Bike Bonus!

>> 4.28.2011

Yep, I'm still trading the car for a more gas-friendly bike commute a few days every week. It's amazing because as the weeks go on, I'm choosing the bike over the car more and more (4/5 days last week). I'm loving the $$ savings and additional 200+ calories I burn each day... but I'm not sure that either have made me as excited as the bonus I found out about this week.

I was on the phone with my insurance company this week to get quotes on combining Nate's car insurance with my car and home insurance plans and found out that we'd both be able to qualify for "car pooling" policies because we each only commute by car a few days a week. Sure, $100 a year won't be breaking the bank, but it's nice to know that we won't be paying $100 more than we need/ want to pay!

thrifty little tip: Ask about the "what ifs" when speaking with sales associates (think- insurance, cars, phones). You might find ways to save money now, but you're more than likely going to learn handy pieces of info that will carry on to future money saving decisions!

While I was on the line, I went ahead and got a few quotes our home and future home purchases. Maybe there would be other ways to cut $100 here or there? Kate, the agent on the line, let me know about a few key factors that would significantly impact home insurance costs:

*Buying a solid brick house vs. one with siding (in the size and price range of my area) would save $200+ per year.
*Having an active alarm system adds a 10% discount to a policy. She let me know that this would probably end up covering around half of the carrying costs of the alarm.
*Buying a newer house makes the insurance a lot less expensive, but making sure that the basics like plumbing, roof, and electrical are updated will help as well.
*The only difference between two-story and one-story houses is the cost to rebuild which will affect the coverage amounts.
*Keeping a higher deductible will save another $150 per year... which is fine because making a lot of smaller claims can raise the bill right back up.
*A seller might not fully disclose all of the problems with a property so, if I want to avoid any potential money traps, I can call her if I'm ever interested in making an offer on a home and she can pull up the claim history for a house. I'm definitely going to keep that trick in my back pocket!!

Solid is the new sexy.

What helpful bonus tips and tricks have you learned by asking a lot of questions?


Audreya April 28, 2011 at 2:13 PM  

As our little community grew, we noticed we were going "to town" fewer and fewer times and putting far less mileage on our vehicles. We asked the agent about a "low mileage" discount and were able to get it (only on one vehicle, but still saved $75 or $100 a year.)

Also, when we originally got our policy, our credit score wasn't the best. Since that is one factor in the rate you pay, we asked them to resubmit our information a couple of years later when our score was better. The agent at first said no, but we said we had no qualms about changing companies, so he decided to go for it. That saved a considerable amount on both our home and auto.

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