Trim The Fat Tuesday: The Insurance Review

Our homeowners policy comes due at the very end of the year (timing very much appreciated by my hyper-organized self), and usually we just throw it in the filing cabinet, throw the outdated one in the recycling bin, and call it good.

In fact, this is exactly what we did, until a couple days later I remembered that it involves money, and could be a painless place to save some cash. An on-the-fly goal:

Review insurance policies for places to save money on unnecessary coverage.


So I pulled the paperwork back out of the filing cabinet and had a look. And you know what? Our deductible is only $1000. We can definitely handle more than that out-of-pocket if something bad happens (which is pretty unlikely anyway, right?), so we upped it to $2500. This is also a strong incentive to keep the savings cushion intact at a higher level, now that we are (slightly) more responsible for insuring ourselves.

Inspired, I also looked over the car insurance. Turns out we were paying collision on an almost 14 year old car.

Say what now?

That's just stupid. That car, at best, is worth $2500 (according to kbb.com, where you can look up both trade-in and private market values). If it's ever in a crash, it's pretty much a given that it will be totaled, so paying the collision is just a waste. We ended up ditching the collision coverage and moving to a partial comprehensive (a hilarious oxymoron that I must commit to memory in the event that I ever find myself teaching literary terms again), which covers fire, theft, and glass and leaves the rest to fate (and a $2000 deductible). And none of that matters anyway because the car would be totaled if any of these things ever came to pass.

So we went ahead and made those changes to the car insurance, which technically amounted to a savings of $129 per year. BUT. The nickel-and-dime increases on all the other categories of our car insurance for the coming year added up to…you guessed it! $129. So this adjustment doesn't feel like it's saving us any money, but just keeping us even. That means I won't be adding it to the total monthly savings tally after all. Sigh.

In the end, we assume a little more risk, but save $179 a year on the homeowners insurance and avoid this year's increases on the auto insurance. And it all took almost no effort (especially for me, since Kirk is the one who made the phone call). I guess we have to sign some papers or something. Easy money for taking the time to read our mail, methinks.

Savings per month: $15

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