If you think about, insurance companies are basically bookies. No, not the bust your legs in a back alley sort of bookies (though I’ve run into a few that aren’t far from that) but they do make rather sizable fortunes by betting that calamity will calmly coast past their customer and move on to somebody else’s insured. No catastrophe. No coverage. No coverage and Faithful Indemnity keeps collecting those premiums. The house wins. In the insurance game– the house usually wins.
Like bookies, who (short of a fix) have little control over how the game plays out, insurance companies can make valuable use of one key tool – information about the players. How safe is that car? How new is that home’s roof? How many packs a day does that health plan member smoke? These variables help stack the deck in the betting man’s favor. So why aren’t you taking advantage of this information for yourself? Put simply, are you leveraging your insurer for a better deal by showing them that you’re a better risk?
If not, here are some discounts to research:
Car – For cars some commonly missed discounts are: low mileage discounts (low miles=lower costs. Let your insurer know. It could save you money); advanced quote discount (if you buy your policy more than a week before coverage is set to start some companies will offer a reduction); auto-pay and homeowner discounts (save money by being a sound wager for the underwriter); and Membership discounts (some insurers offer discounts if you’re member of an association like AARP or AAA. Just ask.
Home – Property insurance costs going through the roof? Check if you’re missing any of these discounts: 1) Upgraded construction (get a qualified inspection to see if your home’s wind resistant construction and safety systems such as alarms make you eligible to save); 2) Auto-payment and early payment-in-full can also bring a discount; 3) Insurance bundles (many insurers offer multi-line discounts if you keep your home, car and other insurance products with them).
So remember, if the casino is in business to win – and win they do – be sure to learn the safest bets.
Russel Lazega is an attorney and author of two of Florida’s most widely distributed legal textbooks on Florida Insurance Law. He also represents storm victims and consumers at war with their insurance companies and is based in North Miami, Dania Beach, Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Questions? Contact: Russ@fladvocates.com.