For various reasons, insurance premiums for homes, cars, jewelry, artwork, collectibles, and pets are increasing. But smart insurance shoppers can take steps to reduce these skyrocketing costs. Some are increasing their deductibles to save money, while others are decoupling jewelry insurance from their home insurance policies to cut costs.
The costs of two of the most common types of insurance reflect the trend of increasing premiums. Home insurance premiums climbed 10.7% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Meanwhile, the average auto insurance premium jumped 4.9% in 2022, S&P reported in June.
When it comes to auto and home insurance costs, premiums are rising for several reasons. For example, insurers compensate for large financial losses resulting from claims related to disasters such as wildfires, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes. On top of that, the cost of repairing homes and cars has soared due to reasons like supply chain bottlenecks and inflation.
Jewelry, artwork, collectibles, and pets are also becoming more expensive to insure:
- Jewelry insurance premiums increase primarily because the cost of jewelry increases. From July 2021 to July 2022 alone, the price of jewelry increased by 0.8%, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the other hand, the average cost of an engagement ring has risen from $5,900 in 2019 to $6,000 in 2022, according to The Knot, a wedding website. This is a difference of 1.7%.
- Works of art and other collectibles are also not immune to rising insurance costs. By one estimate, the cost of fine art insurance is rising 5-12%, in part due to natural disasters in places like California and Florida.
- Dogs, cats and other pets are also becoming more expensive to protect. The VetHelpDirect website reports that pet insurance premiums are increasing every year, as are health insurance premiums for humans. According to the PawlicyAdvisor website, the average monthly premium for dog insurance jumped 15% from 2016 to 2020, while the average premium for cat insurance increased a more modest 6.4%.
Ways to save on your insurance premiums
So what can you do to fight inflation and other factors that drive up your insurance premiums? We have six recommendations:
- Compare insurance rates
- Maximize insurance discounts
- Increase insurance deductibles
- Bundle insurance policies
- Bypass the insurance intermediary
- Minimize small insurance claims
Compare insurance rates
To find better insurance rates, it’s a good idea to shop around.
An easy way to start, for example, is to check your price with BriteCo Jewelry Insurance. You can get a free, no obligation quote in 30 seconds online to see what you can save.
When looking for auto and home insurance, the Insurance Information Institute suggests getting quotes from at least three insurers. The same advice can be applied to purchasing policies covering jewelry, artwork, collectibles and pets.
Fortunately, buying insurance has never been easier.
Here are some of the best options:
Maximize insurance discounts
Policyholders can take advantage of a range of discounts. The list includes:
- Adding anti-theft devices to your home or car
- Take a defensive driving course
- Insure multiple cars with the same company
- Maintain a good driving record
- Agree to use tools that monitor your driving habits, such as Allstate’s Drivewise app
- Install an alarm system or safe to protect your jewelry and other valuables
- Strengthen the roof of your house
- Stay with the same insurer to benefit from a loyalty discount
Increase insurance deductibles
Raising a policy’s deductible can usually reduce your premium.
The deductible is the amount of money you pay out of pocket before an insurer covers a claim. For example, increasing your deductible for comprehensive auto and collision coverage from $200 to $500 could lower your premium by 15% to 30%, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Going from $200 to $1,000 could significantly lower your comprehensive and collision premium, and you could save 40% or more.
Of course, make sure you have enough money set aside to offset a higher deductible in case you need to file a claim.
If you’re not comfortable enough to increase your deductible, consider reducing your coverage. For example, it may no longer make sense to have comprehensive coverage and collision coverage if you drive an old, low-value car that is chargeable.
Bundle insurance policies
If you’ve watched TV shows, you’ve probably seen insurance commercials that promote bundling as a way to save money. When you bundle policies, it means that you are buying two or more insurance policies from the same company.
It is common for bundles to include auto and home insurance policies. This bundled combination could easily result in home insurance savings of 5-25%.
However, you may be able to save money by doing the opposite and unbundling your fonts. For example, a specialty insurer like BriteCo could provide better coverage with no deductible for jewelry coverage at a lower cost than adding jewelry coverage to an existing home policy.
Bypass the insurance intermediary
When you buy coverage directly from an insurer rather than working with an independent insurance agent or broker, you may be able to achieve savings of, say, 10%. But that might not always be the case, as insurance rates vary based on different insurance companies, your credit score, and geographic locations.
If you decide to buy directly from an insurer, make sure the coverage meets your needs and is reasonably priced.
On the other hand, an independent agent or broker who has access to a range of insurers might be able to find a better deal than you would get buying directly from an insurance company.
Minimize small insurance claims
In some cases, filing a claim may cost you more than it’s worth. Insurers will often raise your rates after you file a claim. So, if you submitted a relatively small claim, you could end up with more money for premiums than you would get from paying the claim.
So you might want to think twice before filing a claim if, for example, a bike is stolen from your garage or a wreckage causes minor damage to your car. In situations like this, it might be best to pay for repairs or replacements out of your own pocket to avoid premium increases later.
Prepare for higher bounties and take action
No one likes to spend a lot of effort evaluating insurance coverage. But as rates continue to rise, it behooves everyone to dig a little deeper into the options to save money. A big advantage? Even a small amount saved can add up over time.