Since dealing with insurance is unavoidable for all of us, here are some tips that will help you save money on insurance throughout your life.
The Top 7 Ways to Save Money on Insurance in Georgia are:
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire regulates general insurance affairs in Georgia, including insurance rates. While residents cannot negotiate these rates, they can exploit these ways to save on insurance.
- Compare policies from different insurance companies: Research the market and compare the available options. Make sure to compare all the coverages, not just the price. Employ the services of an insurance agent to help you compare quotes from multiple insurance companies for a more affordable policy that best fits their needs.
- Purchase multiple insurance policies from the same insurer: This attracts bundling discounts. Bundling policies is considered a bulk purchase; therefore, the insurance company will be typically willing to waive some of its admin fees to secure the deal.
- Employ the services of an insurance agent: Insurance agents are middlemen who assist with sourcing insurance policies. They have a detailed understanding of the local insurance market and can access various competing insurance companies. They can help you find the best policies with the most affordable prices in the market.
- Remove or lower unnecessary coverage: Lowering coverage limits or removing coverage completely will result in the lower insurance cost, but make sure that you do not become underinsured in the process. Speak with a licensed professional who can go over your intended changes and tell you how this will affect you in the long run. For example, if your old paid off truck is worth less than $2,000, and you rarely use it, you may want to skip comprehensive and collision auto insurance coverage on it.
- Pay for the policy upfront: When insurance premiums are paid upfront (annually), it results in a discount compared to making monthly payments.
- Increase your deductibles: Increasing your deductibles will lower your premiums and help you save on insurance. However, you will be required to make higher out-of-pocket payments in the event of a covered loss. Make sure that your savings account can handle this type of drain.
- Take advantage of discounts: Insurance companies offer discounts if you meet certain criteria. For example, some insurance companies offer bundling discounts, multi-policy discounts, loyalty discounts, full payment discounts, etc.
Georgia-licensed insurance agents typically work free of charge to the consumer. They are professionals who help you navigate the market and show you possible options. As a consumer, you are the one who makes the choice and picks the insurer and the plan to buy. After helping you, the agent is paid a sales commission by the insurer you choose.
Save on Insurance - 101
Some of the most common insurance policies purchased in Georgia are health, car, life, home, and business insurance. Here are tips on how to save on insurance in Georgia:
How to Save on Health Insurance in Georgia
Health insurance offers Georgia residents who subscribe and pay their premiums protection against unforeseen costs resulting from illness, accidents, or other health-related issues. It provides the insured individuals with a simple, easy way to save on healthcare costs. Georgia has numerous health insurance options, each with varying deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket limits.
Georgians looking to save money on health insurance need to:
- Understand your personal health needs: Individuals looking to save on health insurance must thoroughly understand their health needs to determine the insurance plan that is most suitable for them. For instance, if you are temporarily out of paid employment and your job is no longer providing health coverage, you can get a short-term health insurance plan that will run until you get an employer-sponsored health plan.
- Adjust your coverage according to the needs: Plan your health insurance according to your projected medical expenses. For example, if you know that you have multiple surgeries that will cost over $200,000 planned for the next year, you may want to get the best Affordable Care Act health insurance policy from the healthcare.gov marketplace you can afford for that time. Paying more for a health insurance policy will result in much lower out-of-pocket costs during all of your procedures, which will save you money overall.
- Shop around for health insurance options: One of the best ways to find affordable health insurance is to shop around for multiple insurance quotes (at least three) from different insurers and compare rates and benefits. This way, you can pick the most affordable policy that best fits your needs.
- Seek advice from a Georgia-licensed insurance agent: If you are looking to save money on health insurance, consult with state-licensed insurance agents. A health insurance agent can help assess your health needs and determine the plan you need so you do not under-insure or over-insure. They can also help you shop around for affordable health plans that fit your health needs and help you save on insurance.
- Leverage a health savings account: These accounts are available to individuals with high-deductible health insurance (HDHPs). (NOTE: If you have short term health insurance, it is most likely an HDHP). You may withdraw money from your health savings account (HSA) tax-free for qualified medical expenses, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. With an HSA, you can save money on health care. The major benefits of HSA accounts are:
- Monthly contributions are tax-free
- Health deductible health care premiums are lower
- Saving contributions rollover annually
- Funds in the Health saving accounts may be invested tax-free
- Withdrawals are tax-free on qualified expenses
- Purchase a family plan: An individual who does not have access to employer-sponsored health insurance can get a private health insurance plan, but instead of buying individual plans for each of their immediate family members, they can get a family plan. This is a more affordable option than individual health plans.
