How many times have you heard that you should always shop around for the best price on anything you buy? If you’re like me, you know you should always look around for a better deal but you don’t always have the time to actually do it. You get busy with work or the kids. Or maybe you just get lazy and never get around to it.
That laziness or lack of time to compare prices may be costing you more than you think. I learned that lesson the hard way after I finally got around to getting some home insurance quotes and realized I had been paying more than necessary for years.
My wife and I bought our first home in December of 2003. I originally wanted to get a home insurance policy with the same company that I use for auto insurance, New Jersey Manufacturers. NJM is a bit old-fashioned and it can be difficult to get a policy with them, but they’re an outstanding carrier and they have the best rates in the state. In fact, I once met an insurance salesman at a friend’s dinner party and he kept trying to sell everyone on his auto insurance. When I told him I had NJM he quickly dismissed me as a prospect saying “There’s no way I can compete with them.”
When I tried to apply for a home insurance policy from NJM I realized it was going to be a headache. You can’t just call them and set up a policy on the phone like you can with other carriers. Instead, you have to send in a lengthy written application and the process could take up to 30 days to complete. Because we were pressed for time and our closing was approaching fast I decided to get a few home insurance quotes from other carriers and I ended up going with a different company because they let me purchase a policy right over the phone.
My plan was to complete the NJM application once we got settled into our new home, but despite my best intentions that never happened. Years went by and we eventually sold that house and bought a new one in July 2012.
Once again time was tight so I set up a policy with another carrier rather than jumping through the hoops it would take to get an NJM policy.
When I first purchased our homeowner’s insurance policy it cost $1,211 for the year. In July 2013, I received the renewal paperwork and the rate had jumped to $1,355. Since I was looking for ways to cut our expenses and save more money, I finally decided to sit down and complete the NJM questionnaire and application.
I expected NJM’s home insurance quotes to be better than those from any other company’s but I was shocked when I discovered their rate was less than half of what I was currently paying for the exact same coverage elsewhere!
It didn’t take me long to sign on the dotted line, and just like that managed to cut my home insurance premium from $1,355 to only $621! Not only that, but because I now have both home and auto insurance with the same carrier I’m eligible for a multiple policy discount which cut my auto insurance bill by another $64.
All together, I ended up saving a total of $798 just by comparing home insurance quotes from different carriers.
Makes you want to start comparing some rates yourself, doesn’t it?