” because you’ll be able to put the savings from the multiple-policy purchase toward buying other policies you might not have.
- One-stop shopping and service. Time is one thing that most people never seem to have enough of. When you bundle your insurance with one insurer, you can purchase and manage your policies through one agent, depending on the specific protection you need. Billing is easier because you can make your premium payments at one time. When it comes to filing a claim or other insurance issues you can work directly with your agent who understands your complete coverage profile.
- Peace of mind. Nobody wants to be in an accident, come home to a burglarized apartment or be forced to leave their home after a natural disaster such as a wildfire or a hurricane. But things like this can happen. When faced with an accident or if catastrophe strikes, you will want to get your life back to normal as soon as possible. During the most stressful times, you may find it easier to work with a single insurance company like Travelers that can help coordinate your claim needs across multiple policies and simplify the process so you can tend to other critical matters. Imagine having one point of contact who will help you manage your situation with compassion, ensure the necessary forms and documents are handled smoothly and efficiently, and keep you updated. When bundling policies, choose an insurer like Travelers that is committed to easing your stress, especially at times when you may need to file a claim.
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The most common examples of “bundled” policies combine home insurance and auto insurance coverage, or renters insurance and auto insurance, Orbann says. But an optimized bundle can differ from policyholder to policyholder depending on the types of items being covered. These can be anything from your primary home and its contents to the boat you use on weekends or the expensive art collection and jewelry you’ve accumulated. “It’s funny,” adds Agent Barbara Jason. “Multi-policy credits and discounts have been around and applied for years, but the word ‘bundling’ took off and now it’s part of everyday conversation. Almost everything can now be bundled!”
Jason says in addition to providing discounts and reduced premiums, bundling can help build relationships between agents and customers, which can be a valuable benefit for customers over time. “We take the time to provide the extra ‘personal’ service, by simply listening and knowing a customer’s family connections and concerns, and that has led to successful bundling and retention with our customers,” Jason says.
Typical bundles may also incorporate:
- Personal Articles Floater. Homeowners or rental insurance policies usually provide coverage for the loss of everyday items such as furniture, electronics and household appliances. However, it may provide limited coverage for expensive items such as antiques, collectibles or jewelry. A Personal Articles Floater can provide additional coverage for these items. So, things like your engagement ring will be protected, if the unexpected happens.
- Umbrella Insurance provides additional liability coverage that extends the coverage offered by your primary policies. After a serious accident or incident, an Umbrella policy can help protect your personal assets in both the long and short term. In short, an Umbrella policy can help provide extra liability coverage for losses that may go beyond the limits of your auto, homeowners or boat policies.
The Impact of Technology
The American workforce has been transformed by changes in technology and the economy. Many people now work from home, either as telecommuters, small business owners or as part of the "gig economy," working for example, as freelancers, rideshare or delivery drivers. Standard homeowners, auto and renters insurance do not always cover home offices, home business equipment or vehicles used for commercial purposes. Your insurance agent can make recommendations for riders that can be added to bundled or individual policies that may offer broader protection to people who work from home or use their car to earn a living.
Working with a Local Agent
A qualified insurance agent can help make bundling your insurance policies a smooth process that addresses your specific risk exposures efficiently and economically. Developing a good relationship with a local agent can be beneficial, especially when you’re bundling policies.
When you work with a local agent, over time, the agent has the opportunity to get to know you and your family and the things that are important to you. The closer you work with your agent, the better your agent can help to ensure that you, your family and even your business, if you have one, are appropriately protected by the right insurance policies.
As an insurance professional, your agent is also trained to look out for situations that may indicate a change in your current coverage is advisable. For example, the birth or adoption of a child, the purchase of a new home, divorce, or a teenage child who is about to become a licensed driver, are all situations that may require alterations to your coverage.
An Advocate for Your Needs
The relationship between you and your agent provides you with an experienced advocate who can look out for your best interests. Agent Barb Jason recalls how she reviewed one of her customer’s policies and suggested adding a policy to protect his home office.
“He had home, auto with two vehicles and a travel trailer, and an umbrella policy. He thought he was covered for a home office under those, but he was not. “That could have been disastrous for his livelihood if left unchecked,” Jason says. Within a matter of hours, Jason helped the customer gain more protection.
Jason also points out that she's been able to help clients save on their insurance costs by not only suggesting bundling, but also by taking advantage of recurrent billing through a credit card or by pre-paying of premiums.
“We encourage our customers to review their policies every year,” Orbann says, which can help in identifying additional coverage needs that may not have been considered before.
“Often, people don’t realize that they don’t have sufficient coverage for their jewelry, art work or other valuables. A good independent agent will point out the areas of coverage that could be otherwise overlooked, and help make sure the customer is appropriately covered,” Orbann says.
Consider Bundling to Help Cover Your Valuables
If you’re not sure you’ve got the appropriate coverage for your valuables, contact your local insurance agent to review your policies with you. There are many policies to consider that will suit your specific needs and bundling the right selection of policies may be a smart way to consolidate your insurance coverage. Learn more ways to save on your homeowners insurance.
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