New Ways to Save Money on All Types of Insurance
Thanks to the rise of tech start-ups, insurance policies of all kinds can now be found at the best possible price. It’s time for a new insurance policy! Nobody, ever, has ever said this.
It may not sound like a fun way to spend an afternoon, but not shopping around for your insurance policies at least occasionally could result in you losing money.
To their credit, an array of tech-driven firms has emerged to simplify the insurance purchasing process.
Insurance technology firms, or “insurtechs,” provide customers with cost-saving comparison tools and new insurance products. Take a look at these new resources for saving money on a wide range of insurance needs.
Every state except New Hampshire requires drivers to have auto insurance, and the minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state.
Insurance companies typically offer a variety of plans, ranging from the most basic, which only covers personal injury, to the most comprehensive, which includes the replacement of a vehicle in the event that it is stolen or destroyed in an accident or natural disaster.
A simple way to reduce your monthly premium is to raise your deductible. As long as you don’t file claims for minor dings and scratches, your insurance company will charge you less each month because it knows it only has to pay for major issues.
It’s also a good idea to let one of these companies find you a lower rate on your own. Here’s a breakdown of how they operate:
- Gabi: With Gabi, you upload your existing car insurance policy, and the company will search for a better deal. Sign-up takes a minute, and users can save as much as 30% off their auto, home and renters’ policies.
- The Zebra: The Zebra’s real-time comparison engine scours more than 200 insurance companies to find you a better deal. The website also offers an “InsurabilityScore” that calculates how easily you can find coverage and a “RateAnalyzer” to pinpoint which factors are most likely to drive up your premiums. In addition to car insurance, you can search home, renters’ and recreational vehicle insurance products on The Zebra. This service is similar to Gabi but does not require that you present your current insurance policy to get competitive quotes.
- Metromile: If you are a low-mileage driver, Metromile could be the right solution for you. Customers pay a low base rate — starting at $29 a month — and then an additional price per mile driven. The company tracks mileage using a device installed under the dashboard, and monthly bills can change depending on how much you drive. Metromile is available in Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.
Using your life insurance is something you really don’t want to have to do. When a claim is filed, it indicates that someone important (in this case, you) has passed away, which is a sad reality. If the worst case scenario occurs, your loved ones will be grateful that you had insurance.
If you want to save money on life insurance, look for term life insurance rather than whole life insurance (also known as cash-value insurance). In most cases, term life insurance covers you for a set period of time and pays a death benefit if you pass away during that time.
That money is completely tax-free, and your beneficiary can use it however he or she sees fit—paying down debt, putting money aside for a rainy day, or setting up a college fund for their children are just a few examples.
If you’re looking for term life insurance, take a look at these options:
- Bestow: This company specializes in selling term life policies at prices that it determines using algorithms — and fast. In short, if you have just a few minutes to fill out an online form, Bestow will generate a quote for a term life insurance plan and have you covered in just minutes (if approved) — no need to get a physical exam, lab tests or wait months or, as they say, “no visits to sad office parks.” Rates start as low as $5 a month, and you can get coverage from $50,000 to $1 million to take care of your family or other beneficiaries if you should die. The company operates in every state except New York.
Note: This is a hassle-free path to peace of mind at a competitive rate. But it’s not for everybody: If you’re over 55 or a smoker, Bestow may not have a plan for you.
- Policygenius: Here’s another quick way to get a quote for your needs, even if you are older or have pre-existing health concerns. This tool compares quotes from dozens of insurance companies and finds those best for your age and health. If you have a pre-existing health concern — say, high cholesterol — it promises to look for companies that are less worried about that risk factor. Policygenius also offers rate comparisons for whole life policies and other types of insurance.
As a condition of their loans, mortgage lenders require homeowners insurance. After paying off your mortgage, unless you plan to live in a tent after your house burns to the ground, you’ll want to keep your insurance coverage.
