Strategy Tips for Insurance, Whether It Is for Your Home, Car, or Something Else

If you are like many people, you view insurance as a necessary evil. Evil because it often seems as if insurance companies are all about ripping people off. Necessary because if your house burned down or your car was totaled, you could be in a world of financial trouble. So, it is fair to say that the peace of mind insurance is supposed to provide does not necessarily mean peace of mind if you worry about a claim not being covered. That’s why it is important to approach insurance strategically.

Prioritize Needs and Wants

What are your needs and your wants? What does your budget look like? One good thing about insurance is that there are plans to fit many needs. If you prioritize super-duper insurance that covers any eventuality you can think of, you can likely get it. You just may have to pay more, but insurance is structured so that each new area of coverage may not cost you more than a few dollars a month.

Common considerations for insurance priorities include:

  •          To save money (the cheapest insurance possible)
  •          To cover all bases (your plan would likely be among the priciest insurance)
  •          To fill a niche demand (tattoo shop, laser center, or day spa, for instance)
  •          To get streamlined, yet comprehensive customer service

One important thing to keep in mind is that your priorities should align with the realities of your situation.

Identify (and Reassess) Realities

What exactly does “the realities of your situation” mean? It comes down to checking that your priorities make sense. As an obvious example, suppose you have a new car that cost several hundred thousand dollars. Does it make sense to get the cheapest car insurance? Probably not. The opposite example applies; suppose you have a car you have owned for 30 years and that would sell for less than a thousand dollars. Does it make sense to pay for all types of coverage on the car? Likely not.

The thing is, people’s realities change every year. That expensive car, if you keep it for years, gets older and older, and all of a sudden, you find yourself overpaying a lot on insurance. Try to reassess your realities and priorities once a year.

Compare Quotes

It’s amazing how many people do not compare multiple quotes. Each insurance company considers different factors in its risk models and weighs factors differently. For example, Company A may assign more risk to car owners residing in ZIP Code A and charge more, while Company B does not. A tool such as lets you compare many quotes at one time, and you don’t have to enter information at multiple websites or call multiple insurance companies.

Ask About Discounts

Once you have workable quotes from three insurance companies you like, how do you narrow them down to the “winning” company? One way is to ask about discounts; insurance agents may not go out of their way to inquire about any applicable qualifying life situations you have. If you only use your car for errands, you could get a steep discount (some tools such as do consider this as a factor).

If you are a college student with good grades, you could enjoy some money off your insurance as well. Ditto if you decide to bundle your homeowners, car, and motorcycle policies. Many insurance companies also offer discounts if you pay online or if you pay for an entire six months in advance.

Assess Customer Service

Looking at a company’s customer service can be pretty simple. In fact, a few minutes on the website may be all it takes. Review whether contact information is easy to find, and if the company allows claims to be filed online. Also, how can you contact agents or adjusters? Live chat, email, telephone, and so on? During which hours? If you cannot unearth this information online, you may want to proceed with caution.

Finding exactly the right insurance plan for your needs does require some strategy. This is especially true given the fact that your needs change. Often, the change is gradual and takes many years, but you may have done expensive home renovations that add value to your home. You could be under-insured. On the other hand, your car could be over-insured because it has decreased greatly in value.

Five Ways to Save Money on Your Utility Bill

Although the start of summer signifies long days, ice cream runs, family barbecues, and the soon arrival of football season, it also means summer’s relentless heat is on its way. Summer season and a high utility bill seem to go hand in hand, but with a few smart and simple tips on how to save, high utility bills will be a thing of the past:

1. Power Company

If you feel as if your utility bill is considerably expensive for the amount of utilities you use, your power company may be charging you an exorbitant amount. In various states, including Texas, you have the option to choose your power provider. Instead of sticking with an expensive company, look to switch to more efficient companies like

2. Turn It Up

One of the simplest ways to see a significant change on your utility bill is to turn your thermostat up. The US Department of Energy recommends keeping the thermostat at no lower than 79 degrees, and using it only when you are home to enjoy it. If you have an older thermostat, consider upgrading to a programmable one. After being programmed, the thermostat automatically turns on and off when you leave for work and when you return home.

3. Turn It Off

As one of the best habits you can develop, turning off lights, fans, and even unplugging appliances can save you as much as $7 a month. Have a “turn it off” rule for overhead lights and fans, and at night or while at work, keep those unused kitchen appliances unplugged. To save even more, turn off your electronics like your computer or printer. Even in stand by mode they are using quite a bit of electricity.

4. Air Dry

When possible, air-dry your clothes instead of using the electric dryer. Although it might take a little longer, it can cut a huge amount from your electric bill. Hang your clothes outside on a clothesline, on hangers near a window, or develop a makeshift clothesline indoors with a tension rod. When you do need to use the dryer, use the auto sensor function that recognizes when the clothes are done drying. This avoids drying clothes any longer than necessary, which saves you on your electric bill.

5. Replace Showerhead

shower head

If you leave your shower running while you wait for the water to warm up, you could be wasting up to 7800 gallons of water a year—even more if you have a family bigger than three. Installing a shower a new showerhead adapter that has ShowerStart technology is a simple solution that will conserve water. This device installs easily on your showerhead and conserves hot water by lowering the flow down to a slow trickle until you tell it to resume normal water flow. Additionally, if you have access to your water heater, turn down the temperature. You can potentially save $10 per month for every 10 degrees it’s lowered.

Saving Money On Oil Change

My husband doing car maintenance

Saturdays are the most convenient days to do house and car maintenance.  I am very happy that my husband takes care of everything for me when it comes to pampering the car and stuff like that.

My car is due for an oil change this month.  We do not want to spend a lot of money going to the car service so he does it on his own.  Like his father, my husband keeps everything well-maintained.  I own the car for almost three years.  It is a Toyota Scion and runs very well.

Like everybody else who owns a car for the very first time, I treat it like a baby too.  It means a lot to me because it takes me to the places I want to go.  Traveling has been very easy for me now that I have a car.  And with a valid Driver’s License I can drive whenever, wherever.

So I am advising those who own a vehicle to change oil when needed.  It is very important to keep your vehicle in good condition to avoid problems.  Be gentle to your vehicle.  Take good care of it like the way you take care of yourself.