- Leverage the benefits of discount health cards: Unlike insurance, discount health cards offer discounts on medical services. Therefore, using discount health cards can reduce the amount you spend on copays. However, beware of fraudulent discount health cards, check for red flags, and request to see the list of approved healthcare providers before you purchase the discount card.
- Get an employer-sponsored health plan: Employer-sponsored private health insurance is the most affordable option for Georgians looking to save money on insurance. Most companies in Georgia offer health insurance to their employees as part of their employment benefits.
- Use an in-plan Network: Using in-network care allows you to benefit from your insurer's agreement with certain healthcare providers. These providers consent to cut service rates in exchange for access to the plan's network members. Using in-network providers helps you get healthcare at discounted rates. You will generally pay less if you use an in-network provider instead of an out-of-network provider.
- Look for Available Government Assistance Programs: Subscribe to Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (PeachCare) to receive government-funded health insurance plans. An individual whose income is too high to qualify for this program may be eligible for a premium tax credit.
How to Save Money on Car Insurance in Georgia
Georgia is ranked amongst the top 10 states with the most expensive car insurance policy premiums. Therefore, Georgians look for opportunities to save on their car insurance premiums. Residents seeking to save on car insurance in Georgia are advised to:
- Shop around for rates: Compare vehicle insurance rates from multiple auto insurance companies in Georgia. You can consult with an insurance agent to get at least three car insurance quotes tailored to your exact car insurance needs, after which you pick the most affordable one that best fits your needs.
- Take a defensive driving course: Georgians who complete a defensive driving program with the Georgia Department of Driver Services may be charged lower insurance premiums, as they are considered safer and more responsible drivers. This way, they can save on car insurance.
- Pay your premiums upfront (annually): A car insurance company can offer discounts to individuals who pay their car insurance premiums upfront, as they save the cost they would have spent processing monthly payments.
- Get married: While saving on auto insurance is never a good reason to get married, it can significantly save you some money on your auto insurance cost. Most Georgia car insurance policy providers view single drivers as high-risk to insure compared to their married counterparts. As a result, an auto insurance company may charge single drivers higher auto insurance premiums than married drivers. Some auto insurers offer discounts to married drivers.
- Buy a safer car or install safety devices on your current car: Some cars are safer than others as they have enhanced safety and security features, including anti-lock brakes and speed limiters. For example, individuals who purchase sedans tend to pay lower premiums than individuals who buy sport coupes. If you already have a car, you can install an anti theft device to save on your car insurance cost.
- Get a safe parking space: Car insurance companies typically consider parking arrangements when determining auto insurance premiums. The likelihood of an accidental collision with another vehicle significantly increases with cars parked on the street. There is also a higher chance of auto theft with cars parked on the street, which increases your risk level and will lead to higher premiums. If you park in a secured apartment complex parking or in a garage - you will pay lower insurance costs.
- Choose a higher deductible: The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums. If you can afford to make high out-of-pocket payments, then consider increasing your deductible. Note that auto liability coverage does not require deductibles.
- Avoid traffic violations: A car insurance provider may use your driving history to determine your car insurance premium. This means if you maintain safe driving habits and have no traffic tickets, moving violations, or citations, your insurance premium may be lower as you would be considered a safe driver.
- Maintain a good credit score: Most auto insurance firms run credit checks on drivers to determine their dependability. An individual with a high credit score tends to get lower car insurance rates, as they are viewed as more responsible drivers. In addition, individuals with higher credit scores have additional benefits.
- Install security and safety services: Car security and safety features like anti-theft devices, airbags, anti-lock brakes, and fire extinguishers reduce your risk exposure and help you save on insurance premiums.
- Subscribe for usage based insurance: With usage based insurance, you pay as you drive and if you maintain a low mileage (typically under 7,500 miles annually, you may qualify for low-mileage discounts on your car insurance.
- Bundling policies: Saving money on insurance is easy when you buy multiple insurance policies from the same company. For instance, you can bundle home insurance with auto insurance for lower car insurance costs.