To rebuild your home after a natural disaster, your homeowners insurance policy may also cover the cost of replacing your belongings and providing you with temporary lodging.
Flooding and lava flow are two events that may not be covered by standard insurance policies.
Here are a few options for getting the best deal on a good plan:
- Lemonade: There’s been a lot of buzz about Lemonade, which brands itself as an insurer powered by artificial intelligence, behavioral economics and social good. The company takes a flat fee out of premiums to pay for its expenses, and whatever it doesn’t spend on claims by the end of the year is donated to a charity chosen by the customer. Best of all for consumers, homeowners coverage starts at just $25 a month. Lemonade also promises a hassle-free sign-up, can pay claims in minutes and offers zero deductibles for some products. Lemonade policies are available in most states and the District of Columbia, and the company says it is working to expand to the others.
- Clearsurance: This website isn’t selling insurance; it lets you compare companies based on community reviews. You can research companies nationwide or search by state. Then you can double-check whether the company offering you a sweet rate also has sweet service. Clearsurance currently offers reviews for homeowners insurance, renters insurance and car insurance.
You can’t get away with not having insurance because you live in an apartment or other rented property. There’s a chance your landlord has insurance, but it only covers the building itself, not your personal property.
A renters’ insurance policy is what you need as a tenant. Renter’s insurance covers everything you own, from bikes and electronics to clothing and fine art.
Rental property damage and liability coverage can also be included in the policy. This is especially important if your rental property is damaged to the point where you are forced to live elsewhere for a period of time. The good news is that these plans are reasonably priced.
Companies like these can help you get a low-cost insurance policy with minimal hassle:
The Affordable Care Act established a financial penalty for not having health insurance, which was eliminated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Even if you don’t have to pay a tax penalty for not having health insurance, you still need it. Have you recently seen the price of a broken leg? It will cost you anywhere from $17,000 to $35,000 to have surgery.
Fortunately for them, nearly half of all Americans have access to health insurance through their place of employment. Medicare and Medicaid, provided by the federal and state governments, may be available to some others. Everyone else will have to come up with their own strategy.
A good place to begin your search is Healthcare.gov. An official federal health insurance exchange with plans available in the majority of states (some states run their own marketplaces).
If your income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level and you purchase health insurance through Healthcare.gov, you may be eligible for a tax credit that will lower your premiums.
Note: A special open enrollment period is available for consumers who want to get new coverage or update existing insurance in 36 state marketplaces that use the Healthcare.gov platform.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the special enrollment window is open from Feb. 15 through May 15.
If the marketplace isn’t for you, here are some other health insurance options to try.
- eHealthInsurance: This company’s online tools can help individuals, families and small businesses quickly locate the best plan and price for a health insurance policy by running through thousands of options offered by hundreds of companies. If you have questions, eHealthInsurance promises to have help available 24/7 through its online chat function, email or licensed health insurance agents.
- Oscar: You can do just about everything with an app, including buying and managing health insurance. Oscar is a health insurance company offering unlimited phone calls to doctors 24/7 and help with navigating your benefits. Besides classic plans, you can buy a Simple Plan or Backup Plan at a lower cost. It also sells Medicare Advantage insurance, the private coverage option to traditional Medicare. Oscar coverage is available in some but not all states.
- Clover: Clover’s Medicare Advantage plan includes check-ups at home, gym memberships and wellness rewards in addition to dental, vision, hearing and prescription drug coverage.
In terms of major insurance categories, disability coverage may be one of the least well-known. This insurance is necessitated by an injury or illness that keeps you from working.
The exclusion period, which can be anywhere from 90 days to six months, is a common feature of insurance policies.
However, disability insurance will not completely replace your income.
Workplace benefits packages often include disability insurance for employees. A cost-effective way to obtain health insurance is through a group plan offered by your employer.
Try Policygenius if you don’t have the option of adjusting factors like the waiting period and seeing policies and quotes in a few minutes. Alternatively,