As I sit at work I can hear my new coworker, recently relocated to Massachusetts, randomly calling insurance agencies in the Boston area looking to insure her car. Realizing that she does not know anyone in the area I decide to give her my insurance guy’s information to help her out. As I approach her to help her out I think, while I have car insurance of my own, when was the last time I checked to see if I was saving as much as I could? So I asked my insurance guy and here is what he had to say:
A lot of people pay for their insurance and never look twice at it. It is something they have to have, so they pay it and forget it. But, even more people will pay for their insurance, never look twice at it and then complain about it… but if you do not take action, you have no right to complain. So, what can you do to save?
When it comes to auto insurance there are numerous discounts available on most policies. Companies allow discounts for the following:
Low Mileage – some companies offer discounts to customers who drive as much as 12,500 miles or less per year. And don’t worry about knowing what your mileage was last year, your agent can check that for you
Anti-Theft – does your car have any kind of anti-theft system? If it was built after 2000, chances are it does. Ask your agent to verify it for you.
Hybrid Discount – saving the environment saves you money in a lot of cases.
Green Discount – some companies will give you a credit for going paperless. And since you check your email more than your snail mail, you’re more likely not to miss a bill.
EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) – Did you know that every time your insurance company mails you a bail, they tack on a minimum of a $5 installment charge? So if you pay ten bills over the course of the year, you’re paying an extra $50 (at least) on top of your premium! Well setting your policy up on automatic withdrawal allows you to avoid that.
Good Student Discount – if you are currently a student, and have less than six years driving experience, you probably qualify.
Group Memberships – Certain companies strike deals to offer discounts to people who are: AAA Members, BJ’s Members, College Alumni, etc.
Additional Lines of Insurance – here is where you can really save. Companies offer discounts to customers who have multiple lines of insurance with them. So if you have a homeowners policy (any type – meaning tenant, condo, or home) you can likely save anywhere from 5 to 12% on your auto policy and 15 to 25% on your home policy.
The list of discounts is long, and they are all company specific. But they are out there and available. Why not ask if you qualify?
One final piece of advice: Review your policy. When you get something in the mail, check it to make sure it’s correct. Why, you say?
Have you changed addresses? The rates from town to town differ, and you certainly don’t want to be charged for living in Boston if you recently moved to the suburbs.
Are you still living with the same people? You should always list all licensed household members on your policy to avoid issues with coverage should they be involved in an accident while driving your car. But if you move, make sure your spouses/roommates are updated just the same way your address is. Who knows? One of them may actually be a good driver, and adding them could lower your premium.
Are you getting all of those discounts we mentioned earlier? Your declarations page will tell you which discounts you currently receive. And if you notice one missing, do something about it. Call your agent.
So yes, you have to carry auto insurance in MA, but it does not mean you should just blindly pay for it! Take advantage of the discounts available, and if you do not know how, just ask. We’d rather talk to someone with a plan to save than someone with plans to complain!
If you are looking for someone in the Boston area to help with your insurance needs I would highly recommend My Insurance Guy!