Ways to keep insurance premiums low

The cost of insurance can sometimes be more than you can afford to pay. But there are a number of ways to reduce the amount you have to spend and still retain the coverage you need.

Amount of Coverage

For anyone on a tight budget, you should review your insurance policies every year and see if you have the proper amount of insurance. Insurance needs change over time and you might be able to reduce or eliminate some of your insurance coverage and keep the premium savings in your own pocket. While it is never a bad idea to have a little more coverage than you really need, if you are looking to keep insurance premiums low, do not buy more coverage than absolutely neccessary.


Many different types of insurance have a deductible built in to the price of the premium you pay. The rule is simply that the higher the deductible, the lower your premium will be. You need to be a bit careful when opting for a higher deductible to get a lower insurance premium. Do not make the mistake of raising your comprehensive and collision deductible up to $2,000 to save $25 or $50 in the premium you pay. You would then have to come up with $2,000 to repair your car if you are in an accident. Keep the deductible at a reasonable amount like $250 or $500 so you will not be hit with a huge bill in the future.


There are all sorts of discounts being offered by insurance companies and it is up to you to ask your agent if any might apply. One of the most common discounts is for people who buy several policies from the same insurer. You can usually expect to save about 10% when taking advantage of this type of discount. Other discounts for being a safe driver or having safety equipment on your car are also plentiful. You can receive a discount on your homeowner’s insurance, particularly in hurricane and tornado prone states, by taking preemptive steps to enforce the structure of your home and mitigate damages in the event of severe winds.

How to Fire Proof Your Home

Home fires are devastating events, especially if it turns out they could have been prevented in the first place. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to protect your house from catastrophe. Here are a few of the first steps you should take in order to fire proof your home.

1. Clear dead trees and debris from the perimeter of your house. Dry branches, leaves, and clutter can easily become a fire hazard — even if the blaze starts at your neighbor’s house.
2. Remove frayed and damaged wires. You should remember to regularly check appliances and extension cords for damages.
3. Keep multiple fire extinguishers available. At the very least, keep a single extinguisher in an easily accessible place in the house, and make sure the whole family knows about it.
4. Remove flammable materials from your house. While it’s impossible to completely remove all materials that can combust, try to keep items like paint cans and flammable cleaning supplies to a minimum.
5. Regularly clean out the lint trap. It’s easy to forget to empty the lint from the dryer, but doing so can save you from a lot of headaches in the long run. Try to make it routine to empty the lint trap every time you throw in a load of laundry.
6. Never leave portable heaters or candles unattended. Space heaters and candles are two of the leading causes of home fires because they are so easy to forget about.

In addition to removing fire hazards around and inside your home, you should also take the time to draft out a safety plan — even if you live alone. Make sure you always have multiple exit pathways cleared so that you can escape your home, and remember to regularly check and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Why Wood Burners Change a Premium

Whether you realize it or not, you could be paying more for your homeowner’s insurance policy because you have a wood burning stove in your home. All insurance companies are not created equal — while some will charge you a higher premium because of a wood burning stove inside your home, others will not.

If you own and use a wood burning stove to cook or heat with, or if you have intentions to purchase one, then it is important to speak with your insurance company about the potential for a higher premium. As a general rule, your premium will likely be raised somewhere between $50 to $100. Some may find this to be too much, but when you think about it, likely you’ll be saving money from the lower electricity and/or gas usage.

The reason for higher rates is logical. If you are using wood as your primary source of heat or for cooking on a regular basis, there is an increased risk of a fire that could potentially damage, if not destroy, your home.

In many cases, your insurance company won’t charge you extra if you can provide proof that the wood burning stove is up to code from an inspection, and that it was installed properly. Therefore, this may not be the smartest do-it-yourself project; it would be a safe bet to contact a licensed contractor who can install your wood burning stove.

Overcoming High Prices for High Risk Drivers

Like all insurance, the premium you pay for automobile insurance coverage is based on the level of risk you present and the likelihood that you will file a claim in the future. Statistically speaking, high-risk drivers tend to get in more accidents and cost the insurance companies more money to settle those claims. Therefore, the premiums charged to high-risk drivers are often quite a bit higher than those charged to so called "low-risk" drivers.

If you happen to be under age 25, have been in too many accidents, frequently file claims, have a poor driving record, lots of speeding tickets, a suspended license, DUI or other negative marks on your record, you probably will fall into the high-risk group. Insurance may cost you more than most other drivers and if you are an extremely high-risk driver, you may even be turned down by some insurance companies. What can you do to get insurance and get it at a price that will not put you deep in debt? Following are a few suggestions for the high-risk driver.

Shop Around

All auto insurance companies are different. Some of them have a more lenient policy toward drivers that present a greater insurance risk. In order to get business, they are willing to insure high-risk drivers where other insurance companies would refuse. Insurance is a very competitive business and you may find one or two companies that charges a reasonable premium. You must realize that until you can improve your record and move out of the high-risk category, you probably are going to have to endure higher premiums. Consider it the cost of learning. High premiums do not have to last forever.

Taking a Safe Driver or Defensive Driving Course

If you can prove to the insurance company that you are actually a safe driver despite your youth or a couple of accidents, they might reconsider and put you in another category of risk and offer you a better rate on your auto insurance.

Stay Away from Fancy, Super-Cool and Extremely Expensive Vehicles

One of the components that auto insurance companies consider when assigning a premium is the type of car you drive. If you drive a $75,000 BMW or another car that ranks high on the" most often stolen" list, the premium will be high. Instead, buy an ordinary car, maybe 4 or 5 years old that is not a target for theft .

Safety Features

Even if you are a high-risk driver, you can get a break on your premium if your car has plenty of safety and theft deterrent equipment. Cars with airbags, anti-lock brakes, alarms and so forth are often afforded a discount by the insurance company.

Clean-Up Your Driving Record

One of the things anyone can do is to drive more safely. Avoid speeding and drive defensively. If you have unpaid tickets, take care of them right away. The fastest you can remove the blemishes from your record, the better the chance of getting affordable auto insurance.