- Review your coverage annually: Reviewing your coverage annually in relation to your present needs will help you identify policies you no longer need. For example, if you decide to park a car safely inside a garage for an extended period of time, you may want to drop collision coverage to save money.
Contact your insurance agent to help you shop around for the best deal on car insurance. They can also suggest more saving opportunities you may be eligible for.
How to Save on Home Insurance in Georgia
You can save on your home insurance in GA through any of these means:
- Deduct your land’s value when buying home insurance. You do not have to include the value of the land on which the property is built as part of your coverage amount, as the land cannot be stolen or burnt. You can choose to insure 100% of your home’s replacement cost, excluding the land’s value; this way, the premium paid on the property is significantly reduced.
- Increase your deductibles: High deductibles translate to low premiums, but it is advisable to only increase your deductibles if you can afford to pay high deductibles out of pocket in the event of a covered loss.
- Shop around: This is a good way to save on home insurance costs. You can get multiple quotes from home insurance companies and compare rates and benefits offered. This enables you to make an informed decision on more affordable rates. An insurance agent can assist with shopping around and reviewing home insurance quotes from multiple insurers.
- Enhance your home’s safety and security: Installing safety and security devices like smoke alarms and smart alarm monitoring systems enhances your home security and is a good way to get a discount and save on your home insurance policy. Ensuring that your home is well secured makes it less prone to property crimes like burglary and vandalism; therefore, your insurer may charge you lower premiums.
- Maintain a good credit score: Most insurance companies evaluate your credit history and score to determine your credibility. Individuals with bad credit scores or ratings are more likely to pay higher home insurance premiums than those with good credit scores. You can maintain a good credit score by paying your loans and bills on time and keeping your credit utilization rate low.
- Purchase multiple plans from the same insurer: It is advisable to bundle your home insurance policies with other policies and purchase them from the same insurer. For instance, you can bundle your homeowners or renters insurance with your auto insurance to get better rates.
- Pay an annual premium: Instead of paying your premiums monthly or semi annually, pay annually, as this can attract a discount.
- Review coverage limits annually: Georgians are advised to annually review the details of their home insurance coverage to remove coverage for items that are no longer in their possession.
- Look out for discounts: Home insurance companies offer multiple discounts like loyalty discounts, bundling discounts, multi-policy discounts, home improvement discounts, etc. You can consult with your agent or ask your insurance about insurance discounts that you are eligible for.
- Get free advice and help from a professional: Speak with a Michigan-licensed residential property insurance agent who has access to multiple competing insurers and ask them to find you better coverage than the one you were able to locate on your own.
How to Save Money on Life Insurance in Georgia
Buy you life insurance as early in life as you can - to lock in the lowest rates. Once you decide to purchase life insurance in Georgia, you will be typically picking out of the two main options:cash-value life insurance and term life insurance. Term life insurance is typically purchased to protect the loved ones left behind after you die, by leaving them some money. Cash value insurance works for you while you are alive. It can function as your own bank, allowing you to borrow money from yourself, and give you an alternative to retirement savings and tax-advantaged stock market investing. Since cash value life insurance, such as Whole Life, Indexed Universal Life provide a lot more functionality - they tend to cost a bit more too. .
Georgians seeking to save money on life insurance need to:
- Compare rates from different life insurance companies: Before purchasing life insurance from a particular insurer, shop around and compare rates and benefits from different life insurers.
- Choose a term life insurance policy: When looking for life insurance coverage, people can choose from term life insurance, whole life insurance, variable life insurance, universal life insurance, and final expense life insurance. Term insurance policies are generally cheaper than permanent life insurance plans because they typically provide only pure death coverage and offer coverage for a limited period. If the insured does not die during the policy term, they forfeit the coverage and need to apply for a new policy at the current (older) age, at the corresponding higher rates.
- Buy a policy at a young age: It is cheaper to buy a life insurance policy when you are young than when you get older, especially if you have underlying conditions. For instance, insurance for a 20-year-old will cost significantly less than for a 40-year-old. When you buy life insurance at a young age, the rate remains the same until the end of the policy term. If you buy permanent life insurance at a young age, you lock in this low insurance rate for the rest of your life.
- Consult with a Georgia-licensed insurance agent: Insurance agents can help you get affordable life insurance policies that match your needs by sourcing from multiple insurers and looking out for discounts that you can take advantage of. This will help you save on life insurance.
