Home and Contents – What a journey!
As a home owner your going to have to go through the drama of your insurance coverage every twelve months or so. Its relentless…like the turn of the seasons or the flow of the ocean. You just cant beat it…but can you negotiate with it?
Past articles here on PFJ we talked about checking online for deals and we had a guest post talking about terms and wording to try and help when dealing with insurance companies. All of this is great way to start thinking about your home and contents insurance but you still have to deal with the companies who provide that insurance cover to you. Today I am going to relate my adventures with dealing direct with a range of insurance companies from the frustration to the inevitable result.
The beginning starts with your letterbox
It all starts with the envelope we all hope not to see and try to forget will come. Its not a bill its even worse! Its the dreaded renewal notice telling you its time to pay a small fortune on my home insurance for cover I hope to never need but am not game enough not to take. I think (finances depending) all owners are in the same boat. We don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for insurance but not sure we can afford not to. Sure we are all in different neighborhoods with different crime rates. Sure some of us have alarms and deadlocks and window screens but all this does is change your perception and the chances of something going wrong. This also doesn’t affect that small percentage that a fire may occur in your home leaving you empty handed.
Planning to renew your building and contents insurance can start online and any Google search or online portal can help with this. But if your like me (this is important pay attention to this) sometimes you want to speak to a human being. I find I often create a quote online to see how competitive they might be with my home insurance premiums but prefer to call them once this step is done. Its important to life up the phone for the following reasons;
- By making multiple calls you can usually play one insurance provider off against another one. I personally made 5 phone calls this year to pick from a range of companies and when I do I ask them to do the homework for me. I ask them to check the various details of the competition and what is included in my home insurance policy and what is not. See this I am making them work for my business!
- Most insurance companies (in my country at least) seem to rely on human nature to simply pay the renewal when it arrives. Remembering its been a year since you last paid your premium and so like me you may not notice small changes in the cost of your insurance. Experience has shown me insurance company’s like to bump up your premium just a little every year and if your not checking it can cost more than it needs to. It really isn’t that hard to check the competition and it can save you big.
- I like to try moving around some of the options like fusion, accidental damage, pets and the big factor of excess. Sometimes moving these items around can save you money if its not something you need nor knew was included in your policy.
- At this point in time it may not hurt to ask the person your talking to “Is this the best deal you can offer me?” followed by a really good question – “Is there anything you can offer me that I may not have asked about?” Both of these questions can prod the person your talking to into offering something you may not be aware of which may save you big money on your premium. I had success with the 2nd question this year.
Dont be afraid to walk away – AKA I like to sleep on it!
The last part of my adventure is telling the companies I am talking to that I like to sleep on it. Remember this phrase. I simply end every conversation with that line and I grab the relevant quote number from the whoever is offering me a deal on my home insurance. Then I actually do go and sleep on it. If you have been working on this over the course of one day it might be a good idea to let it digest before making a decision. I find most insurance company staff aren’t trained in closing you for the sale and so usually don’t pressure you. Right now you have a better idea than before and your all clued up to make a decision tomorrow.
This year by not automatically paying my home insurance premium when it arrived but by asking the question, picking up the phone and doing some smart thinking I managed to get the cheapest premium from five different companies. This in turn saved me $105 on my premium for the year. Not a great result but not quite an exercise in futility.
Had an adventure with your insurance premiums?
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***Photo thanks to moarplease & magill***