Lessons in Insurance Shopping: Looking Beyond Face Value

Securing Home and AutoAccurately comparing car insurance and homeowners insurance has a lot to do with determining the categories you fall into. For example, if you’re considered a high risk driver due to your long history of being involved in accidents, it’s probably in your best interest to ramp up your level of liability insurance and to factor that into your quote. But what determines if you need high value home insurance?

Although you might think that your need for standard or high value home insurance depends totally on the dollar value of your home, that’s not the only factor. You don’t have to live in a mansion or earn a particularly high salary to qualify as someone who needs a high level of homeowners insurance. However, if you happen to own a lot of expensive “stuff” this could be an immediate qualifier.

So what kind of “stuff” do you have to own in order to be a good candidate for high value home insurance? Here’s a quick, but by no means totally inclusive, list.

• Expensive electronic equipment
• Valuable art
• Irreplaceable antiques
• Priceless family heirlooms
• High value collections (anything from wine to baseball cards)

As you can see, the fact that someone can live in a shanty and still qualify for high value home insurance is a lesson in not always taking things at face value when shopping for insurance. This is a lesson that’ll serve you well when comparing car insurance, homeowners insurance, health insurance, life insurance, and any other kind of insurance you can possibly think of.

Overcoming High Prices for High Risk Drivers

Shopping for automobile insurance for high risk drivers can cause a bit of sticker shock when you receive a quote for coverage. High risk groups include male drivers under 25 years of age, unmarried women under age 21 and anyone with a poor driving record. Premiums can be substantially higher for these groups and in some cases, an insurance company may simply refuse to offer any coverage because they do not want to assume the risk.

All is not lost if you happen to fall into the category of high risk driver. It is usually cheaper for a parent to include a teenage driver on their policy than for the teen to take out their own policy. Once the young man or woman becomes emancipated and living on their own, they will have to fend for themselves and shop around for the best and most affordable coverage.

While many young people are very careful and conscientious, statistically, they fall into a group that tends to have more accidents. Insurance companies do not write insurance policies based on individual records, but rather as a group. Unfortunately, higher insurance rates are a sometimes unfair reality that young drivers must accept.

Those categorized as high risk because of numerous traffic violations, excess points on their driving records or multiple accidents in a short period of time, may have an even more difficult time finding insurance. Every insurance company has different standards and rules for who they will insure. It is to your advantage to shop around and hopefully find a company that will insure you for a reasonable price.

If you have been rejected by at least 2 insurers, you can get basic liability coverage through the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAIPA). You will pay higher rates, but you will be able to get the required coverage needed to legally drive in Texas.