- Pay insurance premiums as a lump sum annually: There are different payment options for life insurance premiums, but individuals who can make lump sum annual payments may receive major cost-saving benefits. Other payment options, including monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually premium payments, usually attract additional fees.
- Stay healthy and avoid risky activities and hobbies: Life insurers generally charge higher premiums for persons with existing medical issues, risky occupations, or frequently occurring potentially dangerous hobbies like skydiving, car racing, and mountain climbing. An individual’s health status is considered when calculating their premium costs. Smokers can be paying up to four times more than non-smokers. So, living a healthy lifestyle will pay off by lowering your life insurance premiums, thus helping you save money on life insurance.
- Renew your policy on time: Early term life policy renewal is another way to save on life insurance. The consequence of not renewing your coverage early enough is expensive. You may have to begin the entire application process from scratch if your insurance policy lapses, which entails paying a new premium based on your current age. If you are unsatisfied with your current insurer, you can switch to a different insurer on the market instead of having your insurance lapse.
- Get a Convertible life insurance policy: Convertibility option allows you to convert your term life into a permanent life insurance policy at a later time based on your original health rating. Without a conversion rider on the policy; if you want to get a permanent cash value life insurance policy you need to apply for it based on your then-current health evaluation rating. A drop in a rating will raise the price of coverage.
The best way to save money on life insurance in Georgia is to speak with a state-licensed life insurance professional. A knowledgeable life insurance agent who has access to various competing life insurance companies can match your life insurance coverage needs to the best options for you.
How to Save Money on Business Insurance in Georgia
The types of business insurance required by any of Georgia’s 1.3 million local businesses vary based on the nature of the business and the regulations that govern the business. Some types of commercial insurance that may be purchased in Georgia are various types of liability, workers compensation, and property insurance. To save money on your business insurance in Georgia consider these options:
- Assess your business insurance needs: To avoid over-insurance or spending on business insurance policies that you do not need, it is important to assess your business insurance needs and potential risks (both tangible and intangible). For instance, if you keep paying for a $1,000,000 business property coverage for your business property or equipment but in reality it has depreciated over the years and will cost $750,000 to replace in the event of a covered loss, then you are over-insuring the property. Be careful of under-insuring. Make sure to discuss your decision with a licensed insurance agent who can go over how this change will affect you in case you need to file a claim.
- Shop around: One of the best ways to save money on insurance is to shop around among competing insurers for multiple business insurance quotes tailored to your needs; this way, you can choose the most suitable and affordable policy.
- Engage the services of an insurance agent: An insurance agent can help assess your business needs and shop around for cost-effective quotes that will fit your business’s highlighted needs. They can also help you get discounts that you are eligible for.
- Pay higher deductibles: This is a straightforward way to save money on insurance upfront if you can afford to pay high deductibles out of pocket in the event of a covered loss. Generally, high deductibles attract low premiums but require high out-of-pocket payments when you file a claim.
- Bundle your insurance coverage: Bundling your business insurance coverages with the same business insurance company is a good way to save on insurance. You can bundle general liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, and commercial property insurance with the same insurer to get better rates.
- Minimize your risk: If you provide processes to ensure safety and limit your business’s risk exposure, your insurer may charge you a lower rate. For instance, you can take risk mitigation steps like installing a smart alarm monitoring system, CCTV, smoke detectors, etc., to prevent break-ins and theft. You can also organize workplace safety training programs for your employees. Risk mitigation measures attract lower rates or discounts.
- Avoid filing small claims: Filing multiple claims over a short period will make your insurer consider your business a high risk, which translates to higher premiums. On the other hand, staying claims-free is a good way to save on business insurance and earn discounts.
- Pay premiums upfront: Paying your insurance premiums upfront can help you save on insurance, as this may attract certain discounts.
Discuss your commercial insurance needs with a commercial insurance agent. Get quotes from different competing insurers for comparison.
Can You Negotiate The Price of Insurance in Georgia?
In Georgia, residents can not negotiate insurance rates. Insurance is a heavily regulated industry. Per Section 120-2-3 of Georgia's Administrative Code, the insurance rate offered by any insurance company in the state must be approved by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire (CISF). This helps to maintain a healthy and competitive marketplace. Therefore, the rates offered by insurance companies cannot be negotiated. However, individuals can take active measures to save money on insurance.